Political intrigue can hinge on the smallest of details.
Game of Thrones begins as many fantasy novels do, with a hidden threat slowly gathering strength, an ancient enemy long forgotten. What’s unique about this book is how many threats each character faces. The story features 8 distinct perspectives, but as a whole the story centers around three plots.
Ned Stark, newly appointed Hand of the King, must journey to the capital to investigate the death of his predecessor, while the rest of his family attempt to navigate the politics of their new position. Jon Snow, Ned’s illegitimate son, leaves to join the honorable Night’s Watch, but finds the reality far less noble. And far away, two exiled children dream of reconquering their kingdom.
In scene everything is filtered through the character, creating a strong sense of narrative in every chapter. The story can be a bit crude and violent at times, but that harshness is more accurate, if less palatable, than most fantasy novels. The book is long and made longer by extensive descriptions, but it is a great example of political intrigue. The trick is knowing who to trust, and how to convince them to trust you.