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A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1 | [George R. R. Martin]

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: A favorite of Audible listeners, the first book in Martin's series introduces a world of deep intrigue, dark fantasy, and varied characters. It might prove overwhelming, were it not for Roy Dotrice. With a voice so seasoned and gripping that he may have stepped from, well, a George R. R. Martin novel, Dotrice gives each character their own persona and regionality, helping to anchor the listener throughout the action and intrigue. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Locus Award, 1997

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (30608 )
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4.6 (23995 )
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4.5 (23910 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Mary S. Murray Ruffin, NC USA 08-01-04
    Mary S. Murray Ruffin, NC USA 08-01-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    134
    ratings
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    504
    34
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    2
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    Overall
    "Realistic"

    I read the reviews about the reader not being good and the names not being pronounced well. But I disagree with that assessment of this reading. I think this book is excellently read. The voices are well done and interesting. It did take me a few chapters to understand the shift from one character to another. Once I understood that, it was very enjoyable, I actually waited for a shift.
    The storyline in this book is very realistic, so realistic in fact, that I found it painful in many places. Martin didn't write a "good guys always end up on top" book. There were times that I needed to stop the book and catch my breath - since I didn't want the things that happened to happen. But it is as it would have happened in real mediaval life. I also enjoyed the very complex political undertow that was happening.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Sioux Falls, SD, United States 07-21-04
    David Sioux Falls, SD, United States 07-21-04 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    112
    ratings
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    74
    21
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    Overall
    "Good Fantasy"

    It took awhile to get into this book but if you like the fantasy genre
    once you have all the characters straight this will be hard to shut off. I found myself rooting for the heros and wanting to see the demise of the antagonist. I recommend this book and will be getting the next book series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Florence, AL, USA 02-10-04
    Charles Florence, AL, USA 02-10-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    2
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    1
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    I am looking forward to next in the series. I hope that having the first book in the series will lead to the other two in the line being made available as well. Great reader!

    5 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Englewood, CO, USA 03-30-09
    Jason Englewood, CO, USA 03-30-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    5
    1
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    "Dotrice is really hard to listen to"

    Unless you are British, Dotrice ruins this book. I could not get more than two hours into the book before I had to turn it off. It's like being lectured at by the most stuffy professor you have ever met. His manner of narating, long pauses followed by rapid fire speak, with deep stuffy accent, is too much to take. Too bad, I really wanted to listen to this series.

    4 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARIA Miami, FL, United States 11-30-08
    MARIA Miami, FL, United States 11-30-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    94
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    38
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    0
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    "Slow and Predictable"

    Perhaps it's the reader; perhaps it's the author's pace--either way, I found this book tiresome. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never happened. The many plots were predictable. I wish I could say there was a character within the book that I admired, but I couldn't find one. I can not recommend this book.

    7 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Bloomington, MN, USA 03-29-04
    Jonathan Bloomington, MN, USA 03-29-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    4
    2
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    0
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    "One of the best fantasy epics I've ever read..."

    For anyone who enjoys authors like Robert Jordan, Tolkien, or L.E. Modesitt Jr., this book is meat and mead. The dark realism of Martin's setting is detailed, but not boring. The characters are very well developed and very unique. A bright point in this story is Martin's ability to make the reader feel for the characters. My only complaint is that Martin seems to rush through the first half of the book naming places and people and gives very little substance regarding where they are or who they are. Also, I too had trouble with Roy Dotrice's narration at first, but once I was used to it it only added to the mood of the story. I give this book five stars, and will be adding a hardcover copy to my ever-growing library of books I love.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh South Haven, MN, USA 03-17-04
    Josh South Haven, MN, USA 03-17-04 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    141
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    20
    10
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    2
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    "One of the all time best"

    This is one of the best stories I have ever had the pleasure to read and now listen to. It's very fun to come back to this book after reading it two years ago and to have a solid narrartor give voice to characters that even years after I love and hate. The thing about Martin that makes him so appealing is that the good guys/gals don't always and early on don't often prevail. I've never hated fictional characters like I have in this series of books, but it doesn't detract from the pure enjoyment of this compelling story. This might be a tough book to come to as an audio listener because there are dozens and dozens of main characters and hundreds of others that have small roles, it can be hard to keep them straight, as it was difficult to when actually reading the book. Still, once you start, you'll have a hard time leaving. I'm glad to see the other two books are now available as well.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA 03-04-04
    Kimberly Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA 03-04-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    2
    1
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    "Read these first"

    I read this book and then went on to read the next two in the series. I thought they were so good that I went back and read them again. This is the best fantasy that I have ever read and I will now be buying the audio versions.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danielle Boston, MA, USA 11-02-07
    Danielle Boston, MA, USA 11-02-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    66
    1
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    0
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    "Only if you like pirates"

    I love George RR Martin's books, I've read them all and thought they were amazing. The reader of this book is awful. Most of his characeters sound like deranged pirates. Samwell? Yeah, he sounds like a pirate. Wrong, so wrong! I love these books and could not bring myself to finsh listening to the horrible narrator. Do yourself a favor, and actually read the book, don't listen.

    6 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerald SPARTA, NJ, United States 07-06-14
    Gerald SPARTA, NJ, United States 07-06-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    9
    8
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    "Couldn't listen to the narrator..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't recommend the book because I couldn't listen to the narrator. I suffered through about two hours hoping the story line would distract me from the dreadful reading but it didn't. I will be asking for my credit back.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Couldn't tell you because, for me, it was unlistenable due to the boring drone of the reader.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    In every way. For me, he was so bad that I couldn't get past about two hours. I listen while driving 40 miles to and from work but with this book I found I simply stopped listening although it was playing. He bored the pants off me.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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