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

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

4.6 540
by George R. R. Martin

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From a master of contemporary fantasy comes the first novel of a landmark series unlike any you’ve ever read before. With A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has launched a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure

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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 540 reviews.
Sutinike More than 1 year ago
Martin has created a masterpiece with this series. Never have I read any novel of any genre with so many characters, all so brilliantly lifelike, believable and richly detailed. He doesn't introduce them too quickly, giving the reader time to get to know and love them, and as soon as a side is chosen, he takes us into the world of the opposing characters, and we come to love them equally! The scope of the series is truly epic, and while this is technically fantasy, the reader may forget that it's not historical fiction! The style is so gritty and unforgiving that one has no choice but to believe. The fantastical elements creep in slowly and undeniably - a skeleton in a closet, terrifying and mostly unseen. With character drama like this, you don't have to be a fantasy buff to love this series. All who like sweeping drama will enjoy this fantastic journey.
Elantraboi More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is as good as the Fantasy genre can get. I've read dozens of fantasy books by dozens of authors and this is simply the very best series I've ever read. It stands head and shoulders above Lord of the Rings or really anything else I can imagine. --- The characters come completely to life. The author conveys a sense of reality to each person in his story. There aren't just 'good' guys and 'bad' guys as there are in the plethora of other highly rated fantasy series 'LotR, Dragonlance, Savadore books et. al.'. Instead, each character has their strengths and their weaknesses. Their noble redeeming qualities and their inner demons and selfishness. In essence...they're human! It sounds simple, but surprisingly not very many authors can accomplish this feat as well as Mr. Martin has been able to. He does a brilliant job of making each of the characters unique and detailed in their personality and mannerisms.--- The story line is brilliant and kept me interested throughout the series. This is possibly the fastest I've read through a book.--- Another thing...this book is not for children. There's no Bimbldee-goo Gobleshanks or Dimpledink Fumplesnaps B.S. kiddie stuff like Tolkien. There is no 'good guy' to root for, only different people of different kingdoms. And sometimes the person you might peg as a 'good guy' may not 'win.' The subject matter at times can be quite mature and maintains a high level of maturity throughout.--- So, although there are countless other rave reviews for this book, I figured I'd contribute anyhow. Believe the hype, and don't believe the naysayers. If you enjoy medieval fantasy 'not high fantasy, there aren't goblins and elves in this book' with an in depth and very realistic storyline get this book now.---
Fonda More than 1 year ago
A Game of Thrones is the first book in a seven book series called A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. A Game of Thrones is based in a fantasy world called the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, which is very much like Medieval Europe. The Seven Kingdoms have been united under one rule for the last 500 years ever sense Aegeon The Conquerer united the land. After a brutal civil war against the "Mad King" the land has known peace with the New King (Robert). However, this is all about to change if the King's best friend Ned Stark can't figure out why or who wanted King Robert's friend and "Hand" Jon Arryn dead. With Jon Arryn dead Robert places his loyal friend Ned Stark as his Hand, which has the authority of the King. But if Ned can't learn how to play The Game of Thrones then his term as Hand may become a short one. In the East decendents of the Mad King still remain and are trying to form their army once again to reclaim the Seven Kingdoms like their ancestor Aegeon the Conqueror 500 years earlier. And far in the North there is a Wall. Built to protect all of the 7 Kingdoms it has been undermanned with rapers, robbers, and thieves. The wall is accustomed to losing men, but when one of their scouting party never returns they must find out what is happening and if the wildlings are the cause of it all. A Game of Thrones is told through the eyes of 9 characters. Enabling the reader to see the point of view of all the sides of the conflict. This is the first series that I have read that does this and I absolutely love it. Being able to see all the viewpoints of the conflicts in the story is very interesting. Martin also does a very good job in suprising the reader. With just changes in your mindset on a specific character who you thought you knew or simply with what you know to be "fact." I GUARANTEE that you will NOT be able to predict the ending of A Game of Thrones or any of the others. Finally, I believe that this is the best series out there today and everyone that is a fan of fantasy, mystery, or just reading a well written story should buy! ***CAUTION*** If you do not like a book with a lot of characters or one where the story is continous from book to book. Then this series may not be for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Kopi_Ninja More than 1 year ago
Martin's ability to take a world apart and make it seem like your own's past history is an incredible experience to read. His characters embody not just the defining characteristics of good and evil, but an exhausting spectrum of the almost devine to the vilest examples of immorality imaginable. I knocked a few things in my review only because I am a realist... Let's face it, the new book art is horrid! The previous edition's painted scene was much more of a draw off the shelf, not to mention mucb more attractive sitting on your own! The book is offbeat, but still follows the basics of map in the front, character houses in the rear. You might need to use these items about as much as you do with Tolkein however, making them much more than just an eyegrab or little bonus feature. Romance? No not really... As with most first books, you get a slow start. Give it a couple chapters and you will be torn between throwing it across the room in fury or turning the next page. Great book for book clubs! Very fun to discuss and almost cultish when you find someone reading it or who has. I would not gift this book to most. Tolkein level writing is not for everyone and I think only about half the very few people I have recommended the book to have seen it through to the end.
KRUCK More than 1 year ago
An excellent read that keeps you entertained throughtout the whole book. I can't really say I was bored with the story at any point. I like how it switches from character to character each chapter and you get to know all the main characters on an individual basis. The plot is intriguing and at the end left me ready for the next book because the story could go so many ways and there are so many different things going on that it makes it more vast and complex which makes it all the more interesting. I enjoyed the first book in this saga and am excited to read the rest!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of epic fantasy novels and this one is awesome. I enjoy the author's writing style. Each chapter is written from the perspective of one of the many (about a dozen) main characters. The story is action packed, with a lot of surprises along the way. As with most series of this genre, there are many plots and subplots that pull you in and keep you reading page after page.
liv2knit More than 1 year ago
Absolutely fantastic historical fiction.  I enjoy that it is written from the perspectives of multiple characters, and that the action is so intense.  I once had to put this book aside for a week because I had to recover from my shock & outrage at what happened to one of the characters...now that's some good writing!!   This series is definitely not for readers who want clearly-defined heroes and villains, as the GoT characters are much too complex for that.  Nor is it for those who want to think that the medieval world was full of honorable lords and knights, fair maidens and well-fed, well-cared for peasants rather than one of ruthless and prevalent violence werein those with power and titles took advantage of their positions (ever hear of Henry VIII?).  Our modern-day ideas of civil rights, equality, justice, even basic human rights were non-existent, and Martin works within those realistic parameters.   The unexpectedness of events is what I love and hate most about this series.  You cannot hope to predict what's going to happen next, and what does happen may break your heart and leave you re-reading the page just to be sure that that actually just happened.  This, to me, is keeping it real, and makes for some of the most exciting reading ever. If you can leave your modern-day sensibilities at the door, NOT compare this to any other fantasy series you may have read before, and immerse yourself entirely into the Game, you will thoroughly enjoy this book and the complete series.       
redfan More than 1 year ago
If you're a fan of Stephen Donaldson, Tolkien, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, or Ursula K. Le Guin just to name a few great fantasy writers, and you've never read George R; R. Martin; wow are you in for a treat! This book is the best first installment of a fantasy series I've ever read! Be sure if you're thinking about it at all, to treat yourself to this one.
KirstyHaining More than 1 year ago
I hesitated for about 6 months before I bought this book (political intrigue in a fantasy world didn't immediately sound engaging) - but I loved it (and the whole series). Martin has the ability to show characters in shades of grey -- even the evil characters are sympathetic. Highly recommended.
ddvx13 More than 1 year ago
First off, do not listen to the previous poster. The 5th and final book of the series? CLEARLY HE DOESN'T KNOW THIS SERIES AT ALL. One, it is now a 7 part series. Secondly, the next book (5) takes place during the 4th book. He had to split the it apart because he has so many characters and plot lines twisting with each other. Now, going onto the review, instead of the previous poster bashing. This was recommended to me by a friend as the best fantasy series he had ever read. I can say without much hesitation that this is one of the best fantasies every written. BUT it depends on what type of fantasy you like. If you're one of those mythical creatures type fantasy readers--this isn't for you. If you like fantasies with some hero saving a damsel in distress--this series isn't for you. If you like blood, guts, good old fashion middle-ages killing--then read on. This is by far, the nittiest, grittiest series out there--that still maintains a story line. Speaking of the story line--it does take quite a while to get used to it. Martin's style is very different from most writers, and if you have read the other reviews you'll see that I'm not lying. When I first started reading book 1, I almost put it down and stopped reading. After about, 200 pages, you start to get a good feel for this world. After the first book, you'll start to understand the plot (or perhaps I'm just a little slow.) That being said, it was completely worth it. The characters... Are so completely messed up it is insane. Good and evil cease to really exist. The motivations of the characters move beyond good and evil, into the realm of chaos. The one thing you can say about Martin, is that you cannot predict how his characters will act, or what he will do with them. I guarantee you, at one point in this series, if you read it, will put down the book and string off a line of expletives that will leave people around you wondering if you're sane. Overall, if you're a fantasy reader, you need to have this series on your bookshelf.
spit9lvr More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING!!! One of the best books i have ever read. Yes, many gruesome events take place, but if you look past those things and pay more attention to the actual story, you will see how great it is. There are so many elements that come into it, the characters, the plot, and the world in which it all takes place in makes this a true masterpiece. I will definitely buy the rest of the series on my Nook!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really great book and series overall. picked it up one day because my friend had bought it and had nothing else to read and boy was i surprised hiw easily i was drawn in ny the different characters. Although at times i felt like throwing the book against a wall i couldnt bring myself to stop reading it. Each Character in the story in uniquely writn with his or her own past that will either make you hate them or learn to love and understand them later. This book is a MUST READ.
Nadina85 More than 1 year ago
What's so impressive about GoT is the world-building. I don't think I've seen anything this imaginative since Tolkien's LotR trilogy. It's hard to fathom just how much time and creativity and planning went into the construction of this world and series.But as great as the setting may be, the characters are what carry this book. They are all so wonderfully complex and multifaceted, so much so that it's sometimes hard to tell who to root for! Every character is deeply flawed in some way, but it's those flaws that make them so human. The good guys make (often fatal) mistakes and I think that's why their stories resonate so much with us as readers. There is a deep connection to some of these people so you really feel for them during their triumphs and during their tragedies. A Game of Thrones is told via several different characters and there are some people who won't enjoy that, but I'd say with so much going on, it was a necessary device. You get a deeper insight into the story this way and it's also interesting to see events through opposing perspectives. There were definitely some narrators that I preferred over others, namely, Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. Funny enough, this also correlates to the characters I preferred in the show so that just goes to show you how well they play off one another. And yes, if you're wondering, the show totally does this book justice. You really don't need to read the first book to understand what's going on in the show, however, I recommend that you do anyway. It's too good not to. Also, because the story is so dense, the books help to make sense of the show (and vice versa). The novel clarified things that I was otherwise confused about as well as enriched my understanding of the characters and their motivations. I recommend grabbing the audio version if you can because Roy Dotrice is a champ! Fun fact: he even made the Guinness Book of World Records for doing the most amount of distinctive character voices in one audio production. Reading A Game of Thrones was quite the challenge, and consequently, finishing it was my biggest literary accomplishment this year. Martin has crafted such an intricate and wonderfully detailed universe full of rich, complex characters and high drama. It has all the elements you could ever want in a high fantasy and rivals the LotR trilogy for best fantasy series EVER!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really got into this book after the first 100 pages or so. Very complex, but amazing!
LN_Adcox More than 1 year ago
I couldn't help but notice Martin's books in "A Song of Ice And Fire" series being promoted at my favorite bookstores and this book being touted as an HBO mini series (which I recorded without watching while I read this book). Hence I had to find out what all the hoopla was about. I discovered it was deserved. This book has an engrossing, mature plot replete with conflict, action, and excellent characterization. The fantasy is present as the setting is in a world of Martin's imagination where summer and winter can last for decades, dire wolves roam, dragons are still a memory, and a gigantic wall of ice holds back mysterious and loathsome creatures. However, I felt comfortable and familiar in this world as it is a feudal society reminiscent of European society during the Middle Ages. The aspirations, intrigues, alliances, and wars of the aristocracy mirror those of our feudal ancestors from the tenth through the thirteenth centuries. Each chapter is about or told from the viewpoint of the various characters that we get to know well. Armies have clashed in this "game of thrones", but the outcome is far from settled at the end of the book. The reader had best have the next book of the series on hand when this one is finished.
Thomas Turner More than 1 year ago
Leslie30 More than 1 year ago
A game of thrones tends to drag on a little but there is no denying that you are forced to fall in love with the characters who, as we know, are destined to die. Loved the book, wish I had read it before watching the show.
Johnny3 More than 1 year ago
toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
Normally, I always read a book before watching the tv show or movie made from it. I didn't with this one, and I think that made my experience better. There are so many characters. I think I would have felt and little overwhelmed and lost reading it first. I'm current on the tv show, and I read the prequel book so I have a much better understanding of who people are and what's going on. It's been so long since I saw the first season of GoT that this book was also a great reminder of who the characters were in the beginning. I noticed things that didn't make it into the show and things that didn't register before. I highly enjoyed reading this and can't wait to continue the series.
Adam_Gentry More than 1 year ago
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 somehow 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. +Complex characters +Strong Descriptions *Complex Plot *Large cast, 8 perspectives *Grim, sometimes crude 3.5/5
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