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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire,…

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) (edition 1997)

by George R.R. Martin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
24,83979244 (4.39)4 / 1233
Title:A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
Authors:George R.R. Martin
Info:Spectra (1997), Mass Market Paperback, 864 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

A Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

  1. 193
    The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (MyriadBooks, Navarone, martlet)
  2. 172
    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay (allthesedarnbooks)
  3. 172
    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.
  4. 152
    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
    The Hedge Knight II: Sworn Sword by George R. R. Martin (jpers36)
  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
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    Toby_Sugden: The start of what looks like a great fantasy series
  14. 41
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    quenstalof: Both are high fantasy epics with dragons :-)
  15. 52
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    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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(see all 29 recommendations)


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English (745)  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 (790)
Showing 1-5 of 745 (next | show all)
Meh. I'm glad I read it, but I probably won't be reading the rest of the series (or watching the show, though I do want to check out how they cast it [update to laugh at how much I lied: I still haven't read the other books, but I'm obsessed with the show just like everyone else. Although after the season four finale, I might be too traumatized to continue]). I like Martin's style even less than Robert Jordan's--GOT is more pretentious, more misogynistic, and more creepy than WOT. The only female character I didn't hate was a nine-year-old tomboy princess. And except for that first moment when she finally stands up for herself, I totally despised the entire Daenerys storyline. I'm disappointed because I have been wanting to read this for a while, but on the other hand I'm kind of glad to be escaping the addition of another stack of too-long epic fantasy novels to my queue. So it works out.

Will probably write a more detailed review on my blog, because I need more time to wind down from a book that takes more than a full two weeks to read.

[Update: Here it is.]

Will also probably be reading this: http://us.macmillan.com/agameofgroans/GeorgeWashington
Just for fun. :)
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
I read the first four or five chapters and was seeing the TV show while reading, but had a hard time really separating the two and being interested in it. So putting it back in the box and letting it go. ( )
  pnwbookgirl | Feb 7, 2016 |
This was a weird book. It's the first volume in an epic adventure, and it really does feel like that - a lot of setup, getting to know characters, laying the background of all the families. I liked the changing pov - every time it happened I would get annoyed because inevitably he would leave you in the lurch with one character, but by at least the middle of the [huge] book, you were just as happy to catch up with the character in the next chapter. I have mixed feelings about the sexualized violence - it seemed gratuitous and left a bad taste in my mouth, and from what I understand this theme continues in the next book at least, which is one big reason why I'm not in that much of a hurry to read it. I'm also reluctant to jump into the next volume because this is really just one huge story and it's not finished yet - I think there are at least 2 if not 3 volumes that haven't been written/published yet.

If your bag is epic medieval fantasy this is a good solid story - there's really very little "fantasy" elements in this book, although there is some setup for fantastical elements in future books (dragons, vampire-like creatures, etc). ( )
  chessakat | Feb 5, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book, more than I expected to. I didn't think I would like that there were so many narrators, 8 (or more I, forget already and I only finished the book a few hours ago!) seems like it will be hard to keep up with but it really wasn't. One of the advantages to several perspectives & the fact that they switched so frequently was that I couldn't really just read the last few pages when the suspense became too much for me.

Sometimes an author will make things so obvious to the readers but his characters will be completely oblivious. Sometimes I am really annoyed by this, but this time I wasn't. Instead I felt like it added to the realistic feel of the story. I wanted Bran to talk to Jon and relay the info Otha had given him, but in real life, just as in the book, Bran and Jon would've had little to no contact. Just as most fathers would shrug off their rambunctious daughter's wild stories, even if some of what she said lined up with the very problem he was dealing with. But just because it seemed more realistic doesn't mean I wasn't mentally shouting at the characters to communicate better cause the answers were right there!!

One of the most surprising moments for me was the decision Ned made when he had to choose between love and honor, I really thought I knew what he would do but I was wrong.

( )
1 vote twileteyes | Feb 4, 2016 |
Ultimately disappointing. I very nearly didn't finish this at all but kept plugging away at it even after putting it down for 6 weeks.
I found that I had no sympathy for any of the characters nor did I really dislike any either. I'm pretty certain I will stay away from the rest of this series. ( )
  sundowneruk | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 745 (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 (15 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
Hallman, TomCover artistsecondary 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 20 descriptions

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