For as long as the Stark children can remember, it has been summer, even at Winterfell, their father's northern castle. But the summer and the peace the land has enjoyed seem about to end. In the southern city of King’s Landing, King Robert finds his throne threatened by the machinations of his wife's powerful family, the Lannisters. To thwart the power-hungry Lannisters, Robert appoints a reluctant Lord Eddard Stark to be the King's Hand, the second most powerful position in the kingdom. Meanwhile, the last survivors of the Targaryen clan, driven across the sea by Robert years earlier, are plotting to take back their land. Most disturbing are the rumors of strange creatures lurking in the forest beyond the Wall at the kingdom's northernmost boundary. As the likelihood of war increases, the weather begins to grow colder, signaling the end of summer in a land where the winters often last for many generations.
Magic is a rare thing in A Game of Thrones, making the book feel at times more like historical fiction than fantasy. Martin's huge cast of characters is amazingly well developed, with no character being either completely good or evil. A Game of Thrones is the first book in Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series.
Reviewed by clw, 8/02. Other reviews by clw.