I found myself enjoying the book despite the low expectations I had. There were aspects to the TV show I found boring and others entertaining which was how the novel ended up being. I rated it four stars because it was creative and fun, even if the writing was somewhat patchy.
Game of Thrones is told from several characters perspective about different people in line for the crown. Eddard Starke's friend and hand of the King is murdered, and he is made the new hand. He suspects his friend was murdered and sets about finding out why so he can tell the King.
I loved the different characters. Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf was my personal favourite character, as well as Arya Stark and Jon Snow coming in second and third. I found that reading between the lines with Sansa Starke continued the story while in the tv show she just came across as vapid and shallow. Changing the characters age was a mistake with her story arc. My impression of the Starke family was that only Ayra had apt judgement of character. The Starkes have a weakness in judging people by holding them up to their own conduct of behaviour. An eleven year old girl could be forgiven for taking Cersei and Joffrey at face value due to limited life experience. I loathed Sansa from watching the television show. She reminded me a lot of Percy Weasley from the Harry Potter series. Their ultimate betrayal of their family was from being raised to accept authority,and held up as an example to follow. Sansa was rarely ever wrong while Ayra was constantly scolded. They raised their daughters to be ladies, and expected their children to be born with good sense. Molly Weasley clearly impressed upon her son to accept the Ministries authority. Percy listened to his mum rather than their dad.
Jon Snow took himself too seriously on the show, but I liked him in the book. He owned up to being self righteous and faced hard truths, as Tyrion might say. Jon and Eddard are very moral and fair in contrast to Stannis. Stannis is hard and unyielding but lacks their compassion.
I've read that the background magic isn't developed in the books published so far which is a shame. I'd like to know more about what the Others are and what lies beyond the wall.
Who is Jon Snow's mother? I hope Daeynrys story eventually connects to the other characters. I tended to forget about her by the time her next installment came up.
The strengths were knowing when each character was lying to themself or being lied to. The weaker parts of the novel were the repetitiveness at times of characters breaking their fast. The colourful characters were the highlight of the novel as the story itself did not get started.