Published in 1996, A Game of Thrones quickly became a world-wide phenomenon. The book is the first in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire inspired by the The War of the Roses and Ivanhoe. The book focuses on the struggle for power that takes place between the most important houses in Westeros and is told from the point of view of the main characters.
George R.R. Martin started writing since an early age and was inclined towards fiction stories. He made his literary debut at 21 years old and then started publishing numerous works. His fourth book almost put an end to his writing career due to the fact that it was poorly received. He began to seek a career in television and worked as a writer for various television shows while also working on the book series Wild Cards, a science fiction and superhero anthology series set in a shared universe.
George R.R. Martin admitted that the money he earned could not compare to the satisfaction of knowing that his works were read. In 1991, George R.R. Martin returned to writing the novels that would turn out to be the fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. The series has five published books and two forthcoming books.
The book was well received by critics and praised. The book received a good critique because of its diverse portrayal of women and religion, and praise for favoring realism over magic.
The book has several plots that intermingle. The first one focuses on King Robert and the struggle for power after his death. Even is the throne is claimed by Joffrey and the queens family, the late Kings brother and the children of the king before Robert also claim the throne from various reasons. The first storyline is set in the Seven Kingdoms and focuses on the lives of Eddard Stark and his family, the house Lannister and Tully.
The second story line is told from the view point of Daenerys, the daughter of the king overthrown by Robert Baratheon. Her brother betroths her to Kal Drogo in exchange for an army. If at the beginning of the book she is little girl to scared to stand up for herself, at the end she develops into a queen , knowing what she wants and doing what needs to be done in order to obtain it.
The book also tells the story of the Night’s Watch, an order of warriors sworn to serve there for life, forgoing marriage, titles, property, and children. They protect the Seven Kingdoms from the wildlings that live beyond the wall. The story is told through Jon’s point of view and it focuses on the struggles he faces as he tries to find his place in the world.
The book is praised for the way it portrays political dynamics and for the complexity of its characters. The complexity of the book also given by the themes approached. While George R.R. Martin used Tolkien’s works as an inspiration, he admits that he believes that Tolkien’s way of approaching the themes of fighting between God and Evil he believes that way Tolkien approached it was quite medieval and it could be developed much more.
Named ''the American Tolkien" by literary critics, George R.R. Martin’s books captured millions of readers because of its multi-layered plots and character becoming a world-wide phenomenon.