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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) [Paperback]

George R. R. Martin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,983 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Jan 2003 A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 1)

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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; New Ed edition (6 Jan 2003)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 000647988X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006479888
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 18 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,983 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George R.R. Martin is the author of six titles in the A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords Part One: Steel and Snow, A Storm of Swords Part Two: Blood and Gold, A Feast for Crows and the long-awaited A Dance with Dragons. A Game of Thrones is now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.

He has also written Fevre Dream, the ultimate science fiction horror novel, several collections of short stories and numerous scripts for television drama. He was also the co-author of SF adventure tale Hunter's Run. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Product Description


‘Of those who work in the grand epic fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best’
Time Magazine

‘Colossal, staggering… Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome’

‘The sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads … Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias’

About the Author

George R.R. Martin is the author of fourteen novels, including five volumes of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, several collections of short stories and numerous screen plays for television drama and feature films. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
717 of 733 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and surprising 23 Aug 2006
On my latest foray to buy some new fantasy, the till assistant suggested that I might like to try George R. R. Martin. I had seen his books before, but had never committed to reading them, but on this recommendation, I picked this book up for my summer holiday. Over 800 pages and less than 5 days later it was finished.

Although somewhat slow in starting, the storylines soon become engaging and you really do want to find out what happens next. The book also contains a large number of surprises and means that you're never really certain where each story will lead.

For me, the biggest surprise was in the unusual structure. As has been mentioned, each chapter is named after the character whose view it is written from. This is not something I have encountered before, but I enjoyed the format. It gave a nice insight into characters from all "sides" and allowed a good deal of depth to be included for them.

The book as a whole is almost three independent stories. Firstly, the "Game of Thrones" is the nickname of the power struggle between high-born families to influence or take the throne. As usual, we have the good (Starks, Tullys), the bad (Lannisters) and the undecided (Baratheon). This covers the majority of the book and has only an initial interaction to one of the other storylines,

The second storyline has minimal interaction with the first and follows a sworn brotherhood that forego all previous ties and become a new "family". They are sworn to defend the kingdom and man the vast wall that separates it from the wilds to the North.

The final storyline does not interact with the others and is only hinted at by the telling of rumours in the kingdom.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The series so far... 19 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just finally finished the last available book of A Song Of Ice And Fire and as this is one of the best series I have ever read, I thought I'd write a review and post it for potential future readers. Since I made the mistake of reading some of the reviews on here and unfortunately came across a massive spoiler which ruined a huge plot development for me at the end of A Dance With Dragons (book 5) pt2 I will try and make my review as succinct and spoiler-free as possible.

Book 1 - A Game Of Thrones
I would watch the television series to get yourself better acquainted with the characters. The book has been done more than justice in the TV series and at first read it's quite tedious to try and get to grips with the Houses of Westeros and all the political intricacies. A good book though, with the first of many OH MY GOD that didn't just happen moments at the end.

Book 2 - A Clash Of Kings
Read this on holiday and couldn't put it down. The "sh.. hit the fan" well and truly after book 1 and Westeros turns into a free for all. Epic writing by Martin and his disregard for characters continue. Expect the unexpected. Also, the TV series season 2 does not do the book justice in the same way as season 1. You'll want to read this book.

Book 3 - A Storm Of Swords
The first of Martin's books split into two in paperback (these are the versions I read). By far the best book of the series so far. I laughed, I cried, I threw my book on the floor of the bus cursing. Possibly one of my top 5 favourite books of all time simply because of the sheer brilliant writing and subsequent emotion it provoked.

Book 4 - A Feast For Crows
From one of the best books I've ever read to one of the worst.
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373 of 389 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melancholic fantasy 1 Sep 2006
I bought this book on the strength of previous reviews and am pleased to say I was not disappointed. As has been stated, GRRM's style is one of multiple viewpoints (initially confusing although by the middle of the book you know who's who, and in which 'house' they belong), within a continuous time thread. The writing is dark, gritty, and melancholic.

This isn't a 'quest' book; more of a history. And a realistic one at that. Although there is a complete lack of elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins etc, this book should be classed as high fantasy. Dragons, monsters, and magic exist in this world but they are relegated to the background. Nine tenths of this book deals in the down to earth machinations of the various courts. Heroes and villains do not exist. Everyone is painted in shades of grey. (Some greyer than others).

In the last 20 years there have been two books that completely blew me away. The first was Magician by Raymond E Feist, the second was Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb. A Game of Thrones is the third. If you enjoyed either of the first two you will surely enjoy this.

Having read the rest of the books in the Song of Fire and Ice sequence, I can reassure you the standards set by A Game of Thrones are maintained.
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236 of 249 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the kids 3 July 2002
By Fad
Suffice to say, from the top marks I'm awarding this book (and the whole series thus far) I found it to be an excellent read. No, that's insufficient, this is not only the best written Fantasy series (by far surpassing Tolkien in my opinion) I've read, it's almost certainly the most enjoyable book of ANY kind.
The writing style is intelligent and treats the reader accordingly, which is a refreshing change in the Fantasy genre, and the sheer bloody-mindedness of the plot subverts every preconception the reader may have while maintaining the traditional escapist elements familiar from 'lesser' works. The world of Fire and Ice is so fully realised it's hard to keep track of the history and vast array of characters but Martin guides you through it effortlessly and seems to have known from the first line exactly what is going to happen in every subsequent paragraph. His attention to detail is almost scary. The series also (incredibly) manages to improve with subsequent readings as the reader gets to grips with the innumerable plot developments and realises that the most unexpected of events was probably sign-posted ten chapters back.
One note of caution to prospective buyers however is that despite it's Fantasy trappings this is NOT a series suitable for children. Mr Martin does not shy away from explicit descriptions of horrific violence and sex and the language is frequently of the four-letter variety. Equally disturbing is the brilliant realisation of the multitude of characters in these books where the 'Heroes' prove capable of horrendous atrocities and the 'Villains' sometimes act with compassion and honour. And these characters can DIE; If a situation looks likely to be fatal, chances are it will be, which is almost unique in an on-going series and means every violent encounter is almost excrutiatingly tense.
So, not for the faint-hearted but certainly a series that sets entirely new standards for fiction, Fantasy or otherwise.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
son gave me set of game of thrones books but first one was missing really book enjoying reading them and you get more from the books.
Published 8 hours ago by Gail
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding read
Amazing captivated from start to finish. Highly recommend this book to anyone. Can't wait to continue rest of the series
Published 9 hours ago by Ryan McLaughlin
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoying Book
Taking me som time to get into but think I'm going to really enjoy this book and want to read more
Published 22 hours ago by cadrow
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing fantasy book
Set in a fantasy world that you can believe in as it is modelled on medieval times. This book is very well written with believable characters that you can really get to know & care... Read more
Published 1 day ago by sharon
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good!
It has been a good few years since I picked up such a sprawling fantasy epic, and I initially found the page count to be a daunting prospect. Read more
Published 1 day ago by David Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars winter is coming !
Brilliant from the first page to the last ! Winter is coming ! All men must die ! All time classic !
Published 1 day ago by jake Waddington
5.0 out of 5 stars One down four to go
An incredible read from cover to cover one if the best books I have ever had the pleasure if reading
Published 1 day ago by Jon P
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping from start to the burning end!
Having watched the TV adaptation which was excellent I was drawn to the books. And I was not disappointed. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Simon Cutner
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st book in the Game of Thrones series
Having watched the tv series I decided it was time to get into the books as books always have more story and more detail. I wasn't' disappointed! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Shar1978
5.0 out of 5 stars GOH LOVE IT
Its great, I love how the TV show is almost the same to the book.
its a great series, but the books are an investment and you do need to be very interested in the story if you... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Lizzie
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