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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 2 April 2017
This is an epic story. The breadth of George R.R. Martin’s imagination and attention to detail is incredible. Of course I’ve seen the HBO TV series, which is what inspired me to read the book, but that’s a doubled edged sword. Having seen the series it helped me to understand what was going on, but also it spoils it as I generally remembered what was going to happen, removing some of the mystery and excitement. Having said that, I did spend a lot of the book hoping things would turn out differently.

My biggest frustration is, why didn’t Syrio Forel pick up one of the Lannister swords and defeat Meryn Trant? The book is ambiguous, so maybe he did survive and will be back? There’s time and my fingers are crossed.

Catelyn Stark is an excellent character. However, I really don’t like her. She is proud, stubborn and ultimately causes her husband's death and the downfall of her house. Although, Eddard Stark does a pretty good job of that all on his own. All the characters are well thought out, it’s just a shame that some of them were cast badly in the TV series, changing them significantly.

The TV series follows the book really closely. Of course there is more detail in the book and things happen which are not in the TV series or are left for later, but it’s still remarkable how true to the book the TV series is. However, there are many scenarios in the book which take place in different places in the TV series. I spent quite a bit of time trying to work out why.

I’m taking a break from Westeros to catch up on some sci-fi, but I’m looking forward to coming back and if you haven’t been there yet, I strongly suggest you give it a try.
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I very rarely read 'high' fantasy of the sword-and-sorcery type - I'm not a fan of Tolkien or any other epic fantasy authors. But I was very surprised to find that this book really gripped me. Gritty, intense, complex, and hugely immersive, it's a huge, rambling, uncompromising novel that pulls you into its treacherous, often brutal world and keeps you there. Less about magic, quests and mythical beasts and more about political scheming, revenge and ever-shifting family alliances and cultural conflicts, it almost feels more like a historical novel than a fantasy one at times.

The cast of characters is vast and confusing - even characters who only appear for a few pages are named and even given back-stories - but I soon found that, provided you know who the main players are (and they're all vivid and three-dimensional, so this isn't difficult) you don't need to worry too much about the many extras and bit-parters; they simply add to the colour and atmosphere of the novel and help to build the world in which it's set. What's particularly appealing is that very few of the characters are wholly good or wholly evil - every one of them can be problematic at times. Furthermore, George RR Martin is never afraid to take their fortunes in hitherto unexpected directions. Heartily recommended.
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on 24 March 2017
Simply awesome!

The first book of the song of ice and fire saga gripped me within the first few pages and I couldn't put it down. I really like how each chapter is based upon the character's view point. This made me feel connected to the character and empathise what they were going through.

Lots of twists and turns, recommended to anyone who likes fantasy.
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on 29 February 2016
For a graphic novel this has got to be one of the best ones to date, for anyone who has read the orginal novels like I have to adapt it from the novel(s) and to redo it in this format could not have been easy, got to remember this is not a tie in to the series of books or the tv series but just another medium in to which to bring the novel to life so forget it being an accurate adaptation of the novel but just an excellent way to bring the story to life, the artwork is simply amazing the folk who have worked on this have done an amazing job for anyone who likes graphic novels this is going to be a great one to add to anyones collection this has got to be one of the best ones I've read since the Hobbit.
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on 22 March 2017
Well, in terms of reviewing the product, This was a kindle purchase so instant delivery and no faults in the coding. Regarding the product itself, if you are reading this you will no doubt know it is a now one of the best loved TV franchises ever so I wont delve too much into the plot but my experience of reading is as follows;

I bought this on the back of loving the TV show and have found that the show follows the book quite closely. I thought there may be a wealth of back story and sub plots that the series hadn't picked up on but if i'm honest, there wasn't a great deal. There is some good character development and if you are in the same situation as me I would say go for it definitely as when taken as a stand alone product, this is an enjoyable read, isn't too heavy and moves along at a good pace. It never gets boring, it is just a shame that having seen the series already, some of the visualization is taken away - Ned Stark is always Sean Bean in my head.

I wish I had read this before I watched the TV show so I could give a more impartial view of the book alone but being a huge fan of the show, I would recommend this highly and will be buying the next one in the series shortly. Very enjoyable.
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on 8 March 2017
The first TV series followed the book quite closely so to an extent I've had spoilers. However if anything it helped. In normal circumstance I would have had to make notes on who is who so I could follow it, but the TV series made it a lot easier.

The style flows smoothly, adding a fair bit of depth to the story. I am surprised just how much I enjoyed reading it.
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on 28 May 2012
I bought this book because it was on offer from Amazon for £1.99. Good move by Amazon as I have now bought the following three books for around £22! It took a while to get into it; the main problem being the huge number of characters and the overall complexity of the story. I started off looking for family trees on the internet and that got me off to a bit of a start, and then I installed a couple of apps for my iPod Touch, which covered all of the characters, the houses, the religions and so on - and I was away! So, if you're going to get into this series you need to put in a bit of work at the beginning to get on track, and of course save your pennies to buy the rest of the series, because you will. You definitely will!

For info, the apps I installed were were "Game of Thrones Wiki" - needs connection to the internet and "Game of Thrones - Companion" - works offline.
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on 3 December 2011
Good stuff and a gripping read. Fun fantasy intrigue and epic, but the author keeps noting when people are specifically wearing 'boiled leather.' He doesn't note any other fabric's weave - except in book 2, when 'rough spun' takes the no. 1 spot from 'boiled leather' - nor other types of tanning, but every third page or so he remarks that 'so-and-so was wearing ring-mail over boiled leather' or 'he donned a hauberk of boiled leather.' Odd that there are no scenes in the book that take place in the 'boiled leather works,' when one considers how much 'boiled leather' is worn in Westeros. Does George R R Martin own a lot of shares in Boiled Leather Inc - "It's not leather unless it's boiled leather!"
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on 19 July 2013
I hesitated to read this because I thought it would be a second Lord of the Rings with whimsical characters who are all slightly 2-dimensional. Or maybe it would be a 'man-book' (my husband and son both loved it), all weapons and action. Instead, I find a book where the characters are very real. The whole story, set in an imaginary world, reads more like a historical novel and the imaginary world, however fantastic, could be an aeroplane's ride away. I found myself totally caught up in it. There's plenty of battles and actions too but it never detracts from the people. I can't recommend it too highly.
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on 30 April 2017
This is one of the best books I have ever read, the tv series has hardly varies from the book. Therefore one can picture the characters as if they were real. Can't wait to read the other titles. A very talented author indeed.
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