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)
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.
My wife was wondering if I would ever get the earphones out of my ears. My dog was wondering why I wanted to take longer walks. A longer ride in the car was preferred to a shorter one. Why? Because I wanted to get back to this book!
It absolutely captivated me. I'm so glad there's another 100 hours to go in this series!
If you are a fan of midevel type fantasy you will love this book. It is the best book I've ever listened to. It has a wealth of characters and the untold back story gives a real sense of depth and wonder; I found it somewhat similar to Lord of the Rings in that regard...you get a sense of an entire world all its own history. Also, the backstory and wealth of characters gives the book a very genuine feeling. Books that sound fake, contrived, or sterotypical will quickly get deleted at my house. It does take a little while to catch up with all the characters, but its worth it. Like other great works, the number of characters is what gives the author all the tools for creating such an intricate and interesting plot. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to get into the next installment. I've read other reviews that complain about the narrator's voice; don't listen to them! The narrator did an incredible job creating the characters. Granted at first, you have to be patient while everyone is introduced, but once you learn the lay of the land, you will fall in love with this story.
This is a fascinating, and wonderful fantasy epic. If you like complex narrative with multiple intertwined plotlines, "A Game of Thrones" is for you.
The further you get into this narrative, the more it gets its hooks into you until you will find yourself forcing yourself to stop listening and go to bed. This is a real gem.
Several reviewers have been uncomplinentary to the narrator, and I could not disagree more strongly. I love audiobooks and have been listening to them for over 15 years. I think Roy Dotrice does a stupendous job with this narrative. I think it may be the finest narration I have heard. Normally I listen to the audio in a slightly sped up form; Dotrice is so good I play it in it normal manner.
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