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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 (31462 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jimmy Willow Springs, MO, USA 08-14-04
    Jimmy Willow Springs, MO, USA 08-14-04
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    "A Great Listen"

    I have been a fan of George R. R. Martin's "Song of ice and Fire" series since day one. I've read all three of the books so far and very much enjoyed this audio version. I will admit that when I saw the publisher had chosen Roy Dotrice at the narrator I wasn't all that thrilled, and the adio sample I heard did not change that opinion, but decided to give it a try. I have to say that Dotrice turned out to be a great narrator. He's not perfect, but he has a large cast of characters to deal with and does as best a job as possible with giving each charcter a voice and sound all their own -- even making members of the same family sound similar in their accents, and remembering them all! As I wait for Martin to get it together and release the next book in the series, I will enjoy listening to Dotrice's narration on books 2 and 3.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billy St. Petersburg, FL, USA 06-29-04
    Billy St. Petersburg, FL, USA 06-29-04 Member Since 2002
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    "Trust me, this one is worth your time!"

    I have never penned a review before but now I must. Although the story line is thick with the names of people and places, give this series (Song of Ice and Fire) a chance. Together, the author and the narrator have created a wonderful, yet harsh, world that will take on life in your imagination. The narrator's acting is the best that I have heard on audible; he adds rich depth to the characters. I found myself jeering the villains and cheering the heroes! For me, this audio series (still uncomplete) is addictive escapism at its best. P.S. I am not related to, or employed by, George R.R. Martin. :)

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lonna Darwell, AB, Canada 06-16-04
    Lonna Darwell, AB, Canada 06-16-04 Member Since 2011
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    "Engrossing and absolutely amazing storytelling"

    I have just listened to all of the (currently) available books in the Song of Ice & Fire series, back to back. I thoroughly enjoyed the superbly crafted writing and the way that Roy Dotrice's reading brought the characters to life. His varied accents and voices for the different characters aided immeasurably in helping me keep everyone straight - this is not a story that you can listen to while you have your mind on something else. Expect an engrossing tale with lots of political machinations, stone castles and wooden ships, horses and knights, swords and crossbows, and, every now and then, a little bit of the supernatural (which somehow seems totally reasonable). It may take a few chapters to get your bearings, but stick with it for an hour or so, and you'll be hooked. This is a truly wonderful series of books, but one most definitely for adults - there are healthy doses of violence, profanity, and some sexuality, but somehow, everything seems to fit into the context of the story and nothing seems gratuitious. Enjoy!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shaun Rocky Ridge, UT, United States 03-25-14
    Shaun Rocky Ridge, UT, United States 03-25-14
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    "For "mature" audiences only."
    Has A Game of Thrones turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I'll certainly avoid R.R. Martin


    Any additional comments?

    I purchased this book based on the amazing reviews. I felt it was important to warn other unsuspecting readers of the experience I had. I really wanted something to compare to Lord of The Rings but with its own unique flavor. The problem I had with Martin is that he placed perverted sexual scenes evenly throughout the book. It felt like he put them in just to make sure people would read it out of curiosity… not interest or enjoyment of the novel; but wondering what crazy upside down sexual scene would be next.

    You have to be “mature” to enjoy this type of reading… if reading about a 14year old getting raped multiple times until she likes it, a 13year old going to a brothel, and incest… you’re officially mature enough for this book. (I don’t know if there’s more, as I could not finish this book) I wish I had been warned.

    I’m writing this for anyone who may be considering this series so they can make their purchase with eyes wide open.

    If you want an epic fantasy with new flavor and a solid story that does not require bizarre sexual scenes to hold your attention, I would highly recommend Brandon Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings”

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Virginia United States 02-20-14
    Kindle Customer Virginia United States 02-20-14
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    "Commas mean pause. Periods mean stop."

    I've read all the books in this series multiple times, so I figured the audiobooks would be a great way to get through my very long daily commute. They would've been, except the narrator pays no attention whatsoever to punctuation and makes no distinction between the narrative and dialogue. It was impossible to listen for more than a couple minutes at a time. I'd ask for a refund if I thought I'd get it. If you would enjoy thirty-three hours of this:

    "His father peeled off his gloves and handed them to Jory Cassel the captain of his household guard he took hold of Ice with both hands and said in the name of Robert of the House Baratheon the First of his Name King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm by the word of Eddard of the House Stark Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North I do sentence you to die he lifted the great sword high above his head Bran's bastard brother Jon Snow moved closer keep the pony well in hand he whispered and don't look away Father will know if you do."

    Then by all means, buy this audiobook. As for me, I hope in a few decades they'll have someone re-record these who knows what a comma is for, and how to modulate his voice for dialogue. Very disappointed.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michelle morristown, New Jersey, United States 09-11-13
    michelle morristown, New Jersey, United States 09-11-13
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    "Incredible book, but the narraration makes it dull"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Definitely a mature book for older readers


    What could George R. R. Martin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Absolutely nothing


    Would you be willing to try another one of Roy Dotrice’s performances?

    Probably not


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Game of Thrones?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    The book is great but I could follow

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ali Mt. Pleasant, SC 06-14-13
    Ali Mt. Pleasant, SC 06-14-13 Listener Since 2010
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    "Not something that caught my interest"
    Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

    No


    How could the performance have been better?

    I only listened to a few minutes due to lack of interest


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It just wasn't for me


    Any additional comments?

    No

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber CONYERS, GA, United States 06-03-13
    Amber CONYERS, GA, United States 06-03-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "blah"
    What did you like best about A Game of Thrones? What did you like least?

    I like that the author took on a huge amount of time to create this book. What I disliked is that the reader was hard to follow and I wasn't a fan of it at all. My friend goes on and on about this book and I used my credit on this thinking that I would have some in site into my friend's discussions. I learned that I am not a fan of the genre.


    Has A Game of Thrones turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes, kind of. But I don't think it is the book's fault. I didn't know I wasn't a fan of the genre before I bought the book because I have never picked up a book of this genre before..


    What aspect of Roy Dotrice’s performance would you have changed?

    I would change the clarity in his voice. If he just read the book instead of using voices for the characters. It was really annoying.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie 05-08-13
    Marie 05-08-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Why do I feel like I have to apologize"

    Okay, so I don't like this book. I loved the first chapter and thought I would go on loving the rest. Yes, George Martin is an excellent writer. If only everyone didn't die or suffer grievous injury. I am only 1/3 through the first in the series. I don't think I am actually going to be able to finish this book. Violence and death can fit in a story but do they have to overwhelm it? Nobody stays around long enough for a multi volume story to go anywhere, except some of the bad guys it appears. And then I have an issue with the author's tendency to have prepubescent or very young teen girls be sexual objects, often involving rape or violent sex. There is something disturbing about that. Most of the women, at least in this volume, are little more than sexual objects.

    There are so many things I wanted to know more about: the long winter, Winterfell, what was beyond the wall. But I am not willing to trudge through several volumes to find out.

    Not for me. And I am not going to apologize.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Levite Dover, DE 05-15-12
    Teresa Levite Dover, DE 05-15-12

    Photographer/Artist

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love the Story!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Game of Thrones to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version. As time allows, I may go back and read it. Not sure though. There are so many fantastic books available. Time may never be allowed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story and the characters evolve and develop. There's not always a happy ending. Main characters can die. The story pulls you in emotionally.


    What three words best describe Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    disappointing, distracting,


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I may have liked to, but considering the length, that will never happen.


    Any additional comments?

    The performance of the reader is excellent at times. The different voices for the characters are sometimes spot-on, but often miss the mark and is a distraction to following the story.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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