Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin) - Bantam Books - 1996 - 835 pages

One word describes this tale - "brutal."  Author Martin has created a small but dangerous world where most of the residents suffer horrible deaths.  Girls are married at the age of 13 and 15-year-old boys lead armies.  It seems that their only purposes in lives are to procreate, fight and die.  Without a doubt, this novel is as pornographic as any in recent memory.  Dragons, zombies and magicians lurk about the fringes to come forth in future volumes.  The author creates graphic sexual and disembowelment scenes for no reason other than the prurient interest of some readers.  I wonder why this Medieval world was created except for the sales of books to the depraved among us.  This 800-page tome does not resolve much but tries to entice the reader to buy three more volumes of the same.  I cannot relate to such an awful human existence.  I need for sci in my fi, and much more hope in the future. [JAM 8/30/2012]

Over six years later, my opinion of Martin's work has not changed.  The series of books and television show have become hugely popular but for me it all dark and ugly.  I have seen a few of the show and hated them all.  Martin's vision of a fantasy is little more than an evil parody of Lord of the Rings.  Martin manipulates his readers and viewers to feed his masochistic desires.  He celebrates death and despair in a world where the sun never shines, and evil often triumphs over good.  Martin is the Trump of fantasy writers. [JAM 5/8/2019]