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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) (edition 2011)

by George R.R. Martin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,52868156 (4.4)4 / 1136
Member:amhamilt
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
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

  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)
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    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
    Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham (Anonymous user)
  12. 40
    The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan (MyriadBooks)
  13. 41
    Malice by John Gwynne (Toby_Sugden)
    Toby_Sugden: The start of what looks like a great fantasy series
  14. 41
    Hild by Nicola Griffith (Anonymous user)
  15. 41
    Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both are high fantasy epics with dragons :-)
  16. 41
    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.
  17. 20
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  18. 53
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  19. 21
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    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. 98
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(see all 26 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 641 (next | show all)
I generally do not read fantasy but I was drawn to the HBO series and watched it from start to finish. As Season 2 of the series approaches, I have a strong desire to read the second book prior to watching the season. I debated whether to read the first book, A Game of Thrones, before venturing into the second book. Being a purist at heart, I had to and I'm happy I did. My mind's eye, however, was forever set by the characters cast for the series and there was nothing I could do about it. The Cersei, Joffrey, Catelyn, Daenerys, Sansa, and Arya I imagined as I read the book where inexplicably linked to the series. I was also amazed at how well the series captured the entire story laid out in A Game of Thrones. If this is the Grey's Anatomy of fantasy series, as one other reviewer has referred to it, then please give me more McDreamy! ( )
  kellifrobinson | Nov 24, 2014 |
Finally I finished this absolute drivel! It dragged on and on! So much bored me no end. Did the author get paid by the word? I could pick it up and put it down easily; it was not enthralling but for several engaging characters, their stories, and the last few chapters. By the end, two people I liked were killed off. It sounds like the author's going to play "And then there were ... " with his characters; he certainly has enough to work with and can always invent more to take the place of those he's bumped off. Most figures are cardboard and many are unpleasant, even cruel or amoral. Yes, the writing's excellent and it's a great fantasy world but....

At least I'm seeing what all the excitement is about!! But I do not understand so many absolutely positive reviews!
I could see possibly shades of Wars of the Roses, Hadrian's Wall and author's interpretation of a tribal people such as the Scythians. One particularly gruesome death is reminiscent of a real one in ancient times. ( )
1 vote janerawoof | Nov 20, 2014 |
I love the TV series. The hard part about this book is that it follows the series so closely that there was no real new information discovered from my read. I wish I had read this before watching the show, much to my husband's dismay I am now stalling on watching the latest season until I read all the published books.
This is an epic novel, encompassing so many characters and so much land, the really hard part about this series is that no one is safe, Martin will kill off a character at a whim, and because I know from the series who dies, it made it hard for me to connect with the characters in book, especially if I know they die, and if I don't know, I don't want to get to attached because who knows when he will kill them off, as I said no one is safe, main character, supporting character they all are up for grabs when death comes calling. Fortunes change with the winds, and the story line has no set course. It is what I both love and despise about the series, it keeps me guessing and on the edge of my chair.
In this first book we are introduced to the Starks, the Lords of the North and their home Winterfell. Lord Ned Stark and his wife Catelyn, their children are Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bandon (Bran) and Rickon. Ned has a bastard son Jon Snow, although personally I don't think he is Ned's son, I think he is Ned's nephew the son of his sister Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen, but it hasn't been revealed if I am right or not. Each of the Stark children have a Direwolf as a pet, Direwolves are the house symbol, and have not been seen in the world for a long time, their apperance is a sign that all is not right in the world.
The Starks are visited by Ned's good friend Robert Baratheon and his family, wife Cersie, and children Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen. Along with Cersie's twin brother Jamie Lannister, a guard of the King. The Hand of the King has died and Robert wants Ned to come south to fill the position, Ned doesn't want to got but at Catelyn's urging he takes the job and the result is a dead king, a land in chaos and more dead characters than I care to count.

I found this fun image on pinterest, each flag is a death in the book. See I'm not exaggerating.

Anyways, Bran falls off a roof, or more accuratly he was pushed, so Catelyn and the boys stay behind as Ned and the girls head south with the King. There is trouble along the way, the kings family is corrupt and dangerous. Jon being a bastard son is not welcome in the South and chooses to join the Black brotherhood on the wall rather than remain in Winterfell without Ned's protection from Catelyn. The Wall is a gigantic 700 foot wall that separates the 7 kingdoms from the free lands, where those who do not obey the king live. The Wildlings are separate tribes that are not united like the 7 kingdoms, and supposedly there are monsters on the other side of the wall. The Black Brotherhood's duty is to guard the wall and those that are on the southern side of it, they have no loyalty to kings, only to the brotherhood and he wall. They take no wives and have no children, it used to be an honor to be a Black Brother, but now it has become a place to send criminals and other undesirables, such as bastard sons.

For more reviews please see my blog: http://adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com ( )
  Serinde24 | Nov 10, 2014 |
Well I finally finished this -- it was a slog to complete those 33 hours of audiobook. Perhaps it was that several of the main character's actions don't really make sense. Why does Eddard Stark trust Lord Baelish even though Eddard says he doesn't trust Baelish? How on earth could a woman like Catelyn Stark raise a weed of an idiot like Sansa? Catelyn herself was raised to be a competent leader, but has raised her daughter to be a naive twit? These things are just irksome.

Then there is the depressing cynicism of it all. Byzantine plotting, betrayal, incest, gruesome murder -- these are the paths to success. I'm not a pollyanna, but no thanks.

I did like the characters John Snow, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister -- but probably not enough to venture into the next volume of this series.

( )
1 vote borbet | Oct 21, 2014 |
This is a wonderfully crafted work. The world building is great, and the plot moves forward at a consistent pace. I really enjoyed it. ( )
  Ambo_O | Oct 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 641 (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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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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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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.

(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 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 21 descriptions

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