In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow. At the center of the conflict, the Starks of Winterfell hold the key: a reluctant Lord Eddard is summoned to serve as the king's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder both family and kingdom. In this land of extremes, plots and counterplots, soldiers and sorcerers, each side fights to win the deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
©1996 George R.R. Martin, (P)2003 Books On Tape, Inc., published in arrangement with Random House Audio Group,a division of Random House, Inc.
"Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes...He's probably going to have to add another shelf, at least." (Publishers Weekly)
"The first volume in Martin's first fantasy saga combines intrigue, action, romance, and mystery in a family saga." (Booklist)
"Grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant." (Robert Jordan)
"This novel is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal." (Chicago Sun-Times)
It's long, and there are a lot of names to juggle around. The TV series help one keep track. That and Google. The book itself is long and detailed, but it is worth the read. It's like a modern, bloodier, sexier and rawer Tolkien. Like lord of the rings for adults.
I recommend it.
The characters were well developed (loved or hated) and the storylines were interesting. The over-repetitious descriptions of clothing and food were annoying. The descriptions of sex and rape were unnecessarily too detailed. The overall cruelty, darkness and hopelessness of the book is what turned me off to get the next volume. I heard the other books in the series are no lighter...
This first installment in the Game of Thrones series is wonderful! Once you start, you can't stop. One thing I must point out is that there are MANY characters in these books and the story is told from many different characters' points of view, so it is imperative that you pay attention to them all. Some characters may not have a lot of information given about them, but because this series is SO big and each book is quite long, you will find after the initial character development, these people coming back in the story . The way George R.R. Martin writes, you will come to love and sympathize with some, characters and truly despise others. In my opinion, that is great writting.
The ONLY reason I did not give 4 stars in the "overall" category, is because I feel like there are several other narrators that would have consistently read well throughout the book and overall given a much better performance.
Other than that, iI woukd have given 5 stars for this imaginative work of literary art!
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