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A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
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A Game of Thrones (1996)

by George R. R. Martin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
30,09993949 (4.38)4 / 1419
  1. 223
    The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (MyriadBooks, Navarone, martlet)
  2. 192
    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.
  3. 172
    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay (allthesedarnbooks)
  4. 163
    Shogun 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. 101
    Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (music2084)
  8. 70
    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. 125
    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. 50
    Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham (Anonymous user)
  11. 50
    The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts (Konran)
  12. 62
    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.
  13. 40
    Malice by John Gwynne (Toby_Sugden)
    Toby_Sugden: The start of what looks like a great fantasy series
  14. 40
    The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan (MyriadBooks)
  15. 41
    Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both are high fantasy epics with dragons :-)
  16. 41
    The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker (martlet)
  17. 31
    Hild by Nicola Griffith (Anonymous user)
  18. 108
    Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (Tjarda, Patangel)
  19. 53
    Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn (MyriadBooks)
  20. 20
    The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford (nessreader)

(see all 32 recommendations)

1990s (4)
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English (894)  Spanish (14)  French (6)  Dutch (5)  German (5)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Danish (2)  Italian (1)  Polish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (939)
Showing 1-5 of 894 (next | show all)
Most of the world has by now heard of this book (series) due to the popular HBO show. I have not watched the show but eagerly started reading the series. I truly enjoy the detailed character development and the many story arcs that are fleshed out over time, rather than rushed-through. At the very beginning I found the many names a bit confusing (kind of like a Russian novel), but as I got used to Martin's writing style I found myself lost in this richly detailed tale of the Seven Kingdoms, the different Families who rule, and all the intrigue one could ever ask for.

It amuses me to try and find parallels with English history... wonder how much Martin leaned on that for his story... Am currently reading Book2 "A clash of kings". ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
I love historically nuanced fantasy novels. I also love hefty bildungsroman tomes that often pass by too quickly for my liking, no matter how long they happen to be. Add in multiple character arcs, a little magic, and make those historical nuances medieval and my heart goes aflutter. The heart fluttering might just be a reaction to all the caffeine I down as I storm the book cover barrier walls and gobble up page after page come to think of it. No matter, though.

This is my long-winded way of saying I fully expected to enjoy this book. Still, it waited for quite some time on my TBR back burner. Primarily for two reasons: One, I was worried it would be horrid, a total disappointment; Two, I get really tired of one of the most pervasive parts of medieval reference fantasy - rape. Despite playing leak limbo ever since the HBO series first aired, some of Daenerys' character arc seeped through and I was aware of the disturbing nature of her storyline. And despite my stubborn refusal to read through reviews prior to reading a book, I coasted my way through a couple whilst reading A Game of Thrones because it's loooong. I know some readers/reviewers love Daenerys' storyline, call it feminist and empowering, while some abhor it, call it the very opposite. This is something I feel strongly about and I'm sure there will be plenty that won't agree but here it is: I like how Martin wrote Daenerys, I like how he told her story.


Going to go ahead and say it:




I don't believe a 13 year old girl being sold into marriage to a much older man who she later acquiesces to a sexual relationship with, a sexual relationship she has no way of saying no to in the first place, is feministic. Or empowering for that matter. What is empowering is that her deeply flawed circumstances don't break her, even though she is so young. What's feminist about Daenerys is that she chooses to react to and forcibly stop rapes that she witnesses at a point in the story; that she finds it within herself, within her circumstance, to use her privilege to fight for and protect those who do not have her same privilege. I think there are a lot of modern "feminists" that could learn from Daenerys' character.

I've read some reviews in which Daenerys' sexual relationship with her husband is coined a feminist sexual awakening because she eventually enjoys the coupling she has been sold into and even begins to initiate it. To put it starkly (ha, reference!), that's baloney. She's a 13 year old girl that has been battered by ever-present terrors and physically and emotionally abused by the only father/brother/protector figure she has ever known. I'll admit, I was relieved we didn't have to see Drogo force himself on her on their wedding night. But not because that somehow drew a line between rape and a sexual awakening and made everything rainbows and butterflies. So I found myself liking that Martin fleshed out the realism of their relationship. That we did see Daenerys suffer at times, that we read about her fears and struggles. That we see her mature and rise to her circumstances, as disturbing and as primitive as they may be. I also like the fact that we see how Daenerys bonds with Drogo, that their relationship and Daenerys' story's complexities are driven in sharp relief instead of the muted "romantic" angles you get in a lot of similar fantasy novels.

To put it more simply, I enjoyed the psychology of Daenerys' character. Even the psychology of Drogo's character.

/end rambles

Besides Daenerys' storyline and the debate therein, I was also very taken with Jon Snow's character. So much so that I wish Martin had given us more Snow. While his character did blend into a pretty typical genre trope (the outcast with a deep sense of honor, desperation to belong, and a mysterious back story), I got pretty wrapped up in his chapters.

That being said, I was satisfactorily wrapped up in enough of the book to say that I enjoyed it and will be reading the rest of the series. Other characters had their own high points which was enough to break up some of the slowness that crept into the story from time to time. All in all, it's an interesting world to dive into and I look forward to reading more. I do hope that Martin gets a bit more expansive on the world he's cast us into in latter books as this book was so weighted by its characters. That was the primary lack for me, I needed/wanted more form and myth. But it's pretty hard to strike out into the eden of a new world and mythological order with a perfect balance between all the history and characters you want your readers to connect with and a significant depth of time and place. So while this lack leaves this book at a solid 4 star read for me, it's the hope of a better balance between the two that weights it as well. ( )
  lamotamant | Nov 21, 2018 |
An excellent enthralling story that I couldn't get enough of. Can't wait to start A Clash of Kings. ( )
  Kelly.Dodd | Nov 21, 2018 |
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#1 A Game of Thrones - ★★★★★

This book will shake and break your heart! This book will make you realise that life is anything but gentle. But this book will also bring you the greatest adventure you have yet to see.

I have bought my whole book collection back in 2014. I have been procrastinating with this series for four years. And today, while writing this review, I thank the old gods and the new, for convincing me to read the first book.

I am probably one of the last people that have reviewed this book, and I assume you all already know a lot about the Game of Thrones series.

It is a book about one Iron Throne, and all the wars, fights, betrayals are about who will be sitting on that throne, and who will be in charge of all kingdoms.



Now, starting off, I am still not sure why people would send armies and armies of soldiers in order to win the throne, when it seems that no matter who becomes a king, that person gets instantly killed. And no kingdom respects each other, and kings and lords keep fighting off and wasting resources for a lost purpose, so there’s that as well.

We have many houses, Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, Tully, Arryn, Targaryen, Tyrell, Greyjoy, Martell, etc - and they all feature with something unique to their house. Most importantly, they all either want the throne, want revenge or want them both.

But just to clarify - I loved the book!

George R.R. Martin is a genius! He has created this amazing world, and characters that are so alive that make you either hate them or love them, but with all your heart. He has created relationships so tangled and stories so well written, that he puts other authors to shame.

The book is written from a third person perspective, and each chapter features a character. And with each chapter, George moves the time gradually, so we are not stuck in a loop of time pause. I enjoyed this method quite a lot! It kept the story line going very smoothly.

‘’Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.’’

There were so many characters I admired. But my connection with these characters in this book is unlike any other connection I have made. I usually either love or hate a character. But here, I judged actions, and relationships, and things people said and did!

I liked Eddard Stark’s bravery, and his manliness, but I didn’t like the fact that he was too honest for his own good.

‘’Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?
‘’That’s the only time a man an be brave’’.


I loved Arya’s fierceness, but I didn’t like her stubbornness.

‘’For the second time today Arya reflected that life was not fair.’’

I liked Sansa’s politeness, and girlishness. She had all the perfect manners, but she also would betray family for love.

I loved Jon Snow’s story, and how he overcame his past, and learned to live with it.


‘’Let me give you some counsel, bastard.‘’ Lannister said. ‘’Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.’’


I loved many other characters for things they did, and hated many others, but I cherished the difference in each and every character, and that was the beauty in it - that even though an author can create so many characters, he can make them so different from each other.

In this book, you will encounter everything: mostly mean people, ready to kill everyone and anyone standing in the way of their plans. You will read about a story of a family that falls apart, a kingdom that vanishes, a fight between kings, how a little girl will learn life in one day, how a mother will watch her children disappear, one by one...

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  InnahLovesYou | Nov 16, 2018 |
I've just finished re-reading this book, and what can I say? It's even more of a feat the second time around. My original review stands below, supplemented by some 2011 thoughts.

This was the first fantasy book I read, and it blew me away. I'd always assumed fantasy books were about young boys with shadowy pasts who discovered they were heirs to the kingdom. (Well, that's still possible *spoiler!* but even if so, it's not the overarching story). Martin goes to great pains to describe the entire world he has created, showing us a world torn apart by war, but one in which every aspect - from the warriors' armor to the concerns of the wives of lords - is equally important. He refuses to pander to stereotype or cliche, and constantly startles with the breadth of his imagination. Highly recommended. The only caveat: by book 3, the appendix/list of characters is 50 pages long. Some chapters can become headscratching as you try to remember the identities of dozens. Well worth it, though!

Supplement: what an astounding achievement. Listening to Roy Dotrice's audio book made me truly realise the depth of each of the dozens (hundreds?) of characters in this novel. Even the coldest villains are motivated by the sum of their lives, and the sweetest, kindest among them equally so. I daresay there is not a single wrong step in these books: fans who ardently dislike the Catelyn or Sansa chapters absolutely get my goat. Catelyn is a woman born to a fascinating, decaying house, whose entire life has been shaped by those around her and allows us to witness so many powerful moments, while also being able to comment on them with an intelligence or awareness lacking in those around her. For Sansa, it's the exact opposite, wonderfully: the machinations of King's Landing are seen through her naive eyes, making for a truly delightful reading experience, and a true testament to Martin's skills.

(The only thing I disliked was how much I cringed to think of poor Roy Dotrice having to speak phrases like "the finger found her wetness, and entered her there". Hmmm.)

Anyway, in closing, I can't wait to see this come to life in HBO's series, and to re-read book 2 with my newfound awareness of so many character motivations and elements that I only vaguely grasped the first time around. ( )
1 vote therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 894 (next | show all)
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 (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Altieri, Alan D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Altieri, Sergiosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dotrice, RoyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallman, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hiltunen, PetriIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hlinovsky, SatuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodgman, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thulin, LouiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
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."
Quotations
"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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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.

(leahdawn)

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 21 descriptions

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