Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin turned out to be a great fun read. I could have barreled through it, but managed not to because I was in the middle of a bunch of other books at the time and then the floor project got started.

Game of Thrones is epic fantasy with a large cast of characters, sword fighting, political intrigued, good guys, bad guys, and guys whose allegiance is on the side it is most expedient to be on at the moment. There is murder, attempted murder, and betrayal as those not in power try to get more power and those in power try to keep their power. Then there are the people who are innocent or honorable and only want to do what is right and good and suffer at the hands of those who don’t give a fig. There are no wizards but there are wights and the Others about whom we don’t learn much other than they are a threat of some kind. Oh, and there may or may not be dragons.

One doesn’t read this kind of book for character development or discussion of philosophical questions. This is the kind of book one reads for the plot and the sheer fun and surprise of what will happen next. Some of the characters do manage to be well fleshed-out or are hinted at becoming more important in later books.

One of the things I liked about this book is that there are a number of female characters, there is even a woman who fights in a very large battle at the end, because there always has to be a battle. Her part is small and brief, however. The women in this book are smart and calculating. They know what’s what and have power and authority of their own. There is also a girl of eight or so who is one of my favorite characters, Arya. She can never manage to be a lady and it really pisses off her older sister who sets her sights on marrying a prince and believes in love and romance and knights in shining armor. Arya’s father gives up trying to force her into being a girl and hires a water dancer to teach her how to fight. Water Dancers are sort of like ninjas with a sword.

That’s about all I can say regarding this book. If I say more I will give things away and that is no good. Bookman is glad I am finally done with it though. He has been eager to watch the TV series. Hopefully the series to date doesn’t go past the first book since that is as far as I have gotten. The second book won’t make it to my reading in-progress pile probably until the end of October.