This is probably one of the best High Fantasy books I've read this year, or ever.
I'd been meaning to read this book for a long time and I'm so glad I finally gave it a chance. It was because I had just seen the TV show that I thought this would be a total waste of time… how wrong I was. I'm so glad I've heard you, guys, because I totally enjoy this +800 pages journey. In my opinion, one of the things missing in the TV show was the mystical element: Bran's dreams and premonitions. I can't believe how they missed that!
The complexity of the characters and their dynamic was incredible. Ugh, what can I say of this awesome characters? Just to name a few:
Arya: Mother of God, this girl was a total badass. Only 11, you said? She was freaking amazing, brave, outspoken and unpretentious. All the contrary to her sister. Don't get me started.
Jon: Not just a poor bastard. He's brave, likeable and generous. He's smart, he can fight. He's good at his job and I can see great things waiting for him.*
Tyrion: Ty-fucking-ron! Man, this dude is awesome. One of my favorite quotes of the book was:
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
So, yeah. he got me at the "I read books" speech. He may be one of the bad guys, but I really don't care. I think he's so complex, he's a man with many sides. I can see him doing the right thing in the future. But I can tell he's eager to receive his dad's approval too so… damn you, Lannister.
Finally, Dany: Well, this are my thoughts about her. She's a polemic character because of everything that happened to her, especially the rape. And I think it's outrageous, no matter how you want to explain it. But this is a fantasy book settled in primitive times, where rapes and brutality seemed to be not only a common thing but a matter of pride and might. However, Dany's character was so strong that she managed to not only survive this whole savageness but also overcome and prevail over that. And is because of that that I respect her. I don't like her because she was a victim but for the final chapters, were she raised from the ashes (literally) and became something more, something stronger.
There're so many hot topics in this book and I think George R. R. Martin did a great job mixing issues like incest and brutality without making me feel upset or offended. I couldn't tell who where the good guys or the bad guys. It was not that easy to recognize whose team I was: Dany's, Tyron's, stupid and honorable Edd's. Schimes and betrayals, friendship and love, honor and stupidity were combined (sometimes even in the same character) making this book incredibly enjoyable.
The Epic World-building: it was for me so much entreating and fun to read. I was a six year old kid with a new toy. The magic element, myths and ancient stories… The Houses of the Seven Kingdoms were terribly complex. Thanks god for highlights and notes, otherwise I'd been lost. And that ending! Are you kidding me? freaking dragons!
One last thing: Mr Martin is a gutsy writer. He really has the courage to get rid of one of the central characters of the story just like that. It's near impossible for me to make out where is this story going. I can't wait to read the next installment.
I have this serious suspicion I know who is Jon's mother. I'm gonna write this down for posterity and you may laugh at me. Liz* won't care. I just enjoy predicting things randomly. Jon's mom is Lyanna. She was raped by Rhaegar, so he's kinda prince? whatever...