Game of Thrones

Am I always going to be the last person to 'catch on' to new series?

I'd heard a lot about GoT. The tv series has been filmed right here in Northern Ireland - friends of mine have stumbled upon a set in the hills, a popular beach was recently roped off for filming and there's even whole tour dedicated to it! Not having Sky TV meant that I'd never seen an episode (and with them rated 18 and over here in the UK I wasn't sure if I wanted to) so it hadn't been something that captured my attention.

Still, when Tesco's offer of 'two books for £7' caught my eye, how could I resist? With one book alone retailing at £9, this was a bargain that couldn't be ignored. I picked up 'The Goldfinch' (next on my To Read list) and the first book in the GoT series.

I was unsure of what to expect - one friend warned that I was too 'innocent' for the book! - and so I read the first few pages with some apprehension. Four hundred and eighty-eight pages on and I can say that I have been well and truly sucked in the GoT hole.

For those of you that don't know, 'Game Of Thrones' is a series based in a faraway, icy land. Book One focuses on the Starks of Winterfell - a collection of likeable characters. Ned is a strong, sensible lord who is good friends with King Robert and one of his most trusted advisers. He has lived happily for many years, until now. People have gone missing beyond the Wall (a huge wall guarded by Watchers, to prevent ghostly Others and any wild beasts from entering the kingdom), monstrous direwolves have been seen running close to the castle (looks like the the Wall didn't work well) and there are threatening whispers of what is happening beyond the kingdom.

When the king's right hand man mysteriously dies, King Robert turns to Ned for help. Ned moves to the kingdom's capital to support the King, leaving a broken family behind. As he learns more of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the Hand's death, he begins to fear for his family and for what may happen to them if he does not act. The book is full of action and cliff hangers and I had to be reminded to set it down whilst I was having a meal!

The book jumps between various characters - a great technique for keeping suspense. Just make sure to read the chapter heading to find out which character you're following! Currently my favourite character is Jon (though that's mainly because I want a wolf)... I'm not quite sure how I feel about Daenreys yet. There are a lot of names but despite that I found the story easy to follow (unlike Wolf Hall); it's possibly because each character is so unique and easily distinguishable from the others. 

Of all of the books I've read recently, I found that GoT was the one I was most enamoured with. I've been working my way through a few American classics and whilst I appreciate them as works of literature, I didn't feel as if they captured my attention wholeheartedly. GoT was a book that I couldn't put down for a second - and I didn't want to finish it because I didn't want the spell to end! I can't wait to read the next books and discover what happens. 

Have you ever read Game Of Thrones? Or are you more of a tv person? What did you think of it?