A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin there are about a billion reviews of this one so i doubt i have anything to add. the only thing i feel truly compelled to say is TYRION THE DWARF IS AWESOME! my God, i haven't read a character who is so different and so enjoyable in years. many-layered and consistently surprising, hero & antihero, generous & spiteful in equal amounts, as capable of high-handed miscalculation as he is of clever deduction, brave & loyal & vindictive... just overall a superb creation. Tyrion, you are the tops! and now you're going to be played by the studliest dwarf actor in the business. GO, TYRION, GO!

the novel itself is fast-paced and fun, featuring lavish and completely enjoyable world-building, a narrative that is widescreen in scope but often intimate is scale, some nifty twists, and strong & vivid characterizations. this is not a novel with much idiosyncratic "style" but there is a very literary feel to it nonetheless. it is complex but straightforward, nuanced, carefully planned writing, in the classic historical-novel mode... but made grand & epic by the range of fascinating (and overlapping) multiple perspectives. the action scenes are sparse but very well-rendered; the magic is likewise rare but that rarity make each appearance even more fascinating. although it is all rather archetypal and familiar, it is still never less than pleasing.


when thinking on it again, a few months after first reading it, everything just seems perfectly accomplished, even meaningful. DING DING DING!! you & your sequel just won 1 more star, congratulations amazing novel!