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295 of 302 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Song of Ice and Fire
Like most I know, I discovered this series when the HBO television adaption aired on Sky in 2011 and was instantly gripped. Since then I have read all of the books back-to-back and wow... they are AMAZING!

I am NOT a typical fantasy fan... in fact the idea of goblins and wizards going off on some good vs evil quest of grand proportions does NOTHING for me. But...
Published on 21 April 2012 by Dude88

166 of 180 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Books - Poor Kindle version
These novels are amazing, I cannot recommend them enough. Well thought out and detailed characters, with compelling story arcs, the pace is not rushed nor overly long. If you like the TV series, these books are much more vivid and detailed.

The only drawbacks are with the kindle version which is expensive and of poor quality.

As well as being...
Published on 7 Jun 2012 by Eryst

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book fantastic - This Kindle Edition very disappointing - Poorly collated, 18 Jun 2014
Mr. M. Horton (UK) - See all my reviews
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The individual purchases of ASOIAF have X-Ray enabled - Of all the books ion Kindle this is a series of books that ABSOLUTELY needs X-Ray to keep track of all the very many characters and locations in these books.

But because you purchase 5 books in one order - nope no Xray an incredible disappointment.

Also the Books all come out as One book with a few thousand pages and NOT as 5 distinct books, or even in Kindle terms 10 Kindle books.

Bizarre and bemusing that they dropped the ball here, this of all books would really benefit from an e-book functionality and Amazon blew it.

Great book, sucky implementation - just plain lazy Amazon - you get a D- here - must do better.

******* BETTER SOLUTION found
Buy all seven Kindle books, yes seven - Book 3 and Book 5 are sold as two Kindle Books each, go figure - ALL 7 can be purchased for £13.58 over HALF price and you get all the books as individual books AND you get XRAY - So for half price you get a much better ebook - go figure Amazon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JUST AMAZING!, 20 Mar 2014
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I haven't watched the TV shows, I prefer to read the books first and now I have. Books can tell you what a character is thinking, a movie or show can't really do that.

They are spellbinding, I just couldn't stop reading. Martin has this amazing talent of building a character up to be hateful and despised, then turning it on it's head and having you start to like and empathise with them. I guess he shows there is good and bad in everyone. If you're a lover of happy ever afters these won't be for you, but part of the gripping nature of these books is that nothing and no one is sacred.

The writing, the description, the characterisations are just first class. Even if you are not a fan of fantasy, try them, you won't be disappointed.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Full of sound and fury and signifying nothing, 2 Oct 2012
Well first of all I had assumed I had the complete story in the box set. It takes a long time to discover you're no nearer a conclusion at the end of book five than you were at the end of book one. People are still lost, hiding, killing each other, growing dragons, running from the terrors North of the wall and so on.

Over five books this gets very repetitive. The author has two (only two!) mechanisms for keeping you interested. The first is each book is split into different chapters where you get a different character's point of view and it pushes their story on a little bit. Then at random intervals, usually at the end of the book, some character you thought was intrinsic to the ongoing plot is surprisingly killed.

This is a kind of Sword and Sorcery version of the Thomas Covenant books, where you're hugely frustrated but keep reading them anyway and heave a huge sigh of relief when you finish one. I've struggled to the end of book five, but won't be buying the next book whenever it appears. It's a bit like the Dune series once Frank Herbert was dead, it started off well but each successive book was less exciting than the previous one, more of a chore to read, until eventually you reached a point of not caring what happens to any of the characters.

In conclusion there's probably a damned good trilogy in the whole idea, shame George R.R. Martin didn't have the discipline to find it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story, 10 Dec 2012
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I cannot recommend this highly enough. The story got me hooked from the first pages, and you can't put it aside.
Getting all six volumes at once is certainly the best value for money. I bought these set on the Black Friday deals so i bought them for a very good price!
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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed with this writer despite strong beginning, 7 Sep 2012
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This isn't going to be a popular review with the diehard fans, but it's an honest one and I hope it may be of some use to those who haven't yet got into this series.

We bought this boxset on the understanding that it was "complete", e.g. the series comes to some kind of conclusion. It isn't complete in any sense, and doesn't even attempt to come to any form of conclusion (so why issue a boxset?!).

I also bought it under the impression that (having read the first three books before buying it) George R.R. Martin was an accomplished author who could keep you gripped longterm. He isn't, at least not in my case (or my partner's).

I was brought the first book as a present by my stepson last year. It was one of the best things I've read in a very long time and had me engrossed from start to finish, I read the lot in three nights, and it's not a lightweight volume. I was so impressed I rushed out and brought the second, not so great, but still a good read. Got a bit worried when I read the proposed "trilogy" had billowed out into six volumes and that the author had taken a couple of decades to write that much, but when the characters and plot were so good who cares? The longer the epic the better, right?

By the time I was half way through the second volume my partner was reading the first and she was also hooked - "such a great writer" we said to each other, a fantasy based (loosely) on the Wars of the Roses and Shakespeare's historical plays, "so gripping, can't wait to find out what comes next". My partner's favourite character was Arya, mine was Jon, but so many great characters - who can't like Tyrion? We've never both liked a book so much.

Feeling a little jaded with the second book I pressed on to the third and was pleased to find it actually started to pick up again - there it goes, you feel, Mr Martin has got into his stride again, now we're moving! Except it's the last of the good stuff - what you don't realise at that point is that from here on it's virtually all downhill into a never ending mire of: maim and disfigure old character, kill off old character, insert random new character much like the old character, but rather less charming, insert random sex scene and/or Elizabethan feast complete with recipes and/or boringly repetitive "humourous" song and/or boring and repetitive recitation of who killed who in some battle (not described), randomly maim and disfigure new character (Mr Martin likes gruesome facial scars nearly as much as he likes incest and Elizabethan food it would seem), kill off new character, bring back old character in some completely pathetic, predictable and implausible way, maim and disfigure old/new character.... and so on and on and on...

By the time you get round to finishing the last book in the boxset (book seven? it feels more like book 110), if you're anything like me, you just don't care any more, it's all so samey, so repetitive, so... dull! I've read them all up to the end of this boxset and Mr Martin claims he's going to wrap the series up in two more books, or maybe a couple more? But, you know what, I really don't care, the "cliffhanger" endings are getting tired and I really, really don't like ANY of the characters any more. Sad ending to something which started so promisingly.

My partner gave up at around the same time I did, although she was only on the fifth book (?) - the one that is almost entirely about new characters and doesn't really have any connection with the rest of the series until you're about halfway though and then you realise it's not going to contain ANYTHING at all about your favourite characters anyway! The strange thing is she didn't know I was fed up with the books until we discussed it one evening and both found out we felt exactly the same about them.

End result is this boxset is going to the car boot sale and we won't be buying any more (or watching any more of the series on SKY - which is incidentally not bad - it's got a great cast of actors, but does play around with the plot a bit - changing the sexuality of main characters and throwing in lots of gratituous sex scenes, for example).

IF you want to read about late Medieval skullduggery of the kind written about by Mr Martin in his more lucid and entertaining moments I'd recommend any of the many fantastic historical books available about the Wars of the Roses (York and Lancaster = Stark and Lannister, not too subtle really). IF you prefer a moving and inspiring fictionalised account of the same events look to Shakespeare. IF you want a cook book of Elizabethan recipes buy one, there are plenty. IF you want good fantasy fiction with perfidious nobles, bloody battles, Dragons and/or Undead there are plenty of better (more disciplined) writers of such out there (you could try the Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien, for example), and IF you want erotic fiction (porn?) involing siblings and/or older men and young girls there are better sources for those too - I'm sure!

In a nutshell if you're the kind of person who thinks neverending Soap Operas with the same old plot repeated over, and over, but with the odd new character and bit of sleaze, all wrapped up in a rather weak (at the end) "Medieval" fantasy you'll probably love this series and treasure it for ever. On the other hand if you're not that kind of person you probably won't want to bother.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review: A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R. Martin 5/5, 1 Oct 2014
As I recently finished reading this entire series for the second time, I thought it appropriate to give his high holiness the GRRM a well deserved review.

Truth time: I began reading these books after falling in love with the show. Now, I’m so obsessed with the book series that if they were a woman, I would surely be considered a stalker.

(Seriously, I was even hesitant of writing this review as for the possibility of never being able to stop typing.)

I am not even a big fiction guy. I’m a very avid reader and love to read for the purpose of learning something about something or someone. I love Walter Isaacson, Steven Johnson, Tim Wu, Michael Lewis, Deepak Chopra, Henry David Thoreau, Jack Goldsmith and a hundred more great writers, but I have a very limited selection of fiction writers I enjoy. I was a big fan of the Harry Potter series. I also enjoyed Siddhartha and Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment. I read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings when I was younger and enjoyed it very much. These are the books with indisputably incredible imagery that even the unimaginatively minded and book-haters should enjoy. Otherwise, due to the time commitment it takes to dive in to a book, I’ve always felt a pressure to keep it non-fiction so I’m gaining some sort of worldly knowledge. And then I read A Game of Thrones.

“There are no men like me. There’s only me” – The Kingslayer

This is misleading. I am not now a huge fiction guy. I am an A Song of Ice and Fire guy. Atleast for now. I read this heaping trees-worth of books (asoiaf), and tried to start reading something else from my arsenal of solid fav’s immediately after and within a few days I started A Game of Thrones over. Seriously, it was better the second time around. I have now just finished this second read and I forced myself to pick up a different book to read. I am now struggling to get through it without thinking about lamprey pie and blood sausage. I am confident that I will give up on this new endeavor soon.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Books 1-7 are fantastic, but you'll be left hanging years for the next installment., 28 Nov 2014
K. Strong - See all my reviews
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Before I purchased this box set of all 7 books I read the reviews of each book individually and was disheartened by the growing dissent amongst the readers. Ignore that for now, this box set is a definate 5 star buy. The price for all 7 books, along with the box and map is an absolute steal, and worth the investment in time.

The characters are well developed and the continual plot twists drive this set of books foward leaving you gasping for more. The HBO television series may be your introduction but the books will flesh out the well loved (and not so well loved - Joffery I'm looking at you here) characters and really adds another dimension to them.

However, this comes full circle. If you buy this you'll be left waiting for the last few books. George R.R. Martin is notoriously slow are pumping these books out and that is the crux of the bad reviews. You read a book and then have to wait 5 years until the next one. By then you've forgotten who is who, whos fighting who and why they are fighting in the first place. Then, your favourite character dies and you're introduced to 12 new ones.

Take delight in this offering of 7 books at a great price. Heed this warning, you will be addicted to Game of Thrones and you will be left wanting more. However, the longer the wait, the more the hype the bigger the disappointment. A great set, lovely books with a good weight and feel and well worth the price asked.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reading the Game of Thrones you win or you win, 28 Oct 2014
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It has all been said before so I'll be brief: these books are richly plotted, detailed, and executed. You will know from the first paragraph of book 1 whether or not this is for you. The books are superior to the excellent TV show.
Very rarely does a book or series of books deserve to be called 'epic' but the Game of Thrones books certainly do.
My only minor quibbles are:
1. Martin has created so many characters that the idea of devoting a chapter to each means that you meet a character on page 1 and might not see him/her again until page 300. I found this mildly annoying. I fear that Martin has gone too cinematic in his approach so much so that no character is really key to the story and the books could (and do) survive after they are killed off. This is good and bad.
2. He devotes far too much time describing coat of arms and the minutae of meals and furniture etc. I don't care. I am not going to take a Masters Degree in 'sigils of Westeros' after I finish reading the last book.
Of course the books are modern masterpieces and of course they deserve 5 stars. The action is riveting, the characters well written, and the narrative description is very well done. The box set is lovely and comes with a nice looking map that you will probably forget you own. The books also don't suffer as much from gratutious sex which has peppered the TV show to draw in the lecherous multitudes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's a very nice box set of beautiful books, 10 Oct 2014
I didn't buy this from Amazon (sorry amazon but I got it cheaper elsewhere). It's a very nice box set of beautiful books.
I started reading the series around the time when season 4 of the show was coming out. I didn't enjoy the books as much as I would have if I read them before I watched the TV Series. But I did enjoy them! I'm a huge nerd and loved all details of the whole world that we don't get from the show. When I started reading them (which I attempted before even watching the show), I found it really hard to read. I'd never read anything like an epic fantasy before and I found the style really hard to read. But after a while, it became easier and it became such a pleasure to read and I started to appreciate his style of writing. I haven't read A Dance With Dragons Part 2 yet because I'm saving it for as long as I can stand it. I know once I've finished this I'll have to wait ages for The Winds of Winter, and I'm not patient! D: I've started to reread the first one to try and ease my addiction, but the temptation.... AHHH!
If you're a Game of Thrones (TV Series) fan and want to know everything because you're a nerd, get reading the books!!! Don't let the size of them put you off, just take you're time, take in every nerdy detail, and read them at your own pace, and enjoy! They are so so so good! :D
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5.0 out of 5 stars These books have helped me re-discover my love of reading.. I highly recommend, 31 July 2014
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The best book I've read in a long while.

Civil war rages as the 7 kingdoms all battle for control of the iron throne.. Ranging from the warm south to the cold hard north. The stories have dragons, dwarves, murders, spies, traitors, hero's, villains, sex, violence, and plenty of action. The author isn't afraid to kill off a popular character and begin following the path of someone new either, especially just as you start really getting to like them.

These are well written and it's easy to soon start imagining you're part of the seven kingdoms and picturing the scenery and landscapes he describes. I have both read the books, and watched the TV series, and highly recommend them both. Although as you'd expect the books go into much more detail than the show.

I really don't want to give away much of the plot so I will finish by saying read these as soon as you get chance, any fans of this sort of fantasy genre will not be disappointed and to be honest, any fan of a good book/story will probably be impressed these as well.
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A Game of Thrones: The Story Continues: The complete boxset of all 6 books (A Song of Ice and Fire)
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