"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."
So I've never watched the TV show Game of Thrones. I never really paid it much attention -- the only thing I really knew about GoT was that the buddy from Lord of the Rings is in it, and Peter Dinklage plays somebody. But a while ago I kind of decided I might want to catch up on the show (it's kind of a big deal in my circle of friends). Then I decided that I wanted to read the books before I watched the show, so I asked a few of my friends their opinion on reading the series. All of their recommendations went along the lines of:
A) Don't get too attached to the characters
B) The books are just going to piss you off
C) Everybody dies. Every. Body. You. Love. Dies
And I'm like: pffft, I'm hard as fuck, I've got a heart of stone and I can handle a few character deaths. (Hey, self: remember when you SOBBED into your pillow while reading The Dog Stars? Remember that? No? Okay then, yeah, you'll be fiiiine.) So, anyway, I checked out Game of Thrones from the good ole library, thinking I was going to prove to my friends that I could let every character death roll off my back like it was no biggie. I was going to prove to them (and myself) that I was tough shit.
But... then I went and did the very thing they all told me not to do: I got attached.
I guess I can't say that I didn't know what I signed up for, right? Sigh. Just don't crush my soul too hard, ok GRRM?
Anyway, I'm not going to do a real review of this book, mostly because other than LoTR it's the first first high-fantasy I've read, and while I enjoyed it immensely I really don't know enough about the genre to offer a well-rounded review. And also, I feel like you don't need me to tell you whether or not you should be reading this series. If you think it's for you, go for it. It's entertaining, and I thought the writing was splendid and the storyline was captivating and constantly kept me guessing. But if 700+ page high-fantasy novels aren't for you, watch the show, don't watch the show, doesn't really matter to me. Live your life, folks.