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)
I haven't been this entertained in years. I was listening with every spare moment I had. Highly recommended for anyone that wants to be swept away in a medieval adventure. After finishing the first, I couldn't wait to get on to the second book.
I'm sure the story is excellent...the parts I could actually understand seemed very interesting. Unfortunately the reader along with the sound quality is god awful. The guy reads like a drunk old british guy. He slurs his speech so much, I've must have hit the "back 30 seconds" button at least 10 times within the first hour. It's too bad this guy reads the other books in this series because I'm probably going to end up skipping them. This is one case where the book is probably easier to get into than the audio version.
Roy Dotrice, I've just put you on a list of readers to skip.
As things go along, Mr Dotrice's reading improves, or perhaps I become more used to it. I don't care for his approach; he's reading a little too much and interpreting not enough. Then again, I am spoiled by Patrick Tull.
Artist living & working in the SF Bay Area
Imagine a historical fiction (something like "I Claudius") with all its intrugue and political plottings - boosted with more gritty and detailed parts - very few aspects left to innuendo or the imagination. George RR Martin - makes this sort of very real, vivid and very dangerous place come alive in this book.
Reading this book you feel like an interloper into another time & place. A very dangerous place. Quite a thrill for those who seek it. Bravo
This book and series is one of the best, if not the best out there. It is a twisting story with kings and knights. Don't look for trolls and wizards... its not that kind of fantasy. Magic and supernatural elements do have a place in the story however.
The Good: Some love the narrator, some don't. I loved him, but be aware they change narrators for book 4 and I felt like I'd lost all of the characters I'd grown to love/hate. Will soon be an HBO series so you can always wait for that if you don't have time to read / listen.
The Bad: Story can be very dark and brutal in places so if you are easily offended, you might want to skip. The series is not finished and looks as if it may never finish. It's been 5 years and counting since the last book.
The narrator is great, but the story is even better. When my friend first recommended this series to me, I was dubious. This really did not seem like the kind of book I would enjoy, but I was mistaken. George R. R. Martin is a great writer, and this story has interesting characters with depth and honesty despite their misogynistic undertones. This book is full of subplots that will keep you guessing, villains that will you love to hate, and unsung heroes that will have you on the edge of your seat.
At first I was put off by the cost of the book, and the narrator did not seem to really grab me. As the book progressed I got used to the narrator and the characters were great, I can't wait to get the next book.
This is the first book from R.R. Martin that I've read, but I must say the he is one of the best writers I've read all my life! Amazing plot! I am looking forward to the second book! Lots of credits to the narrator, Roy Dotrice! Perfect reading.
Phenomenal novel (and series...though it'd be nice if Martin would, you know, keep writing it). I'd read the books several times before downloading the audio and found all kinds of new emphasis and insight in the performance. I've seen criticism of Dotrice's reading in other reviews, but think it's fantastic. I'm looking for other books read by him now.
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