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(slight, vague spoilers – read with caution)

It took me about three months of reading on and off, but this past weekend, I finally finished the first installment of the Song of Ice and Fire series, “A Game of Thrones.”

I never intended on reading this book. I had heard of the HBO series, but had no intentions of watching it. My mother-in-law, who is more of a bookworm than I, recommended it and gave me the paperback, so I thought I’d at least give it a whirl to be polite. Flash forward to present day where I am a total fangirl.

This book is a commitment. It’s 800 pages short, with a detailed family tree at the end of the book, featuring long-dead family members or perhaps characters who haven’t even been introduced by the end of book one. When you think about the imagination and the detailed thought that Martin put into constructing this world, it’s pretty freaking mind blowing.

Several storylines take place at once, and there were some I cared less for than others. For instance, the Catelyn Stark storyline bored me to tears. I diligently read every page, though, because I didn’t want to miss the chance that someone’s head would go flying off or some sort of undead creature would come alive. My favorite storyline was with Danerys. She’ s a kick-ass chick who got married off to some foreign stud by her asshole brother and she made the most of it.

Not to spoil anything, but my husband can verify that at the end of book one, my reaction was to, out loud, say “What … the … F***” as I threw the book down on the kitchen table. Just not what I was expecting. Not good, not bad, just WTF.

I’ve only watched the first two episodes of the HBO series, because I didn’t want to spoil anything from the book (although I did know about the major character death prior to reading about it). But from what I’ve seen, the series stays fairly true to the book. It takes a few liberties as television shows are apt to do, but I thought the series did an excellent job of casting.

I’m going to take a breather before I pick up book two, but it’s definitely on my short list of what to read next. I’ve got a monstrous book club book selection to plow through, and then maybe I’ll think about it. I have high expectations that this one will be as engrossing as the first.

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