So here's our first review for a while -
A Game of Thrones: by George R.R. Martin
Paperback at £8.99
With a link to the history of fourteenth century Europe and perhaps our own 'Wars of the Roses', this sprawling epic is just the start of a huge and gripping saga. This first book runs to 800 pages (what value!) and describes the lives of Kings and Princes, knights and traitors, as various families vie to rule the land. There are few men of honour, in these pages. Everyone plots to satisfy their own ambitions. Perhaps everyone, that is, but Eddard Stark, called away from his family to virtually rule while the King enjoys the hunt and too much wine. However, there is a suspicion of murder at court and, at the King's death, Eddard must take command only to find that he can trust no one. As his control slips, the country spirals into war. I was soon gripped by the lives of the vast list of characters as they dance around each other. You'll soon find your favourites among them, some of them are very amusing, and there are plenty to hiss and boo as the plot develops. The non-stop action, secrets, plots and battles spread across a brilliantly imagined landscape rush you to the last page. Much better than the TV series starring Sean Bean as Stark, this is superb. I've already rushed to the next in the series, A Clash of Kings, which I'm enjoying just as much.
I know it's an oldie but for years I've read for the shop while my favourite authors output piled up in the 'library'. (Large box under the bed!)