Game of Thrones by George R. Martin
Most people have seen the Game of Thrones on at least one of its four seasons on HBO. We own multiple sets of the series at the Berkeley High Library and highly recommend them to YA readers, with the warning that they can be very mature and are often graphically violent. That being said, they are also totally addictive, even when you already know the story like I do from the TV show. I plowed through the 800+ pages of the first volume over winter break in about a week. The trials of the Starks of Winterfell are ultimately engrossing, and the the ever evil Lannisters will grip your imagination. Tyrion Lannister, called the Imp by many because he’s a dwarf, is brilliant and cagey and probably my favorite character. As he tells someone ““I have a realistic grasp of my own strengths and weaknesses. My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his war hammer, and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
The series is basically a very melodramatic family saga which takes place in a medieval type fantasy world which has made author Martin a king in his own right. There are seven very different Houses (kingdoms) fighting for ultimate control of the world, with some supernatural features coming into play in the second book. The book is full of intrigue, mystery and even a little romance. I really liked that the story was narrated from the perspective of various characters, giving readers more in-depth insights to both the characters and the story. Again, I can highly recommend this series to all mature readers who can deal with lots of violence.