Author: George R. R. Martin
Series Number: 1
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins NZ to review.
Summary: Published in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of George R. R. Martin’s landmark series, this lavishly illustrated special edition of A Game of Thrones—with gorgeous full-page illustrations in every chapter—revitalizes the fantasy masterpiece that became a cultural phenomenon.
In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the North of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall.
At the centre of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a region of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavours to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
i’m assuming everyone who’s thinking of buying this book has already read it and/or is a huge game of thrones fan. because of this, i won’t be reviewing much of the written content, but rather the illustrations and the overall design of the book.
i became a fan of game of thrones towards the end of 2015. i put it off for so long because i didn’t like all the nudity and sexual scenes. i felt they didn’t add anything to the actual story. eventually i did watch it and thoroughly enjoyed it (for the most part). i own all the books already, but never got around to reading them because of the size. (as a slow reader, anything over 400 pages is daunting okay).
i think pretty much everyone can agree that the worldbuilding in this book is very well done. there’s so much depth and information. it got a little confusing at times (just because there was so much), but it made the world feel more real. i love nothing more than a fantasy world that has as much depth as the characters.
it’s so easy to have favourite characters in a series with such a large cast. i think i share favourites with many others but daenerys and arya were definitely up the top. like the worldbuilding, the characters also feel real. the way they act match up with their backstories. i’m rather disappointed with tyrion. he’s my favourite in the show but he was quite disgusting in the book. complex characters and plot make a book more enjoyable.
i can definitely see how why everyone’s annoyed that it’s taking george r. r. martin so long to write the latest book. i couldn’t even read a game of thrones in a timely manner! however, i do think it’s worth the read.
onto the physical stuff:
anyway, i was overjoyed when this book turned up in the mail. it was so beautiful. i was a little disappointed with the cover as i thought there’d be more to it. i mean, it does look great but for a 20th ann. edition (and it isn’t cheap either), i’d have expected it to be embossed. instead it looks and feels like it’s just been printed on. (which is fine, but when you’re paying $74.99nzd for it you kinda expect something higher in quality).
on the inside covers, there is a beautifully drawn map of the north and south. it’s bright in colours and easy to read/locate things.
one thing i prefer over the mass produced books is the writing/font/etc. it’s so neat, spaced out and generally easy to read. the first page of every chapter has been spaced even more so than every other page. at the very end of the book, there’s a little page about the font, which i find amusing as i thought it was so nice.
the artwork is absolutely amazing. there is a list of credits in the back of the book to the artists. pretty much all of the art is black and white, and includes so much detail. there is the occasional picture which is coloured and on a glossed page.
here is some other artwork that i think is stunning. i definitely do recommend a game of thrones fan to buy this book.
at the end of the book, there is a house list with the family tree and household, along with a short description/background. this is nice and handy to keep track of the characters (as there are so many!). i really like this as i often got confused as to who was who and which house they were part of.