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A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

by George R. R. Martin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,22570448 (4.4)4 / 1166
  1. 171
    Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (majkia)
    majkia: Both feature war-torn landscapes, confusing and conflicting motivations for main characters, and focus on complex characters whose loyalties are strained and oftentimes change.
  2. 183
    The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (MyriadBooks, Navarone, martlet)
  3. 162
    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay (allthesedarnbooks)
  4. 142
    Shogun: A Novel of Japan by James Clavell (saturnine13)
    saturnine13: If you like gritty, faux historical fiction, how about another with an asian flavor? Shogun, like A Game of Thrones, concerns the byzantine political intrigues of a multitude of different characters painted in moral shades of grey, generously heaped with gruesome action and heart-breaking romance. While Shogun lacks dragons, it does have the added interest of being mostly based upon real events and people.… (more)
  5. 120
    A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (Sunnussu)
  6. 100
    The Hedge Knight II: Sworn Sword by George R. R. Martin (jpers36)
  7. 91
    Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (music2084)
  8. 115
    The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny (ryvre)
    ryvre: Both are fantasy books with lots of politics and intrigue among the royal families.
  9. 50
    The Iron King by Maurice Druon (Fayries)
    Fayries: George R. R. Martin himself wrote that "Druon's series was one of my major inspirations".
  10. 40
    The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts (Konran)
  11. 40
    The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan (MyriadBooks)
  12. 40
    Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham (Anonymous user)
  13. 41
    Malice by John Gwynne (Toby_Sugden)
    Toby_Sugden: The start of what looks like a great fantasy series
  14. 41
    Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both are high fantasy epics with dragons :-)
  15. 41
    Hild by Nicola Griffith (Anonymous user)
  16. 20
    The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford (nessreader)
  17. 42
    The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell (sboyte)
    sboyte: Like Game of Thrones, this book shows us the lives of medieval men and women with a bit of magic and politics thrown in.
  18. 53
    Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn (MyriadBooks)
  19. 21
    Spirit Gate by Kate Elliot (ImLittleJon)
    ImLittleJon: There are some similarities between Martin's and Elliott's series. Their epic scale is similar, with multiple interweaving plotlines, characters noble and humble, interacting cultures, and so forth. Both begin in a world where magic is a matter of legend, but slowly creeps back into usage. Spirit Gate might not be A Dance with Dragons, but it will help make the time pass until that book gets published.… (more)
  20. 10
    Wolf of the Plains by Conn Iggulden (asha.leu)

(see all 28 recommendations)


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English (662)  Spanish (12)  Dutch (5)  French (5)  German (4)  Finnish (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Polish (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (703)
Showing 1-5 of 662 (next | show all)
Couldn't finish this book. Too many characters with multiple names, bad writing, didn't enjoy it. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
I am so glad that everyone I know who had read this book has rated in 5 stars. This is a great start to a series. [a:George R.R. Martin|346732|George R.R. Martin|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1351944410p2/346732.jpg] is an excellent writer. Everything that happens is in the right time and place.

I don't know how to write this review without giving too much away so this shall be my synopsis. This book is mainly about one family, House Stark of Winterfell, their brave leader, Ned (Eddard) his lady Catelyn, their children and Ned's bastard son. They have many friends, allies and enemies throughout the seven kingdoms and this book really gets interesting when Ned takes up position as Hand of the King to his beloved friend Robert Baratheon.

My favourite characters so far: Other than the direwolves, Bran Stark, because of his innocence and Arya Stark, because she is a fighter and strong-willed. My initial fave character was probably Jon Snow but I just felt sorry for him and then I thought he wanted my pity, which made me not like him so much... Read the book to understand!

My advice: Don't be intimidated by how fat the book is, or about all the lists of characters, Lords, Sers, Houses because this is so well written you will know who everyone is and where they belong by the end of it. Don't bother trying to memorise the House lists at the back of the book. Just get through a few chapters, you will be captivated.

I don't know what happens in the rest of the series so I don't want to make any assumptions or share my 'inklings' on what might happen. That alone would be "spoilers" for some people! Just Read It! ( )
1 vote sharlenehsmith | Mar 9, 2015 |
Thoroughly enjoyed it and can see why it has done so well. George RR Martin is a master storyteller who can weave a complex tale full of emotionally functioning characters. I only wish he'd brought the supernatural elements in a bit more throughout the book. Going to have to read the rest now, aren't I - darn! ( )
  LindaAcaster | Mar 8, 2015 |
Is Game of Thrones really so special? Wary of any hype I had to find out myself. And since I am not a spectator, I turned to the books. At first I got stuck in the wood of names and titles and lines of descent, even worse than the complexity of the War of the Roses. Fortunately the book shares also its adventurous plot with the War of the Roses' fiction. A plot of betrayal and loyalty, of duty and cruelty, of heroes and villains, and outcasts. With a touch of the supernatural, though by no means as convincing as The Lord of the Rings. So, should you read this book and its sequels? Only if you are a die-hard lover of adventure novels. There's is definitely something fascinating in the plot, but don't expect paradise. Maybe those who have seen the series will respond differently to the book. I myself am glad I've read this book, but I will not read any more volumes of this series. With three stars I've slightly overrated this book. ( )
  chrisgalle | Mar 5, 2015 |
Doorstopper? Check. Prologue? Check. Maps and Appendix. Check. Part of a series of doorstoppers? Check. Epic High Fantasy? Yes. Tolkien clone? No. A Slog? Hell, no! I read this series is inspired by the English War of the Roses and you can certainly see it in the Stark family, patterned after the House of York, six of whose members carry the rotating narrative. I'd read this before and on reread it all came back. How much I loved these characters: Ned Stark and his wife and children--especially Ned, his daughter Arya and her brother, Ned's bastard son, Jon. And Tyrion--a member of the rival Lannisters close to the crown. And Dany, a princess in exile.

I've read a bunch of doorstopper epic fantasies lately. In so many, even after 800 pages, even the main protagonist still feels as thin as onion paper and leaves me indifferent. In this novel, each of the eight point of view characters and others beyond them are distinct in my mind, feel rounded, and are characters I quickly came to care about.

Caring about these characters doesn't make things easy given the author's way with them. Like Robin Hobb, Martin is one of those authors that has no problem with being cruel to his characters, including important ones he makes you come to love. The novel is gritty, dark, at times disturbing, even depressing. It's one reason I never sought to read the other books.

There is another concern about investing in this series. There are seven books planned in Martin's series with this first book published back in 1996. Only three more books have been published since, the last, in 2005. You might be left in limbo for a long, long time waiting for Martin to bring this series to a conclusion--if he ever does.

But this first novel really is terrific--wonderful world-building, done with a deft style through story and not massive infodump or as-you-know-Bobs. The story just zips along despite its weight like a huge but limber athlete--a football left tackle. The ending is gasp-inducing. I've encountered several reviewers and fans of fantasy that place Martin higher than Tolkien, that would say the Song of Fire and Ice series is the epic fantasy series of our age. I wouldn't go that far--although I haven't read the others in the series. But I would say it's certainly far more worthy of a reader's time than other Tolkien rivals like Brooks, Jordan, Goodkind, Eddings, Feist or Williams. ( )
  LisaMariaC | Feb 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 662 (next | show all)
And yet, I couldn't stop reading. And it wasn't with the kind of self-loathing desperation for closure that took me to the end of The Da Vinci Code. I read A Game Of Thrones with genuine pleasure. It may be a cartoon, but it's one that is brilliantly drawn. Archaic absurdity aside, Martin's writing is excellent. His dialogue is snappy and frequently funny. His descriptive prose is immediate and atmospheric, especially when it comes to building a sense of deliciously dark foreboding relating to a long winter that is about to engulf his fictional land.
The best about this is the way you can trust it to all fit together and make sense. If Martin mentions something without explaining it, it’ll be explained later, or anyway alluded to so that you can put it together yourself. It’s overflowing with detail and you can trust that all of the detail belongs and is necessary and interesting. The world and the story are completely immersive, with no jolts to jerk you out of your suspension of disbelief.
added by Shortride | editTor.com, Jo Walton (Sep 9, 2009)
This is a perfect book.

There's honestly nothing I can think of that could improve it in any way. This is a book that made me shout at it, that made me giggle and cry, that made me gasp, that made me tremble and hate and love. It's seamless; I'd say it's unputdownable, except that sometimes I found I desperately needed to put it down because I was overwhelmed with the wonder of it, only to pick it up again half an hour later.
added by Shortride | editSF Site, Amal El-Mohtar (Mar 15, 2007)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Altieri, Alan D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dotrice, RoyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hiltunen, PetriIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hlinovsky, SatuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thulin, LouiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
this one is for Melinda
First words
"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. "The wildlings are dead."
"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends", Ser Jorah told her. "It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace." He gave a shrug. "They never are."
Bran thought about it. "Can a man still be brave if he's afraid? "That is the only time a man can be brave," his father told him.
The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.
A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is.
Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
If you are combining a translated copy please check carefully as in some languages this book was split into two volumes. In some languages there is a single volume edition and a split edition - you should only combine the single volume edition with the English edition.

Languages known to have multiple-volumes - French*, German*, Italian*, Portugese, Romanian and Swedish*.

Languages marked by an asterisk also have a single volume edition.
This is the single-volume edition "A Game of Thrones". DO not combine with the omnibus edition containing "A Game of Thrones" and " A Clash of Kings".
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Book description
Publisher description for A Game of Thrones;

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Haiku summary
Long suffering Starks,
betrayal is always near,
beware Lannisters.


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553573403, Mass Market Paperback)

Readers of epic fantasy series are: (1) patient--they are left in suspense between each volume, (2) persistent--they reread or at least review the previous book(s) when a new installment comes out, (3) strong--these 700-page doorstoppers are heavy, and (4) mentally agile--they follow a host of characters through a myriad of subplots. In A Game of Thrones, the first book of a projected six, George R.R. Martin rewards readers with a vividly real world, well-drawn characters, complex but coherent plotting, and beautifully constructed prose, which Locus called "well above the norms of the genre."

Martin's Seven Kingdoms resemble England during the Wars of the Roses, with the Stark and Lannister families standing in for the Yorks and Lancasters. The story of these two families and their struggle to control the Iron Throne dominates the foreground; in the background is a huge, ancient wall marking the northern border, beyond which barbarians, ice vampires, and direwolves menace the south as years-long winter advances. Abroad, a dragon princess lives among horse nomads and dreams of fiery reconquest.

There is much bloodshed, cruelty, and death, but A Game of Thrones is nevertheless compelling; it garnered a Nebula nomination and won the 1996 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. So, on to A Clash of Kings! --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:36 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

A tale of court intrigues in the land of Seven Kingdoms, a country "blessed by golden summers that go on for years, and cursed by cruel winters that can last a generation." The cold is returning to Winterfell, where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime. A time of conflict has arisen in the Stark family, as they are pulled from the safety of their home into a whirlpool of tradedy, betrayal, assassination plots and counterplots. Each decision and action carries with it the potential for conflict as several prominent families, comprised of lords, ladies, soldiers, sorcerers, assassins and bastards, are pulled together in the most deadly game of all, the game of thrones.… (more)

» see all 21 descriptions

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