Part of the reason I read fewer books this year is that I took on two massive books of near to or over a thousand pages, the first of which shows up in today’s #9 spot. Due to HBO, popular culture is well aware of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and the quasi-medieval world he builds therein. I don’t have HBO nor do I have any desire to watch the series, but a good friend recommended the series of books a few years before “Winter is coming” became a phrase of geekery jumping in with “May the force be with you” or “Beam me up Scotty.”
So I figured I would pick up the first in the series and see if I like it. Martin has created some indelible characters both protagonist and antagonist and no-tagonist, characters you love instantly like Ned Stark and characters you grow to love, Tyrion Lannister, and characters you hate, Little Finger. He sets up his characters and just lets them play out in this world he created. He writes a dramatic and compelling story that leaves you wondering what will happen next, and who will die next.
It does have some, to me, unnecessarily graphic sex scenes that do nothing to advance the plot, that could have be written more tastefully. I will probably end up reading one of the series a year. We’ll see in the future if Martin remains on the top ten next year.