Winter Is Coming: A Review of A Game Of Thrones

In the epic series A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin creates a world of noteworthy political intrigue and drama with complex plot lines and dozens of characters and even more supporting characters to keep the reader thoroughly interested from start to finish. The first book in the series, A Game Of Thrones, introduces the reader to a time when kings rule the land and dragons and direwolves, enormous canines, are as common as deer. In this beautifully crafted fantasy, summers span years, winters last for decades, and winter is coming (figuratively and literally) as two pivotal families pit against each other for the race to rule the kingdom. As the tension rises, sacrifices are made on both sides. These incidences lead to a rising war for the throne. The knights and strongholds of the seven kingdoms are forced to choose sides and everyone is out for blood. After all, “when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

When George R. R. Martin first came up with the idea of A Song Of Ice And Fire in 1991, he had envisioned the story being a detailed trilogy, but nothing more. After the first installment, A Game Of Thrones, which was released in 1996, he says that he had to rethink his strategy as more characters began to develop and plot lines grew thicker. Many critics of Martin suggested that he had gotten in over his head with the immense detail and the overwhelming number of characters that the reader is introduced to in the first book. Martin insists, however, that while he may have made it “too big,” he is still determined to see the story through and he promises to not disappoint his readers.

With all of the characters being so spread apart at the end of A Game Of Thrones, now also an award-winning television show on HBO, the reader is left to wonder how they will ever find their way back to each other and where the story will continue from here. Fortunately, Martin states that it has “always been [his] intent, as with The Lord Of The Rings, that eventually it would curve around and they would start moving back together.” Although the project has certainly expanded beyond the original trilogy limitation—the series currently consists of five books but is predicted to have as many as eight—Martin assures readers that “if [he] can pull it all off the way [he] want[s] hopefully it will be great.” The first book in the series is proof enough that George R. R. Martin is a skilled fantasy writer and definitely possesses the talent to be able to wrap up the story the way he wants to do so. In the end, I am quite confident that he will have “something huge and epic, with a cast of thousands and many different settings” as he set out to have when he originally began The Song Of Ice And Fire series over a decade ago.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: a Review

“We are infinite.” The tagline for the national bestseller and critically acclaimed The Perks of Being a Wallflower says it all. The novel, published by Stephen Chbosky over a decade ago, has become a household name to most young adults. It is written in the main character, Charlie’s, point of view in letters to an unknown friend describing Charlie’s anxiety about starting high school, meeting new people, and ultimately, about the two seniors that accept him as part of their group and show him how to live life and accept who he really is inside. Charlie faces many trials and finds himself facing many of the experimentations that most adolescents must go through in order to really know themselves. The novel is an enlightening look into the mind of an extraordinary student that isn’t even aware of his own worth. It is a must read for all young adults that have ever gone through something difficult or oppressing, which, of course, is all of us. With the novel being made into a feature film to be released on September 20 of this year, there will be plenty of publicity about it, but don’t let it’s newfound popularity discourage you. The film, starring Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller, will just be a bonus after diving into the wonderful world that Stephen Chbosky has produced. And, for the movie buffs out there, the film’s screenplay and directing are both being done by Stephen Chbosky so the film should run very close to the book. So, grab a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and get ready for the film on September 20!