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)
While this was an excellent read, I am not as enamored as some reviewers on this site. Martin did a scorching job of developing an assortment of unusual and fascinating characters, but the plot (though intricate), was very slow to progress. I felt like I was sitting on a train, waiting a LONG time at the station before being rocketed to the next stop! While the ride was exhilarating, there was a lot of down time and gratuitous filler. I felt the same way about Roy Dotrice. He did an outstanding job differentiating characters through his voice-over talent; however, sometimes his over-all narrative voice was a bit pedantic. Don't get me wrong, the story has all the elements that make great adult fiction: action, intrigue, heroes and villains with a dash of sex and violence thrown in; however, A Game of Thrones is sometimes like watching a great game of chess--you can appreciate the intelligence that goes into it while being a little bored and impatient waiting for each significant move!
Sci-fi/Fantasy geek :)
George Martin has written a "lot" of things including several television shows, shorts, and novels, even about vampires (before that was all the rage), and he is good at all of it. I think it is his varied experience that makes this my favorite book series of all time. The world in this series has all the depth and breadth to create a framework second to none. But, it is the author's skill that brings this world to life through the eyes of his characters with such a balance of story and action that it would be impossible to read it without a huge screen appearing in your mind as you watch the story unfold in effortless detail.
This is one of the few book series that kept me up at night because I couldn't put it down, literally. This is one of the handful of "series" authors that has no problem killing off main and likeable characters. That fact alone will keep you on the edge of your seat because when your favorite character gets into a tough situation, you don't know if they will survive or not!
These books are written from the viewpoints of the characters, not the author. Many times, he will even play out the same scene multiple times from the viewpoint of different characters. You get the know the landscape and the characters very well, but it is not by reading chapters of boring back-story, lineage, or pages of self-absorbed reflection, but simply through the telling of the story.
I think you could teach a George R.R. Martin writing class to simply study his form, his pace, his willingness to throw pieces around the board (and sometimes get them killed), and his nearly perfect mixture of action and drama. This series showcases his talent, but is more clearly a marriage of his experience writing novels, shorts, and scripts across various genres. You don't accidentally write like George Martin. He has worked long and hard to hone his craft, eaten his writing vegetables, traveled widely, watched the world with a critical eye, and done his research. You and I are the richer for it.
You should also listen to these books if for no other reason than they are narrated by Roy Dotrice. Every voice and inflection is perfect, memorable, and never make you cringe or wonder who is speaking. The characters come to life making this series the most perfect blending of author and narration that you will find in an audio book, hands down. I've listened to audio recordings with a full cast that still weren't as good as the performance here by Roy Dotrice.
I started listening to this series seven years ago and I am still the most excited about the next (and last) book that has yet to be released. Games of Thrones is now a cultural phenomenon, and it couldn't have happened to a more worthy series of books. It's ironic since the author left television because he wasn't allowed to create at an epic scale, so he left a successful career to write these novels, but then got the funding from HBO to take it back full circle onto our television screens in epic scale. Just deserts I say!
No. Busy listining to the other books.
Lord of the Rings
Roy Dotrice is a master at character voices.
No. The Audio edition was good up till the end when it jumped back a few chapters and then replayed the chapters again and then cut off/left out the last few chapters of the book.
Hard to choose one from so many.
Very well read
Yes but in no way was it possible for me. I did manage a couple 8 hour runs though.
Bought the entire series and I can't wait to start in on book 2
Daily commuter that finally has time to read (listen).
Best audio book listened to yet. Great story, great narration. Just comes alive with the right amount of action and imagery.
Tieryen Lanister because he's clever, underestimated, and an underdog.
Yes, but it's just way too long.
The depth of character development without overdoing it.
John Stark. The lone man lving by no honor but his own that always seems to lead him the right way. He is the real hero in the storm of the game of thrones.
The lives he gave to each individual character.
Honor, intrigue, and blood
Love this. It haunts my days and seeps into my dreams.
The great characters, the feel of a real historical era, and the ever twisting plot create a listening experience that sucks you into the book. There is no predicting where the story will go. Main characters die and leave you wondering who will survive each encounter. Characters change and grow. The characters are unique and you care about them, even some of the bad ones.
The book spends a lot of time setting up the main characters without a lot going on. During this slow beginning, the narrator drones. It took me three tries to get past that long slow start. Once the plot gets rolling (not until you are several hours into the book) the narrator is very enjoyable. Both the writer and the narrator add to your suffering with long droning passages that serve to set up the scene but don't have much going on. Don't let the slow start stop you. It's worth it once the plot gets going.
So far Game of Thrones is my favorite in the series, but I am only on the second book.
It made me want more.
if its uber popular, than i'm probly gonna read it. yeah, i'm that guy! sorry. unless its stephen king. DARK TOWER baby!!!
a better reader could've greatly improved this audiobook. every character sounded the same and his accent, while trying to make it all sound authentic, made listening difficult.
all of the characters get cut!!! lol!
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