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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
28,09087834 (4.39)4 / 1392
  1. 213
    The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (MyriadBooks, Navarone, martlet)
  2. 182
    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. 120
    A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (Sunnussu)
  5. 153
    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)
  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
    The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts (Konran)
  11. 40
    The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan (MyriadBooks)
  12. 40
    Malice by John Gwynne (Toby_Sugden)
    Toby_Sugden: The start of what looks like a great fantasy series
  13. 40
    Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham (Anonymous user)
  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.
  16. 31
    Hild by Nicola Griffith (Anonymous user)
  17. 20
    The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford (nessreader)
  18. 53
    Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn (MyriadBooks)
  19. 21
    The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Martin cites this earlier fantasy series as a major influence.
  20. 21
    Wizard And Glass by Stephen King (asha.leu)

(see all 31 recommendations)

1990s (4)

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Showing 1-5 of 833 (next | show all)
Masterful, complex, fantastical... Okay, okay, I yield, I get it. I plodded through this book; hooked, but not engrossed. I admit that in the last 100 pages I now want to read the next. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
So, as many of you are probably aware, HBO has turned George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series into a TV drama. If any of you are like me, you simply can not watch anything without having read the book first. So, i set out to read the book before I watched a single episode of the TV show.
I must admit, I was not entirely sure what I was getting myself into. I read mainly YA fantasy so I don't usually read adult fantasies, simply because there are so many and it's difficult to weed out the good from the bad. With that said, I have come to find that I am a sucker for a good political fantasy. There is something about keeping a spark of historical realism in the story that I just adore. One of my favourites would be The Well of Ascension, the second book in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy. When the story goes outside the questing and fantasy themes and into war games and political intrigue, I feel like it just gets even better.
The book started out in a way that was instantly grabbing:
"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. "The wildlings are dead."
"Do the dead frighten you?" Ser Waymar Royce asked with just a hint of a smile.
I mean, I don't know about you, but when they're talking about dead things in the first few sentences, I'm usually interested. The book starts off with a scene of rangers coming across a chilling massacre caused by creatures that are not human to say the least.
Now, I found that this first chapter was rather misleading. Yes, there is magic in this series as is shown near the end. However, the book focuses more on political aspects in this game of thrones. There is an obvious story arc that is being woven together that deals with these supernatural creatures and the magic in this world, however, it is not the main focus of this particular book.
Because the next chapter is when we meet most of the characters of focus. Now, the book is written in a variety of different points of view. We have Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and eventually the King's Hand. Jon Snow, Ned's (Lord Eddard) bastard son who takes the black (he joins the group of rangers that protect the towering wall that marks the edge of the seven kingdoms.) Bran Stark, Ned's second youngest who is crippled early on in the story. Sansa Stark, Ned's eldest daughter, betrothed to Prince Joff. Catelyn Stark, Ned's wife. Ayra Stark, Ned's youngest daughter, a fiery girl who'd rather hold a sword than be a lady. Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf brother to Jaime and Cersei Lannister. And finally, Daenerys Targaryen, the last of the Targaryen's who is living in exile across the sea.
Obviously that seems like a large amount of characters to be switching through. However, because of this technique, there is no one set 'bad guy' or 'good guy.' It is a game of politics, everyone has their own agenda. Even the characters that you sense you are not supposed to like as much, you are still drawn to, because they all have their own merits.
The entire book is a mass of political intrigue, betrayal, sorcery, incest, and war. There is a great deal of plot encased in one book that is revealed through many smaller plot lines. We have the story of the Starks. Ned called to be the King's Hand, and with that called into the political intrigues that have begun at the hands of the Lannister's. Jon Snow's story on the wall and the supernatural beings that are waking as winter is coming... Catelyn Stark's story as she sets out to uncover the truth of who ordered her son to be killed. Tyrion's story, of a dwarf, unloved and disliked by his own family. Sansa and Arya's stories of two northern girls taken to the south and forced to face the trials of court. Dany's story as she is wed to a Dothraki khal and plots to regain her proper place on the throne.
All of these smaller stories interweave and connect to become one huge game of thrones. The story is brilliant and the characters are all very real. There are no such things as 'Mary Sue's' in this world. Although this is a man's world and the story is driven by the male characters, the women in the book have incredibly strong roles to play as well. Through the large group of characters, we're shown a wide range of personalities and viewpoints throughout the story, no one character is like the other. They all are very distinct with their own distinct personalities.
Personally, I found this book to be truly brilliant. I loved everything about it. It was a good 800 pages and yet I felt like it took me no time at all to read. The story was captivating and very real and I am quite ready to read the second book in the series.
I can also say that the TV show is beautifully done. I am truly enjoying it. Fans of Sean Bean will appreciate the fact that he plays Ned Stark and looks not unlike Boromir in The Lord of the Rings ;).
Anyway, this was a true political fantasy epic. The plots were thick and promised a good series to come. ( )
1 vote eaduncan | Sep 14, 2017 |
Many authors try to write fantasy books. George R.R.Martin succeeded. I could easily place this series at the same level of "The Lord of the Rings", by J.R.R.Tolkien or "Chronicles of Narnia: by C.S.Lewis. The author creates a whole new world and an incredible set of characters.
"A Game of Thrones" is the first book of this series called "Song of Ice and Fire". In this book we see the start and development of a series of stories that run in parallel, beginning with the Stark family. Eddard (Ned) Stark is the head of this family, Warden of the North in the kingdom of Westeros. His wife is Catelyn and he has 5 kids. The elder is Rob, followed by Sansa, Brandon, Arya and Rickon. He also has a "bastard", John Snow, that lives with them. His best friend is King Robert. They fought together in the battle that placed Robert as king, replacing the so called Mad King (house Targaryen). Robert's Hand died mysteriously and Robert travels all the way North to try to convince Ned to be his new Hand of the King, a position that is second only to the king. Accompanying him is his wife Cersei, from the house of Lanister, her brothers Jaime Lanister, a warrior (and her lover), and Tyrion Lanister, a dwarf. Also her three kids are in this trip, being Joffrey (the elder) the heir of the throne, a cruel boy. Another story running in parallel is the story of John Snow, Ned's bastard, that goes to defend the Wall when Ned travels South to help the king. The Wall is an ice obstacle constructed to protect the kingdom against the wildlings and the night walkers (army of the dead), in the far North of the realm. The third story is the story of Prince Viserys Targaryen and his sister Daenerys Targaryen, in exile at the other side of the ocean, after their father was deposed. And the story begins, full of intrigues, deceives, betrayals, love, cruelty, battles and a lot of endless action, all the good ingredients that makes this an instance classic for the ages...
If you are willing to spend hours turning pages and get involved in this incredible world, I highly recommend this book to your permanent library. A book cannot get better than this one. ( )
1 vote rmattos | Aug 27, 2017 |
Damn, this novel has booked my whole year for this series. ( )
  jayesh.bhoot | Aug 15, 2017 |
I am somewhat astounded at how much I enjoyed reading this book!

I'd put off getting into this series for ages for two main reasons: I was committed to finishing the Wheel of Time books before beginning another epic fantasy with a massive cast of characters and a trusted reader friend had told me of his disappointment in the books. So even getting into the TV series took some persistent coaxing from my brother, but eventually I did start watching and in short order I'd caught up to the second half of series 3 and ended up watching the remainder of the episodes in real time. Needless to say I was pretty much hooked from the get-go, but after the Red Wedding episode, I'd also decided it was time to start reading the novels as well.

So my reading of [b:A Game of Thrones|13496|A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)|George R.R. Martin|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1369520317s/13496.jpg|1466917] was from the perspective of having already seen all three seasons of the TV series and therefore I had some reservations as to how much I would enjoy the book: either I'd find it too dull given I already knew what was going to happen or I'd be too frustrated at the differences between the two versions of the story.

Happily though, neither of these proved to be the case. I was amazed as I read the book just how closely the producers and writers had stuck to the story, to the point that at times it felt more as though I were re-watching the show rather than reading the book (on several occasions I actually found myself trying to recollect which episode I was up to before remembering I was reading the book), but this never detracted from my enjoyment. Similarly, knowing what was to come as I began each chapter didn't at anytime deter me from wanting to continue to read, and in fact usually acted as an enticement to just one more chapter, and then another, and another...

For me, one of the ultimate guides to one's enjoyment of a book is to ask "Do I regret the time I devoted to reading this story?" and in the case of [b:A Game of Thrones|13496|A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)|George R.R. Martin|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1369520317s/13496.jpg|1466917] the answer is most definitely a no! I loved the story, the world-building and the characters and despite the occasional opinion I've come across suggesting the subsequent books as not as good, I'm still keen to read more. ( )
  Fergster73 | Aug 15, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 833 (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 (54 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
Hodgman, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macía, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thulin, LouiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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)

» see all 18 descriptions

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