My 12th book for this year was A Game of Thrones, the first in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. I started re-reading it in anticipation of the amaaaaaaaaaazing new series on HBO by the same name.
I've read this book before, a few times, and will likely read it again, a few times. The book has only improved each time I've read it, and how many books can say that? (I bet Dianna would say so about her beloved Harry Potter series!). Furthermore, this is the first time I've read it since having earned a degree in English literature - and while I won't say the degree has gotten me much (if any) benefit, it did help me get more enjoyment out of the book. The symbolism and foreshadowing popped out at me this time.
Enough gushing. To provide a simple summary, the plot of the book is summed up by its title - kings and lords and knights play, effectively, a "game of thrones" to see who is really going to rule the land...while each and every family involved ignores what is, perhaps, a more serious threat that is looming over all of them. Considered epic fantasy, the books contain less magic and more knights and courtly intrigue.
The first episode of the TV show based on this series aired on Sunday, April 16th (yes, I consider it a birthday present to myself!!!) and essentially covered the first 70 pages of this novel. The people I've talked to who've seen the show but not read the book(s) found it sort of confusing, but with how much exposition is in this book (it's over 700 pages long!), that's kind of not surprising. I was truly taken aback by how faithful the first episode was to those first 70 pages, save a handful of changes that had to be made, likely for legal reasons. I hope the next 9 episodes, and the second season (which has already been ordered!) are just as magnificent.
I will likely be re-reading the other three books in this series over the next few months, as the fifth book comes out in July...and I've already pre-ordered it. :)