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A Game of Thrones: Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire | Paperback

Released on 05 January 1998

Author: George R. R. Martin | Format: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 (16 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The first volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. GAME OF THRONES is now a major TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean. Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must ! and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty. The old gods have no power in the south, Stark's family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (16 reviews)

 Truly, you can't put it down

| | See all Matty86's reviews (11)

This is the start of the most fascinating, absorbing, inspirational and exceptional saga I have ever read, and I include Lord of the Rings in that claim.

The depth and scope of Martin's fantasy world is truly amazing. You can feel daunted at times with all the names of people and places rushing at you but this does very little to draw you away from the central storyline. You always know what is going on and the added bonuses of the rich lore and back-stories are just that; an excellent bonus for people who like their fantasy with a bit more meat on the bones.

The story is told in chapters and each chapter is told from the point-of-view of a single character. In all, I think the book is told from about 7 viewpoints. I love this style of writing and it continues throughout the saga (I'm up to Book 3 Part 2) and I imagine Martin will stick with it to the end.

I sometimes found myself starting a chapter thinking I wouldn't enjoy it so much because I didn't like the character as much as others but I will say one thing. Trust Mr Martin, he knows what he's doing. Almost every chapter has you glued to the pages, absolutely compelling. The vocabulary and style of writing can be quite tough at times so don't pick this up thinking it to be for teenagers or something, this is for confident readers only.

I am absolutely loving this series of books and I cannot recommend it highly enough for big fantasy fans, truly.

 Excellent, Yes, but also incomplete...

| | See all daStevo's reviews (1)

This book in the... um 'new trilogy' was first published in 1996. Indeed it is an excellent read, gripping, engaging and thrilling. Unfortunately the complete series [A Song of Ice and Fire] is not finished. The fifth book in the 'trilogy' is supposed to be published in early 2011, possibly to coincide with the release of a TV adaptation of the books by HBO. Fans of the books (such as I) have been waiting and waiting for the concluding (now allegedly 3) books in the um... seven book trilogy. They are large books so hopefully by the time you get to the end of book 4, the next will be out, but based on previous form you might have a long wait ahead. Keep an eye on the authors 'not a blog' section on his website for the latest info.

 A Fantasy Writer equal to Tolkien!

| | See all JonnyC's reviews (41)

Top 100 Books Reviewer

The depth of A Song of Ice and Fire is amazing. I have felt at times that I don't know all the characters and I am not sure where they all are, but now half way through the second book I am clearer on the people and land.

A Game of Thrones may feel daunting to the casual reader, it is a book you won't want to put down. The quality of writing is of the highest and I don't believe I have ever felt bored even whilst reading chapters of characters I didn't connect as well with.

1 of 7 books I believe? and a HBO series on the way!

 Where was the fire?

| | See all DMBUTCHER's reviews (4)

I find that to my tastes this novel is so concerned with creating an 'epic fantasy series' that it forgets itself and the reason people buy books.

A world has been created and yet we learn very little of that world and it's history - only tasters throughout its 864 pages. Not enough.

The most interesting characters are Tyrion, Daenerys and Viserys and that leaves many others, whose motives beyond being power hungry and wanting to remain political survivors are never filled out enough. It makes engaging with the characters difficult, and this is corroborated by the fact that many, many reviews state that the reader could not track most of the characters. Characters are recognisable by their words and their actions, these are driven by their 'wants and needs', put differently these become their motives.

That is what this book lacks - clarity, and therefore I find that I was pulled out of the fantasy, out of the story, in order to deal with the realities of tracking who is who.

The historical context is never fully realised. There is a rich world history in Mr Martin's head it seems, but little of it on the pages. It takes the HBO website for the TV series to fill in all the blanks. The HBO rendering of the novel is excellent not least because it is is driven by a very well edited screenplay and script.

In terms of battles, the largest engagement occurs between the armies of Stark and Lannister. While the ruse was good, the book fails to cover this enough. It covers the before and after - just like in the HBO series, a point of note for those expecting the battle to be shown.

In summary, this book delivers intrigue, AKA the 'Game' in the title. No doubt what Martin intended, but I think it delivers little more than that when focussed upon anyone but the surviving Targaryens' and Tyrion Lannister. Indeed for all his wealth and therefore power Tywin Lannister manages only a cameo role.

If you want battles, wit, politics, characters who live and breathe on the page, read James Barclay 'Cry of the Newborn'. If you want blood, rage, heroics and for my money one of the best Fantasy characters ever conceived (Glotka) read Abercrombie 'The blade Itself'.

Where was the fire? This left me feeling unfulfilled and approaching hypothermia.


| | See all hulllad's reviews (3)

This book is well worth a read even for me someone who is not that into books the last set of books i had read was the Harry Potter series. I honestly cannot get enough and have never read a book so fast and all for 5er! Bargin Read

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AuthorGeorge R. R. Martin
PublisherHarperCollins Publishers (United Kingdom)
FormatPaperback - 864 Pages