Top critical review
Disappointed Beyond Belief, Do Not Purchase as a First Read
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2019
I cannot get across how utterly disappointing this edition of A Game of Thrones truly is. The binding is stellar, the covers have an excellent feel to them, and the artwork inside is absolutely gorgeous. All of that, however, is let down but the idiotic editor who chose where the artwork inside the book went, and the embarrassing forward.
The forward is utterly irrelevant to the book itself and stands only to make two political statements (telling the Lannisters to "check your privilege" and using "Make Westeros Great Again" to draw clumsy allegory to real world politics) and spoiling three portions of the book. Yes, the forward actually goes out of its way to spoil three moments in the book, perhaps under the ridiculous assumption that you've already seen the HBO TV series and excusing them as "being easy to see coming" and "foreshadowing". The man who wrote the forward not only comes across as arrogant and nasty, but bumbling and dull headed.
Onto the illustrations. While beautiful, a good chunk of them (perhaps a fourth) are actually placed in the wrong chapters or flat out spoil events that will happen in the future. Again with the spoilers; it strikes me that the editors for this edition have no regard for the integrity of the work and care more for filling the pages with pretty colors. This problem could very easily be solved by only placing illustrations at the end of chapters (showing events that have happened or are happening at the chapter close) or by placing all of the illustrations at the end of the book. Placing them at the beginning of the chapter (with some near the end of certain key chapters) only serves to spoil the upcoming events. These aren't just illustrations of the landscape or people, but actual depictions of events.
I can find no good aspects of this book beyond the tactile feel of the cover and the quality of the illustrations itself. Save yourself some hard earned money and read one of the originally published editions, spoiler free.