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By now, most people have heard of the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” What most people have not heard of is the book series on which it is based, “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. While fantasy may not be your style, you should still try these books. They’re long, but they’re addictive.

Sometimes you want to hunt down Martin and sucker punch him in the gut. Or hug him. Or even kiss him. It is rare for a writer (especially of fantasy) to make such a realistic world in which the readers become so highly invested.

Initially it seems like a few players seeking power within a kingdom is a simple concept. But soon you’ll soon realize that there is a great deal more at stake, particularly because, as Eddard Stark (one of the main characters) loves to remind us: “Winter is coming.”

This story encompasses the classic dichotomy of good versus evil, but it is far less straightforward than that. Multiple characters on multiple continents and islands are fighting for what seem to be very disparate things — Power, love, the ability to return home, revenge — or just solving the mystery of where they came from.  But as one reads further into the series, each character becomes more intertwined with the others, their fates inextricably linked. The series is both complicated and powerful and while the television show is interesting, it can in no way do the depth of the books any justice.

Decker is a member of the class of 2014.

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