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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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(314)

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(63)

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(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

64 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

I wasn't sure I was going to like this one.

While I am fan of sci-fi and fantasy, I had never read anything by George R.R. Martin. I was scolded for this oversight by many of co-workers and friends. I finally gave in this past month and have been converted to a fan.

Be warned, "A Game of Thrones" is not for ...
While I am fan of sci-fi and fantasy, I had never read anything by George R.R. Martin. I was scolded for this oversight by many of co-workers and friends. I finally gave in this past month and have been converted to a fan.

Be warned, "A Game of Thrones" is not for the casual fantasy reader. It is deeply intricate and rich. While Martin focuses each of the chapters on roughly ten main characters, there are well over fifty full realized characters in just the first book of this series. It would be very easy to get confused or frustrated in the early pages of the tome, but to do so would be to lose out on the epic second half of the book. Up until the last one hundred pages, I was still on the fence about this "game of thrones." Now, having finsihed it, I can't wait to move on to the next book.

As a standalone book, I would not reccomend it; as the beginning of an epic series, I am totally hooked.

posted by Elantraboi on June 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

171 out of 313 people found this review helpful.

Nothing like Tolkein!

I trudged through all of the existing 4 novels in this series hoping to find enough redeeming qualities to justify my investment, and came away sorely disapointed. Authors like Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time), Tolkien (LOTR), and even Terry Goodkind (Sword of Truth), all ...
I trudged through all of the existing 4 novels in this series hoping to find enough redeeming qualities to justify my investment, and came away sorely disapointed. Authors like Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time), Tolkien (LOTR), and even Terry Goodkind (Sword of Truth), all spin intense tales that leave you encouraged and inspired by the actions of their heros; Martin grinds through character after character, who all seem to perish by one betrayal after another. As soon as you start rooting for someone, they end up on the chopping block...this repeats so often that you can't help but wonder what holds the story together.

These novels are more like a soap opera than an epic fantasy series- murder, betrayal, and graphically portrayed incest/rape seem to be Martin's bread and butter, with practially nothing else in between.

For some strange reason, I find that highly disgusting and will go back to reading books with real heros and goals that I can emotionally (and morally) rally behind.

posted by 4437389 on March 3, 2011

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I wasn't sure I was going to like this one.

    While I am fan of sci-fi and fantasy, I had never read anything by George R.R. Martin. I was scolded for this oversight by many of co-workers and friends. I finally gave in this past month and have been converted to a fan.

    Be warned, "A Game of Thrones" is not for the casual fantasy reader. It is deeply intricate and rich. While Martin focuses each of the chapters on roughly ten main characters, there are well over fifty full realized characters in just the first book of this series. It would be very easy to get confused or frustrated in the early pages of the tome, but to do so would be to lose out on the epic second half of the book. Up until the last one hundred pages, I was still on the fence about this "game of thrones." Now, having finsihed it, I can't wait to move on to the next book.

    As a standalone book, I would not reccomend it; as the beginning of an epic series, I am totally hooked.

    64 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A slow start but a powerhouse finnish!

    This is the first book in George R.R Martin's "A song of ice and fire" series. For me I found the book to be a slow starter but a powerhouse finish. The character development and the amount of characters in the story added to its overall intrigue. I would recommend this book to most. I'm an average reader and it wasn't what i would call a fast read but sometimes its good to have an epic tale with some meat on its bones. This book was imaginative and eventually engrossing. I look forward to the second book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2014

    After watching season one of the HBO show, I went to B&N and

    After watching season one of the HBO show, I went to B&N and purchased a copy of George R.R. Martin's book. I was not disappointed! I'll admit - there are MANY characters and having seen the show beforehand did help me keep everyone in place. But, of course, you get so much more into the story through the book. Things that were skipped or given very little screen time in the show are explained and Martin's story begins to weave together and make sense! Overall a very enjoyable read! As soon as I finished, I ran out and purchased book two (A Clash of Kings)! Cannot wait to see what ending happens in Martin's epic A Song Of Ice & Fire!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    The unexpected plot twists were good and there was defiantly not

    The unexpected plot twists were good and there was defiantly nothing predictable. I liked how no chracters were 'safe'.
    While I did like this book, I was not able to finish the series. I gave up half way through the third book....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Good Narration of a Great Book

    I chose the audio book as I don't have time to read the novels and spend a lot of time in my car. Overall, the narration is good. Some of the voices don't feel right for the characters or are slightly repetitive, but all in all I enjoyed it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    I have enjoyed the series but now what? Everyone is left hanging

    I have enjoyed the series but now what? Everyone is left hanging with no end in site. How long will this go on? There is a lot of repetition and the books could be shortened a bit.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    WOW!!!! Highly Recommended

    What a great read! This book goes way beyond being just a fantasy novel. It is a political thriller with many twists and turns. I have learned NOT to get attached to some of the characters....Can't wait to start the next book!!!!

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Great book, terrible reader.

    First of all, I'm reading/listening to these book because I fell in love with the HBO series. So far, I'm very pleased with the book, but the guy reading this one is terrible. He doesn't even get the characters' names right - I've already heard "Katelyn", "Brian", "Mickon", and "Jeffrey". It's like misspellings or grammar mistakes, it takes me right out of the story.

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    Highly Recommended.

    Great book about Kings and knights. Wonderful characters.

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  • Posted August 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Overall Great Fantasy Adventure

    Mr. Martin does a great job introducing and personifying his characters and sets up the plot elements with startling proficiency. The only criticism I have for the author's style is that George R.R. Martin jumps around from character to character in each chapter which can become a negative distraction for the reader. As well, he could have easily cut out 33 percent of the book and withheld the same substance and effect. With the book totaling to almost a thousand pages, it sometimes seems repetitive and sedentary. But overall, a book that deserves to be on any fantasy reader's shelf.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Game of Thrones

    This is a book one of a dark series, not for easily squeamish readers. Politics, intrigue, sex, violence, and non-sugarcoated war abound. But very intelligently written and plot twists when least expected. All in all a very good read, I'm already on book number 4 and waiting for the next book to come out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2007

    accidently found

    This was quite a 'happy accident' I stumbled on! My son happened upon this book and having read 'and re-read'everything I had, I scavenged his books....And at once,I became a fan! I recommend this series to eveyone...especially those unfamiliar with sci-fi!! You'll be won over as I was. Can't wait for the last (dance of dragons)to come out!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is a very well-written, character-driven fantasy. Although there are no less than 20 main characters and more than 30 other secondary roles, the structure of the novel makes it easy to follow: each chapter focuses on one of the main characters and dives deep into their stories, psy, stories, etc. The key differences from other more tradidtional fantasy stories are '1' no bad vs good stories/characters, ie all characters are flawed heroes with diverging goals, '2' well-developed roles, ie you get attached to all characters, independently of their origins and motivations, '3' several storylines: some concluding in this book and others opening wide tracks to other books, and finally '4' possibility to focus on one or several characters, ie the book can be read in a linear fashion or you can read only the chapters relevant to one character. The only possible negative point is a sometime slow pace, which could put off the action-afficionados. This said, this book is really setting the scene for upcoming tomes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    Excellent story

    The series is great, if a little to graphic in many places. The reader feels like he's really there. My only problem is that the swearing and sex and violence--all quite graphic--are endless. Otherwise, a marvelous story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2005

    Finally...a fantasy saga for adults!

    I've read lots of mixed reviews here of this book by fantasy afficiandos that claim 'nothing happens,' 'too much sex for a fantasy book,' 'too many important characters die,' 'too long.' Alrighty, 'too long' I'll agree with...about 100-200 pages too long, in fact. But, despite that, there is a TON of masterful writing here. This is positively a fantasy saga for adults. Unlike Robert Jordan, Martin actually commits his characters to 'character' though there's lots of twisty-turning surprises, it's always based on human nature like real, living human beings. There are no archetypal heroes here: all the characters, good and bad, are flawed. My only quips are: 1) As I stated before, it is too long...it started dragging bum for me around page 600 (in paperback)...and 2) I wasn't entirely convinced by Daenerys' fairly quick transition from submissive, frightened princess to loyalty-demanding Dragon Queen. But oh well...small gripes in trade for a very good reading experiences. I'll be starting book 2 ASAP. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    I loved the main character, whoever it was

    I enjoyed this book, but i started it and put it down 3 times. It is quite a barage of names and places, and the story doesn't develop like jordan or tokiens stories, where you are introduced to the world through the eyes of someone experiencing it for the first time. Also, there is no main character, the viewpoints keep jumping around, and you don't really fall in love with anyone in particular. All in all the story was good though, and worth the time, with enough political intreague to satisfy even a tom clancy reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2002

    Solid introduction to "A Song of Ice and Fire" series

    I liked the characters and I like the stories. Mr. Martin has done a solid job introducing the reader to the world that he has created.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2001

    Pretty good.

    About half the characters are fantastic. The other half are flimsy as can be. Things are very slow, but also very full of suspense. Taken as a whole, I liked 'A Game of Thrones' very much, and look forward to reading the next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2000

    This author doesn't finish his book!

    The book was well written and I enjoyed it a lot. The only problem that I saw was that he did not 'end' the book. Where the ending should be, the book continues as if there should be another chapter. This was frustrating to say the least.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2000

    Whole world created in Seven Kingdoms

    Life in the Seven Kingdoms is peaceful under the rule of King Robert. War is a thing of the past, and it has been one of the longest summers known to man. But winter is coming, and there are people plotting to overthrow the King, both inside and outside the Kingdom. Will the new Hand of the King, Lord Eddard Stark, be enough, or will the Kingdom once again feel the havoc of war? <P> George R. R. Martin creates a whole world in the Seven Kingdoms. History is revealed and customs are shown. Martin expresses the basic battle between good and evil in his fantastic world. Knights protect the realm and monarchs sit on thrones, while fighting to keep control of theirs and others land. Lords and ladies intermarry to keep the blood pure, and the once extinct population of dragons is reborn. The summers are long, and the winters harsh. It is currently summer, the longest one yet. The trees are green, the waters blue, and a flowery scent is in the air. In Winterfell, snow is always kissing the ground, and cold nights are all there is to have on the Wall at the edge of the Kingdom. The Red Keep is enjoying sunny days and warm nights, and across the small ocean, seas of grass cover the landscape. These are the lands created by Martin for 'A Game of Thrones,' and this is where history shall repeat itself.

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