by George R.R. Martin
24/25 (96%) 5 stars.
An absolutely groundbreaking masterpiece. Its influence on modern fantasy can hardly be overestimated. Amazing twists and characters… and winter is still not here.
First of all: Yes, it’s ridiculous. Martin’s work attitude leaves a lot to be desired – since 9 (NINE!) years, the entire fantasy world is waiting for „The Winds of Winter“, the longed-for sixth volume of this series. But the author prefers to write prequels and screenplays about prequels, which nobody really wants after the TOTAL catastrophe (last seasons of the TV series).
Nevertheless, the first three volumes of Martin’s epic masterpiece in particular are absolutely epochal for the genre. GRRM combined the classic fantasy elements – new world, epochal story about the fate of this world, good versus evil – and expanded them to three crucial but revolutionary details: grey, deeply ambivalent characters, surprising, nefarious character deaths, and, last but not least, an outstanding narrative depth achieved by the constant alternation between the narrating characters.
Martin has set the course for current greats such as Joe Abercrombie, has no longer painted figures in black or white, but in a deeply human grey. The development of a Jaime Lannister and depth of his brother Tyrion alone dwarfs everything that had been written before easily. Yes, pun very much intended.
In the first volume, the fantasy part is still deliberately kept small and on the surface, as in the next volumes, this is about the battle for the throne of the Seven Kingsdoms: wild boars, drunkards, tournaments, the complete program. Already in the first volume of his Magnum Opus Martin proves that no one is really safe: whoever plays the Game of Thrones wins or dies. There is nothing in between.
The character development of the Stark children who are growing up from book to book is particularly remarkable throughout the series. Of course, there is already this enfant terrible par excellence, Tyrion Lannister, this magnificent synthesis of sarcasm and intelligence, endowed with a big, broken heart. Absolutely recommended: Five stars.
Writing Style 4
by George R.R. Martin