Dear imaginary friends and non-existent readers. I had promised you the review of “The Game of Thrones” written by George R. R. Martin, but I have had some experiences with writing and publishing, this week, that I want to share with you instead.

Not really.

Laura Nicole is a fan of “The Game of Thrones”. Those of you who might actually exist, might know her. When I had mentioned I was finishing up the book, she had some questions. She had been watching it on HBO.

So for those of you who aren’t reading this blog, but watch the HBO series, I share this for you, without any spoilers.

There was a lot of talk about “The Game of Thrones” at World Con. They even had the throne of swords sitting there so you could have your picture taken in it. In fact, it was at World Con that I logged onto Audible and bought the book.

Almost 35 hours long, it took me well into the second of four sections to really start to enjoy it. Up to that point I couldn’t remember who had done what to whom and all the names, places and events sounded the same. I felt like I was slogging through the story, instead of experiencing it. Two weeks after I finished the book, I’ve forgotten the evil family’s name that took over the kingdom, there is just so much to remember.

There is enough sex, violence, violent sex and sexual ritual to make this book into a hit HBO series. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend the book to anyone younger than seventeen, though I imagine most twelve year old boys would get a kick out of it. Language is harsh at times and gory death quite detailed. A firm ‘R’ rating.

I will definitely get the second book, but I can’t guarantee the next. I don’t like the “Endless Epic” type of story. Big, fat, paperback books come to mind that I actually read, like, “The Wheel of Time” series and what was that other one? I think it was “Wizard’s First Rule.” I eagerly read the first three or four of each of those series, but they became repetitious in their conflicts, resolutions, methods of torture, etc, that I vowed to never read another until I could turn to the last page and read the words, “The End” I don’t know if that’s how George R. R. Martin is, but I’m sure the money is great, the audience and sales are guaranteed and it’s hard to not ride that rollercoaster as long as you can.

Once I got into the story I found the action gripping, the dialog salient and revealing and the conflicts compelling. Martin has no trouble with killing main characters, so don’t get too attached to anybody, cause they’re likely to not last far into the next book.

Laura Nicole asked me how the narration was. Really, it was masterful. The narrator does male and female voices that are varied and distinct, believable and the book has a cast of a thousand, and he narrates them all. I’ve gained a great respect for this in the last week as I have been recording my own book, “The Price of Friendship” (shameless plug….found on Podiobooks.com) and have struggled to make and maintain distinct voices for the half dozen characters I am working with. I’m not doing nearly as well.

I give the book four out of five stars and recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind a graphic helping of sex and violence in the story.

Philip ‘Norvaljoe’ Carroll is a staff editor at Flying Island Press, is gaining weight due to inactivity, is sleep deprived and is recording the last five episodes of “The Price of Friendship” this weekend to get all sixteen up within a two week period.

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