A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin:
A tremendous epic of all times in which the transformation of each character is absolutely hard hitting, real and compelling. The reader is forced to transcend to that era feeling the pain and ruthlessness of circumstances, and witnessing the hardening of personalities in the book.
Every page pushes the reader to explore what next? This very aspect is warning me to be wary of the information I render in the book review, without revealing any of the hidden mysteries.
The descriptions in the book are so vivid that one can genuinely experience the milieu and relate to the difficulties experienced by the characters by virtue of the weather and the hostility of the terrain.
The Song of Ice and Fire is written in a series of which six books that have been released and the author is yet to introduce the end.
Book one: A Game of Thrones.
Book two: A Clash of Kings.
Book three: A Storm of Swords.
Part one: Steel and Snow.
Part two: Blood and Gold.
Book four: A Feast of Crows
Book five (recently released): A Dance with Dragons.
The book is inundated with characters each reflecting shades of both grey and white. The prominent characters of the book are
Lord Stark of Winterfell- Eddard: (My Favourite character) A strong and principled man, a great leader/ ruler, wonderful father.
Catelyn Stark- Wife of Lord Stark: Dutiful and brave wife but a bitter step mother.
Robb Stark: Lord Eddard and Catelyn’s eldest son. A Valiant and fair prince also a responsible brother and a dutiful son.
Sansa Stark: a vulnerable damsel living in the world of fairies who gradually comes in terms to agonizing truth of life.
Arya Stark: Gutsy and valiant, a mature and strong lass.
Jon Snow: A roughened and strong boy with great depth, despite being a bastard.
Bran: A kid victimized by conspiracy.
Rickon: youngest son of Lord Stark
King Robert Baratheon: A complete failure as a king, as a husband, as a friend and a compulsive womanizer.
Cersei: Wife of King Robert, a scheming woman, malicious and vindictive.
Jaime: Cersei’s brother. Cunning and revengeful, yet the man demonstrated shades of kindness and justice as the story advances.
Joffrey: Cersei’s son: A spoiled brat, merciless scalawag.
Tyrion: a gentleman despite being disparaged and demeaned. Sharp and watchful
Daenerys: A gentle teenage lass, forced to wed a Dothraki, Khal Drogo.
Dire Wolves: A telepathic relationship between themselves and Eddard Stark’s children. Protectors of Stark family.
Book 1: A Game of Thrones.
Lord Eddard and his sons locate six dire wolf pups (with their dead dire wolf mother) in the midst of snow , on the way back after slaughtering an absconder from the Wall (with his sword Ice, made of Valyrian steel, spell-forged and dark as smoke.) The Banner of the Starks of Winter fell was a grey dire wolf racing across an ice-white field. Jon insisted the discovery of the pups signaled that the Stark kids were meant to have it. Thus the wolves were adopted in Stark household, one for each child.
After some days King Robert arrives at Winterfell with his and his wife’s family. He urges Eddard to become his hand. Eddard Stark reluctantly accepts his offer taking his two daughters with him and leaving Robb, Rickon and dying (after he fell) Bran with Catelyn Stark. Jon was sent to the Wall to become a nights’ watch.
Lord Eddard being a noble man was surrounded by conspirers at King’s Landings. King Robert’s wife, Cersei was the mastermind behind the scheming. Eddard also realized that Cersei had an affair with Jaime, and all her children belonged to him and not Robert. Paying no heed to the warnings given by Eddard, Robert falls prey to Cersei’s game plan and gets killed by a bear. Lord Eddard tries reaching out to Robert’s brother Stannis, but is charged of treason and Joffrey orders his head to be butchered. The Stark family receives a blow; with Sansa Stark left at Kings Landings, Arya escapes, and Robb is forced to collect an army against Joffrey to avenge his father’s death, Catelyn leaves Bran and Rickon at Winterfell to joins Robb.
There is a parallel story of Daenerys Targaryen being forced to marry Dothraki head, Khal Drogo and eventually the Khal succumbs to a wound and dies because of an evil lady Maegi. Daenerys loses her child in the womb but three dragon eggs that were gifted to her at her wedding, come to life.
Book 2: A Clash of Kings.
To challenge Joffrey as the legal heir to the throne of the Kings landings, Renly and Lord Stannis form their respective armies. Robb also seeks alliance with others to avenge his father’s death. Catelyn requests the Frey’s to assist Robb in his war and in turn he would marry a girl from their household. Frey’s agree. Robb wins all the battles as he advances towards Kings Landings.
Lord Stannis also resorts to black magic or a dark art with the help of a lady called Melisandre. Arya is being taken to the Wall in disguise by an uncouth man Yoren, who saved her when Eddard was being slaughtered. Tyrion takes over as Joffrey’s hand, as instructed by his father. Sansa Stark, begins to come to terms with reality, on the harshness of life and true intentions of Joffrey and Cersei, is promised by Sir Dontos, that he would aid her escape from Kings Landings. Brann is a cripple now, who gets vivid dreams of a three eyed crow and that of wondering like a wolf. Lannister army kills Yoren, Arya escapes, but is made captive again and she lands at Harrenhal.
A shadow enters Renly’s camp and kills him, when he and Lord Stannis declare war against each other. Catelyn Stark, a witness of Renly’s death, takes Brienne, with her, who is suspected to be Renly’s assassinator. Later lady Catelyn frees Jaime and sends him with Brienne, in exchange of promise of getting her daughters back.
Jon and his friends along with Lord Mormont of the Wall, head to the woods, to encounter the wildlings. Later he is asked to befriend the wildings to know their plan. He befriends Ygritte, a wildling (girl) and wins Mance Rayders trust.
Daerneys is left with a small group after the death of Khal Drogo, and they are subjected to hunger and starvation due to lack of food as they march ahead. Theon Greyjoy in the meantime betrays Robb and captures Winterfell where Brann and Rickon escape, but are declared exterminated. Lord Stannis tries to fight the army at Kings Landing but escapes disappointed.
Lord Tywin decides to get Joffrey married to Margaery Yyrell, Renly’s widow and not to Sansa Stark.
Book 3: Part 1: A Storm of Swords. Steel and Snow.
The plot gets thicker from book three and full of unexpected twists and turns. Without killing the suspense, to simply summarize in few lines; Arya escapes Harrenhal, to meet yet another kingdom and another series of challenges, Sansa is made to marry someone who is completely opposite to what she had dreamt of, Robb does not marry Frey’s girl but Jeyne and succumbs to a conspiracy. Bran heads to the Wall to find the three eyed crow. Jaime is on his way back to Kings Landing in captivity of Brienne. Jon escapes the wildlings to reach the Wall to save his black brothers.
Book 3: Part 2: A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold.
Joffrey has an unfortunate wedding. Jaime reaches Kings Landings. Tyrion is imprisoned as a suspect of murder. Sansa escapes. Arya reaches her mother and brother but witnesses callous circumstances. Jon reaches the Wall to fight with his black brothers against the wildlings………..the story continues, yet to finish reading the series.