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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 2011)

by George R.R. Martin

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25,58182844 (4.39)4 / 1283
Title:A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
Authors:George R.R. Martin
Info:Bantam (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 720 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

A Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

  1. 204
    The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (MyriadBooks, Navarone, martlet)
  2. 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.
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    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay (allthesedarnbooks)
  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. 101
    Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (music2084)
  8. 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.
  9. 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".
  10. 40
    Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham (Anonymous user)
  11. 40
    Malice by John Gwynne (Toby_Sugden)
    Toby_Sugden: The start of what looks like a great fantasy series
  12. 40
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  13. 40
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  14. 41
    Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both are high fantasy epics with dragons :-)
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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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  17. 31
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(see all 29 recommendations)

1990s (3)

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English (784)  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 (829)
Showing 1-5 of 784 (next | show all)
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. ( )
1 vote lamotamant | Jun 23, 2016 |
Very good story. Keep me interested the whole way thru. Can't wait to see where the story goes in part 2. ( )
  PriPri77 | Jun 23, 2016 |
I usually don't like fantasy. Or "boy" books. But this was pretty freaking amazing.

That is pretty much it. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
A very big read in every sense! Well set up for the next book in the series, but I need to take breath first. 4.5 Stars. ( )
1 vote Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
I am so completely blown away by this book. I had decided I would not read it, until one key person in my life said how much she loved it and I decided to buy it. Boy, was I hooked! One and a half pages into it, where the structure of the world and one of its ruling families are all explained, easily and quickly and concisely, with a little bit of the backstory and history of this world.

It is difficult to keep the characters separate, but fortunately Martin does a good job of referring over and over to them, keeping their individual stories going and referring to the same characters by different characters. Each character is well-fleshed out, and there are good characters and bad ones. Foolish women and wise ones. Good men and corrupted men.

It's well worth the read, the weight, and the story. I highly recommend it. ( )
1 vote threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 784 (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.
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(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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