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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

A Feast For Fantasy Fans And Ordinary Readers Alike

A Game of Thrones  - George R.R. Martin

There is a great deal of badly-written, formulaic fantasy around and I was quite ready to discover that A Game Of Thrones was one more example. Instead I found it to be extremely well written, full of compelling characters and gripping storylines, a feast for fantasy fans and ordinary readers alike.

Set in a mediaeval world where magic is only a rumour from the past, its main concern is with the power struggle that grips the country of Westeros when the king dies. A tale of murder, intrigue and war it has all the elements of a blockbuster novel: high stakes, multiple viewpoints, interlocking plotlines; but the writing is much better than in the average blockbuster.

In particular I was impressed by Martin's handling of visual detail. He has a film director's eye as well as a writer's flair for language. The world he creates is so comprehensively realised, so entirely credible and so insidiously compulsive that I soon found it leaking into my everyday life. I wanted to take time off from work to read this book.