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on 15 July 2011
OK, this is a review to clarify a few things. There seem to be a number of reviews for different versions of this boxset grouped together on amazon - this review is based on the newly released (12th July 11) paperback boxset, with the BLUE box case.

I say review, but this is more to confirm a few things. The novels are excellent, you can read dozens of reviews for these individual books on amazon.

Firstly, each book DOES contain maps at the front. The appendix at the back of the books contain details of the families and Houses featured in the story. Both are very handy for reference. Secondly, the print is nice and crisp.

A word of warning : this boxset contains an companion book. Pay attention to the first page which states it contains spoilers - a flick through could quickly reveal something you haven't read yet and didn't want to know, for example the death of characters!

When you consider the individual RRP price of these books this really does represent great value for money, and should appeal to many fans new to the series on the back of HBO's Game Of Thrones. This boxset does not contain the latest novel in the series, this was only released in hardback on the same day of this boxset release.

EDIT - I'd just like to explain that before release, this boxset contained 9-10 reviews for various other editions of the Game of Thrones/A Song of Fire and Ice boxsets, both in print and Kindle editions, with conflicting reviews about the quality of the print, missing maps, missing books from the set etc. This is why I wrote this review to clarify these points mentioned. Post-release, Amazon initially separated off those reviews, however they now all seem to be grouped under this page again. So please be aware that some of the reviews you read here might be for old editions of this boxset - if the review date is *before* 12th July 2011 then it likely refers to a previous boxset release. Hope this makes sense!
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on 29 July 2011
I came to this series via the four-book Kindle package and read all four books back-to-back over a few weeks.

On the Kindle format:
It seems as though the publishers have no concept of proof reading and quality control. One in ten pages contains typos and formatting errors that often cause the reader to pause in a "What... wait?" manner until you work out the error and can read on.

On the books themselves:
The first three books are a great read. Gripping, thrilling, intriguing. The theme, itself, is epic. The character development is detailed and three-dimensional in a way that is often lacking in too many books. The author's ability to garner sympathy for despised characters and induce annoyance with loved characters is to be commended. The world the author has so lovingly described feels real, populated by real characters.

The fourth book, A Feast For Crows, is where this series loses its way. This book is in dire need of a strong editor possessing ferocious ability with a red pen. I found myself skipping over yet another tedious description of the attire of a minor, unimportant character, or yet another description of muddied fields, grey rocks and rotting corpses in the desperate hope of getting to the [plot] point.

Full and considered characters who developed so well over the first three books suddenly become two-dimensional caricatures. The plot, where there is one, is ponderous and the device of turning the end of almost every chapter into a cliffhanger wears decidedly thin. Like much good American TV drama that runs for too many seasons, it turns into a soap opera where you just think, "Oh come on!" I kept reading in the hope that something of substance would happen, only to be mostly disappointed.

I finished the fourth book a few weeks after the release of the fifth book, A Dance With Dragons. Having now read the reviews of the fifth book, it seems that neither the author nor his editors have learned anything from the mistakes of A Feast For Crows. I am disinclined to buy A Dance With Dragons or any further books in this series.

I give the first three books four stars each. They are definitely worth reading if you are able to let go there. I give the fourth book two stars. I give the Kindle bundle 2 stars for all of the errors.

The author, and his editors, could learn from Neal Stephenson's The System of the World books: a weighty trilogy that never loses pace, each book a magnificent piece of tight, well-paced writing in it's own right. Now *that's* how you write a good series!
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on 18 July 2011
The Kindle version does include the maps. Just go to the contents page and select Maps. It also includes all the Appendix.
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on 23 September 2011
As someone mentioned below, there is a newer boxset of the series that has been released since the television programme came out. It's a great set of books and for the first three titles I found myself having to set a number of pages I was allowed to read per day to make it last a little longer! You'll find out if you read the individual reviews that 'A Feast For Crows' is less popular with everyone (I found the descriptions of numerous different types of trees tiresome at this point and the style and chapter headings change slightly) but I still found it a worthwhile read, especially if you have read the previous novels and become involved with the world that's created.

Just to inform you all on a couple of points about this boxset itself, the physical size of the books are slightly larger than if you bought them all individually by themselves. So the ones you get in the boxset are around the size of the Harry Potter paperbacks whereas if you got the books individually they are of the more traditional sized paperbacks (like the Discworlds). I hope that's clear and you understand what I'm trying to say just in case you are as OCD as me in having books of the same series all similar!

Also, the boxset comes with a companion booklet if that has any sway towards your decision of whether to get the whole set together or get each book individually. Be warned though that the companion booklet is just re-hash of the appendices and maps found in 'A Feast for Crows' and has no new content, as I thought it would have when I got this. Personally, I find this a bit pointless but some people may like having a separate book to refer to rather than going back and forth in the actual novels.

Hopefully that gives you a better idea of what you'll be buying, overall the stories are amazing and the books are fine quality-wise but I think I'd rather have got each book individually so that it will look nicer on the bookshelf when the future paperback books come out!
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on 13 July 2011
I purchased this beautiful box set on the 8th July and it has just arrived today, very fast shipping with MRW, I bought all the books at the same time because it was more affordable and you can keep them safe in the box which is very beautiful and does well his function.
All of my friends are reading these books, so, in order to be at her level, I bought this set to read them one after another and learn better the story of the books, in general, since it is a continuos story.
I haven't read all the books for the time being but I can definitely say that it's one of the most successful and catching sagas at the moment and the story of the books is very complex and well made.
But, since I am reviewing the box set, I could say that beware of the image of the product that Amazon gives, this image don't shows how is the product in reality.
In the picture it seems that the books are bigger than they actually are, the books are in paperback edition so the correct image would be a flattened box set with thicker books,that is, wider, and the quality of these books varies from one to another in "Game of Thrones" the paper is of lower quality than the first part of "Storm of Swords " because this one is shorter, and the font size also differs from book to book, the first book has a larger font size than the second.
But despite this, it is an excellent collection and can be read without any problem, the books are very comfortable to read as they are paperback editions.
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on 8 January 2012
I'm loving the books (although only about halfway through) but with the £19.99 kindle version I've found, as at least one other person has said, lots of typos and mistakes. Mainly there are missed out full stops, but there are also lots of wrong words being left in which means sentences make no sense. Whoever proofread this seems to have just run it through a spellchecker and not actually stopped to check if the words are correct.

I wouldn't say don't buy it on a kindle - the books are so huge it's a lot easier in this format and £19.99 isn't a bad price (although at the moment you can buy all of the paperbacks for about the same amount, even less), but it concerns me that kindle books may mean lesser-quality books. Just because you are buying something in a digital format and it arrives quick and easy it doesn't mean less effort should have been put into creating the product in the first place.
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on 24 September 2011
I've recently bought my kindle. I bought Slaughterhouse Five and read and enjoyed it. Then I bought A Song of Fire and Ice 1-4 and, having watched all of the series so far, was really looking forward to it. In terms of the story itself, I haven't been disappointed so far. The characters are deep and believable, the plot has been well thought out and the world is incredibly imagined and involving. However, I am nearing the end of book two and the number of mistakes I have found in this download is starting to become ridiculous. It has clearly been scanned and perhaps not proof-read, as names like 'Jon' are sometimes shown as 'Ion' and 'Mirri Maz Daur' has appeared as 'Mini Maz Daur'. Words like 'lie' come up as 'he' and there have been so many other mistakes that sometimes I question things in the story because it's set in a different time and place and therefore the mistake could be right, as far as I'm concerned. 'Goodwife Amabel' could have been originally 'Annabel', I thought as I read it, because by that point I was so used to coming across mistakes. Yes, I have an eye for them, but I am no proof-reader and if I can spot them then presumably no one proof-read this. Disappointing for a wonderful book I was happy to pay the price for. It detracts from the world Martin has created and distances me as a reader, instead of pulling me in as I love to allow books to do. Kindles were designed to be as unobtrusive to the reader's experience as possible. Mistakes like this ruin that. I am honestly really disappointed and feel slightly cheated, which is a shame because the books are fantastic so far.
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on 7 June 2011
Contrary to another review below, there is NO book missing from the series (think about it... why would they miss one out?).

There are four books thus far (A Game Of Thrones, A Clash Of Kings, A Storm Of Swords, A Feast For Crows) with the fifth (A Dance With Dragons) coming out in July.

A quick check on Wiki will show you that is the case.

The reviewer below is confused as the paper back of the third book was split into two volumes by the publisher (not by the author), where as this set provides all four books as the author intended.

The series itself is excellent, and I'm hoping fans of the equally excellent HBO series take the time to pick up the books. You'll love it.
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on 24 January 2012
I originally purchased the first book and then decided on this set of 4.

First things I noticed are that it is a single book rather than 4, and the graphics at the start of each chapter are missing. Fair enough and not a big deal.

However, the big problem is with the formatting. The first book (in this collection) is fine with nicely indented paragraphs and each line is justified. Books 2-4 are terrible. The paragraph indentation is small (about 2 characters) and the main text is left justified. It looks a mess and is nowhere near as readable as the first book.

Why there is inconsistent formatting within a single document I have no idea.

Before complaining to Amazon, I thought I'd try out Calibre as I know it's used for converting documents like this. Two hours later I had a nicely formatted document (just select justify text in the conversion options) which I am happily reading on my Kindle.

Very disappointing and I fail to see why Kindle books have a premium price over their physical equivalents. The 3* rating is for the terrible formatting and lack of care and attention by the publisher.

Having said that, the books are fantastic so far (I'm on book 2).
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on 17 October 2011
I bought this series based on a NY Times review that claimed this author put Tolkien to shame. This was an unfortunate comparison. Tolkien is considered by many to be literature; George Martin is much easier to make into a TV series, but disappointing in his use of language. The stories are captivating and tension-filled, but many of the characters lack depth (even after reading 5 volumes!), especially the female ones. Some of the most revolting characters in the first books do show other sides quite interestingly by the 5th volume, but many are completely predictable. If you like lots of blood, guts, betrayel and sex, this is an entertaining series, but please don't call it literature. There is enough magic to add another element to the plot (which is why I continued reading them) but personally I got tired of what felt like rather personal sexual fantasies (the authors') that took the same slant with every relationship, no matter which characters were involved.
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