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A Game of Thrones

This is a big, burly political fantasy set in a pseudo-medieval world. For some reason, technology has never progressed beyond the making of steel. There is just the possibility that the more advanced technology existed previously (there are references to long spans of time - like 10,000 years) and the planet (not earth, more on that in a minute) was reverted to a more primitive state.

Each chapter is written from the point of view of one of the main characters, of which there are aplenty. Most of the story centers around one noble family, the Starks of Winterfell, and the machinations they go through as they attempt to retain their nobility (by which I mean not their position in the 7 Kingdoms, but their attribute of being noble people).

About the world the story is set on: The seasons are long (they are currently in the 10th year of summer, but "winter is coming," and survival during the hard times probably affects the lack of technological advancement.

In references to the past, there was a time when there were dragons and wizards, but neither has been seen for a long time. There are legends of monsters that lived North of the Wall, though none have been seen for generations.

This is a large, complex story and a pretty satisfying read. I checked the e-book out of my public library, so I had to read the entire thing in 3 weeks, which was hard (given the pesky day job).

As a writer, I wonder why authors make some of the choices they do: In this case Martin has included unnecessarily graphic depictions of sexual situations, limiting the appeal of this book (and, I presume, its successors) to a narrower audience.

Overall 4 stars.

** SPOILERS BELOW **

While some may be bedazzled by the heraldry and setting, the real focus is on the feudal politics of competing, and at times warring, families. However, by the end we have zombies and dragons and the promise of much more to come. The zombies appear in the prologue, but their appearance is mysterious enough and unexplained until the last eighth or so of the book. And I saw the dragon eggs hatching a long way off.
 
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