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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
23,97473645 (4.39)4 / 1198
Recently added bypeterpetcarp, pdrwils, private library, DannSchuler, elena6344a15, HappyPanda, salvatius, ART443
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    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
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  6. 100
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  7. 91
    Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (music2084)
  8. 60
    The Iron King by Maurice Druon (Fayries)
    Fayries: George R. R. Martin himself wrote that "Druon's series was one of my major inspirations".
  9. 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.
  10. 40
    Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham (Anonymous user)
  11. 40
    The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts (Konran)
  12. 40
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  13. 40
    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. 52
    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.
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  17. 20
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  18. 20
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  19. 31
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  20. 10
    Wolf of the Plains by Conn Iggulden (asha.leu)

(see all 28 recommendations)

1990s (4)

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Showing 1-5 of 696 (next | show all)
What can I say about Game of Thrones that hasn't already been said? I'm not even sure how to summarize it properly because there is so much that would be left out. But, briefly, Lord Eddard Stark is swept up into a web of conspiracy when he is suddenly demanded to go to the capital city to be the Hand of the King. He must protect his family, his honor, and the king from enemies - and everyone is an enemy.

This is a sweeping epic that jumps from character to character to weave an intricate web of plots, subplots, and sub-sub-plots. The characters are heartbreakingly well developed - and I say heartbreakingly because you fall in love with the "good" ones and hate the "bad ones." As each character gets thrown into his or her own trap, your heart aches for them. None of the characters are all good or all bad - they're very human. This is not Tolkien. It's not a happy story where the good guys always prevail and only a few people die - and that for the sake of heroism. People die left and right. And they don't necessarily die heroic deaths - they die because that's what happens in the game of thrones. It's as bloody and horrifying as the War of the Roses. And I think that's what makes the book so good: it's a story about human nature and the struggle between power and honor.

Usually I drag my feet reading long books. No matter how good a book is, it's hard because I'm such a slow reader that I feel I'm not making progress. Not so with this book. This book was so smooth that I barely noticed the length. I didn't want it to end. As soon as it ended, I bought the rest of the series so I could start them right away. But this book was also a very difficult read for me. There's so much sorrow in Game of Thrones. The reality of the suffering attenuates the escapism that one usually feels when reading epic fantasy. And yet I couldn't stop myself from reading. I was too invested in the characters - both the likable and the detestable ones.

For my full review see: http://hibernatorslibrary.blogspot.com/2015/09/game-of-thrones-by-george-r-r-mar... ( )
  The_Hibernator | Oct 2, 2015 |
3,5 stars

I remember being awed when i first read this. Together with Hobb's Farseer Trilogy, this seemed to be the pinnacle of fantasy. It still has some great characters and a fantastic sense of foreboding througout the book, and the plotting seems a lot tighter than the subsequent books.

It is let down by some heavy-handed characterisation for some characters (Joffrey, Sansa, Mountain, Lysa) and some inconsistant characters (Cercei and Lady Stark) and repeated characterisations (Eddard Stark, Varys, Lord Lannister, King Robert).

The Imp, Daenrys, Arya and Jon are better and obviously closer to the author's heart. ( )
  StigE | Sep 15, 2015 |
The Good: People rave about this series. I just didn't get the appeal. From what I had heard, it seemed like every other generic fantasy epic saga. But I sort of wanted to finally check out the TV series (5 seasons behind everyone else) and I have a need to read the books before seeing the movies and shows based on them. So I went into A Game of Thrones expecting to be bored quickly and often. I was absolutely shocked at how quickly I got sucked into the story. I read this book for 3 days straight, did not put it down. Read it walking from one room to another. Read it and woke up with it on my face after my 3 hours of sleep, only to continue reading it immediately. I had to know what was going to happen next. I came to care about the characters in a painful way. Painful, because even those who don't read the series and watch the show know of GRRM's need to kill everyone all the damned time. The book was long. It was very detailed. It is also one of the very few books that carries its length well. This wasn't a case of a lazy editor - oh no, GRRM just packs a ton of wonderful into every single page.

The Bad: Not a thing. ( )
  TequilaReader | Sep 11, 2015 |
"Back in 2011, when all the hype about Game of Thrones begun, due to HBO's adaptation to TV, for some reason I didn't care much about it. Although it's not my normal behavior, since I am generally a very curious person, I remember being resistant to even researching about Game of Thrones on Google; I really can't recall the reasons for that, maybe I had been just too busy at school or something. The first season of the show ended. Several months passed. It was not 2011 anymore. All of a sudden, all I could hear everywhere, from bus station to school class was: Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, HBO. I couldn't bare not knowing what all the fuss was about anymore, so I got the first two or three episodes of the show and watched it. Soon after having watched the first one I was feeling utterly stupid for not having done it sooner. ""What. A. Little. Idiot."" is what I thought of myself. After that, I just couldn't just commit the sacrilege of keeping watching the show without having read the book, so I got the book a few days later and started reading. Despite it having its little flaws here and there, it is one of the finest books I ever read. Martin is such a genius... there are just not enough words to describe his mastery as a writer, in my opinion. I will try not to recur on an idiotic behavior, so I will not even attempt to review this book deeply, for I feel, currently, everyone out there knows the story. I will write some of my favorite features of the story and some of the ones that I didn't like all that much.

First of all, I should mention that, if you don't like really detailed descriptions of everything, this is probably not the right book for you. I particularly love how Martin doesn't let anything pass unnoticed, detailing even the way some particular door was opened in any given room. I've read, however, some people complaining about how much food description there is. I couldn't agree more! If there is a feast or any kind of celebration, prepare yourself to read about four pages of food description. That can be annoying, especially when you know something really important is about to happen and then you find yourself stuck reading how nicely a piece of venison was done. However, I can't remember one single scene where I caught myself feeling bored; there are actually very few writers talented enough to grab your attention and don't let it go, and Martin is one of them.

About the characters, there are a few that I consider as my favorites. For instance, I really like John Snow, for I always felt kind of like an outcast among my own family, so, more often than not, his mental/emotional reactions to relationships and general environment are very similar to those I imagine myself having. Other character that I really like is Bran. His introverted personality and tendency to spend time on his own, thinking about things, using his imagination and intuition as actual tools, strongly remind me of myself. I also liked the other Starks, but the ones that I really cheered to throughout this story were only Bran and John.

Arya seems an interesting character too; I love the idea of a little boyish girl who doesn't accept orders easily and acts by her own beliefs, but, sadly, there wasn't much of her on this book. For almost the same reasons, I also loved Daenerys; maybe I have a thing for strong, independent girls. Who knows. Ah! I almost forgot Tyrion. For now, at least, he is the only Lannister that I really like. I was always thrilled by seeing him fool everyone about, despite being a dwarf and all; I just love when intelligence beats muscles. Another character that I couldn't help to empathize with is Sam. As a child I had some major weight problems, I would get bullied all the time for that reason, so seeing him having to fend for himself with little or no help was very touching, for me. It might seem weird, but my last favorite for this book is Old Nan. The way Martin depicted her, with her old rags, sweet ways, telling her stories, reminded me a lot of the thing I most loved about my own grandparents: the rare occasions when we would all sit around them, during the winter, and then they would tell us old scary stories. Those were always my favorites, as were Bram's.

Now for the characters that I don't like/hate: Sansa. Man, nobody can be that dumb. I don't actually hate her, for she isn't a villain or anything, but her stupidity and lack of self respect puts everyone into danger all the time; the part when they have to kill the dire wolf because of her cowardice was too much for me. I just can't. For the same reason, I hate her father: Lord Eddard Stark. I just can't believe such an experienced, apparently smart guy committed such stupid mistakes and was so stubborn to the point of not seeing how dangerous being honorable can be. Hmm, I actually can't think of any other characters that I didn't like, despite them not being evil. Then there are the ones easy to hate: Joffrey, Cersei, the Mountain, Tywin, Viserys.

I don't know what else to say other than that I loved this book. Never had I read a story with such believable, well-developed characters as this one. The way Martin weaves his plot was constantly leading me to the most out of the nowhere ""OMG!"" situations. The way he built all this fictional world was fantastic, as was the way he slowly introduced the concept of magic. It is different than any other book I've read before. Magic here is subtle, delicate, almost imperceptible. A presence that you can't prove exists, but it's there and you change all your thoughts about the story based on that unseen presence. It was a real fresh experience being exposed to a magical world where magic wasn't thrown at my face since the beginning. I'm only taking a star out because of the 20% of book length that could have been reduced were the unnecessary food descriptions discarded. Also, I'm taking out another star because of what Martin did at the end. That was not fair. I hated it even though I didn't like the character that much. Those who've watched the show or read this book will know what I'm talking about. So this is my revenge.

Interesting quotes that I didn't include in the review:
A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.
Fear cuts deeper than swords.
Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.

The Last Passage
As Daenerys Targaryes rose to her feet, her black hissed, pale smoke venting from its mouth and nostrils. The other two pulled away from her breasts and added their voices to the call, translucent wings unfolding and stirring the air, and for the first time in hundreds of years, the night came alive with the music of dragons." ( )
1 vote AdemilsonM | Sep 2, 2015 |
Makes a solid return to a fantasy setting - with good world building and character development. It is hard not to contrast withe the current television series but as I have found over time, the written story is always so much better. ( )
  ggoldby | Aug 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 696 (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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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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".
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -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 20 descriptions

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