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A Warning and then Praise,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One (Taschenbuch)
This book is not for the easily offended. It is very probably not for young children, unless very mature. It contains realistic acts of violence, murder, explicit sexuality, vulgar language, greed, cowardice, deceit, and _politics_. It is often grim and dark, with good characters hurt and wicked characters rewarded. And, indeed, most of the characters are rather more grey than black and white in their goodness and wickedness.
This novel is also the first of six books in an epic fantasy series, by necessity all interwoven together, and so it does not tell a complete story on its own. It also uses a narrative technique where many characters have POV chapters, and these chapters can be widely separated, sometimes even cutting into the middle of the current action and leaving one hanging for half-a-dozen (or more) intervening POV chapters of other characters.
If any of these things make you run for cover, you can now pass this novel by safe in the knowledge that it does not suit your tastes.
With that aside:
_A Game of Thrones_ is one of the most brilliant fantasy novels written in the last five decades. Bold and forceful, unblinking in the face of doing terrible and unexpected things to characters, Mr. Martin has shown that epic fantasy is more than just magic and monsters. This is a story about the complex interactions between people, and the things they do for vengeance, for love, for power. The characters are perfectly drawn, because they are human - some are brilliant, some are ignorant, many are "normal", and _all_ make mistakes. The magnificent sweep of events, the fateful choices that lead to glory or to death (or both at once), the precious peace in the eye of the storm - it's all there, laid out as true to reality as one can imagine.