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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 2 October 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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on 30 November 2011
LOVED this, its not my usual read- more into history and science- but i just couldnt put them down! Some people may be put off by the sci-fi/historical fiction aspects but really its just wonderful human drama. The characterisation is excellent (if a little brutal- theres more than one moment of NOO dont kill him i really like him!)- the storylines vast and engaging, the background exceptionally well drawn with huge amounts of little details. If its got one flaw its that the last two books run concurrently not consecutively and theres not enough to let you know which point in the timelines they intersect. Apart from that a tru tour de force i would heartily recommend to anyone and everyone!
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on 27 January 2016
Absolutely fantastic reads. I got sucked into the world and lore of Ice and Fire far strong than any writings of Tolkein and to this day I read as much as I can about the history of Westeros and beyond. This urged me to learn more about British history and to delve into other fantasy writer's back catalogues that I otherwise may never have known about.

I can't recommend these enough. I had watched a fair amount of the show by the time I started reading the books and it did not affect my opinion one bit, far more in depth and enjoyable.
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on 26 January 2016
OMG, took me about 3 months to read but it was well worth it. The whole series is amazing, very well written with great attention to detail. Although I did find the 6th part a bit boring
If you are looking for something similar to the tv series- it is not for you as only the first part is like the book. I actually stopped watchign teh series as could not deal such significant changes.
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on 21 July 2016
Perfect condition, in a plastic wrap, plus free map! After watching all 6 seasons of the Television programme, which I was recommended to do first before reading the books as it can get quite confusing, I borrowed A Song of Fire and Ice from my library and I'm barely a few chapters in and I love it! It's definitely easier to follow having watched the TV series first and gotten an idea of characters and places first.
Like most anything else, it's either your type of thing or it's not, but you cannot say that it's poorly written.
I've never read/watched anything like GoT before, genre-wise. But I found the whole thing so interesting and compelling, the way some of them speak, the vocabulary, is all quite formal and proper! Especially Tyrion (of course that's in part down to Peter Dinklage and his excellent acting) so for me this is quite a change of pace and an adventure.
:)
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on 7 May 2012
This is an amazing collection of books. The characters are so human, in their glory, shame, brutality, despair and laughter. It is a really gripping read with each book getting more exciting. I was worried that the saga would have a lame duck in it this is not the case with the carefully building tension growing as all the characters change due to their experiences.Well worth it and on kindle it saves so much space.EE
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on 30 May 2015
These seven volumes are:

Book One: A Game of Thrones
Book Two: A Clash of Kings
Book Three: part one: A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow
Book Three: part two: A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold
Book Four: A Feast for Crows
Book Five: part one: A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust
Book Five: part two: A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast

I bought these after watching the first four seasons of the excellent HBO television adaptation 'Game of Thrones'. I'm grateful to the author for creating the fascinating world of Westeros (and Essos) and found the additional background information herein useful, but these ponderous tomes are very hard going at times. Great literature this is not!

Is Martin paid per word? The constant introduction of new characters becomes overwhelming. It is never clear whether yet another new person will be(come) important and flicking back and forth between the main text and the (by volume 7) more than 50 page lists of the dramatis personae in the appendix becomes very tiresome. Even major characters disappear for hundreds of pages at a time.

In the early volumes, the chronology is at least linear, but this is abandoned from Book Four onwards, which adds to the confusion. Overall there is a sense that the author has so many ideas and so many threads, but struggles to keep track of them all.

George Martin has painted himself into a corner, because HBO will not wait for him to complete the saga. As an executive producer of the HBO series, he will be consulted, but it seems likely that the television adaptation will follow its own path. This is already apparent in season 5 of 'Game of Thrones' where there is considerable divergence from the source material.

Obviously those who read the book(s) first will have had a different experience of ASoIaF / GoT. Perhaps my enjoyment and appreciation of the books was tainted by my exposure to the wonderful Benioff / Weiss adaptation. Hopefully 'Game of Thrones' will continue to enthrall and will ultimately reach a satisfactory conclusion and NOT become another LOST!
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on 26 August 2014
I got this on offer at £7.99 which is obviously FANTASTIC value for the number of books. Even if it was full price I would pay though; these are possibly the best books I've read in a long time, and the first set where I haven't got sick of the sequels in a long time too! If you've seen the TV show I would recommend reading the books, they're much better and cover a lot more information that the TV show tends to omit. Basically very good books all in a handy package!

Just be warned though, there is no way of knowing how far through each book you are. Because it is all one file the total percentage is for all the books together, but it doesn't detract from the reading experience.
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on 19 February 2015
The series starts off excellently, with the first 3 books each getting better! A Feast For Crows and a Dance With Dragons part 1 are geographically separated, focussing on Westeros and Everywhere Else respectively. These two books are average, solid story but sluggish reads ... ADwD part 2 is incredible, the best of the series so far and leaves you gagging for more!! It's a cruel jape that the next book is already delayed, and is likely to be split into 2 volumes again!

The cruelest of all japes, however, is the swelling of the books after reading them. I didn't read the first three from this box set (I borrowed them second hand), so they remain unread and therefore un-swelled! Having read only 4 of them, there's only enough room for only 6 of the books in the cardboard box where once 7 dwelled. ADwD:2 now lives on its own Dragonstone ...
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on 28 October 2014
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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