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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 (26277 )
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4.6 (20164 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert Santa clara, CA, USA 07-17-04
    Robert Santa clara, CA, USA 07-17-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    97
    3
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    "Fantastic!!!"

    The series is one of best i've ever read/listened. The story is so deep. The reader does an excellent job, each of the hundreds of characters has a distinct voice that remains consistant throughout all of the books. Just awesome!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William NYC, NY, USA 07-14-04
    William NYC, NY, USA 07-14-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    29
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Excellence in every facet"

    Roy Dotrice is a tremendous talent. Never have I heard a narrator bring a story more to life. The actor's dramatic interpretation of the text aided by his wide range of accents and voices breathes Fire and Ice into an epic and richly crafted tale of Magic, Kings and Dragons. Three Cheers and 5 Stars to this incomparable writing and narrating team. Here's hoping they will continue to collaborate and add to this gripping and engaging series.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BigJ 07-07-04
    BigJ 07-07-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Please don't let the negative reviews scare you!"

    Having read the three currently available books in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, I was very excited to introduce them to my wife via Audible.com. After reading the negative reviews about the reader, I was leery; I did not want a bad reader to ruin one of the best fantasy sagas of all time. We gave it a shot anyway, and are extremely glad we did.

    First let me say, in my opinion, this work of fiction is one of the most captivating, wide scoped and all encompassing works written. Martin's mix of fantasy and reality is what makes this series stand out. Unlike many other writers of this genre, Martin never lets you forget these are "real" people, with "real" feelings and needs. You will not find the knight in shining armor here; everyone has a past, everyone has a secret, no one is safe.

    As for the reader, he, like many of the characters in the story, grows and matures as they do. His telling has added to the story, not taken away. I think perhaps a few of the negative reviews are more a reflection of the complexity of the story, rather than Roy's telling. If anything, I think the editor of the audio could have done a better job. If you remember that each chapter in this book is not numbered, but rather is titled by the name of a character who's perspective we are about to take, you'll be much better off. Sometimes, there is no pause between the end of a chapter and the beginning of another (it just sounds like the start of the next sentence). Since the chapters are not traditionally titled, this can lead to confusion.

    This is not a story that one can passively enjoy. It is one that demands your attention and focus. Roy, appropriately, demands the same. Remember my little hint regarding the chapters, and you'll be fine!

    Cheers to a fabulous story, and a telling to remember.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jelica 06-28-04
    Jelica 06-28-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
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    209
    12
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    "The best epic fantasy ever!!!"

    George RR Martin is a GENIUS!!! I cannot remember when was the last time I felt this excited and enchanted by a book. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Lexington, KY, USA 06-28-04
    Eric Lexington, KY, USA 06-28-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    8
    2
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    "Excellent"

    Impressive story and reader. One of the best I have downloaded

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristoff 05-28-04
    Kristoff 05-28-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
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    24
    4
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    "That's the sh$# I'm talkin' about"

    This series is amazing. This is praise I do not often give. Although a little confusing at first due to the extreme depth and the vast number of characters, once you have 4 or 5 hours invested in the story you will be hooked. George RR Martin has created a tale unlike any of his fantasy genre predessesors. I'm now on the third book and after about 100 hours of listening to Roy Dotrice's storytelling, I can think of nothing else but Westeros. You will not be dissappointed.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Smadar colchester, VT, USA 02-22-04
    Smadar colchester, VT, USA 02-22-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    51
    7
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    "I loved this book!"

    I thouroughly enjoyed this book. It is well written, packed with action and never dull. It took me a couple of hours to catch onto the names of the numerous characters, but once you figure out who is who... no difficulties in following the story. Great stuff!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clifton Houston, TX, USA 02-09-04
    Clifton Houston, TX, USA 02-09-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    15
    7
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    1
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    "Give me MORE!"

    This book reminds me of the Dune books. Complicated political double dealing and and vast tapestry of characters high and low. Not my favorite reader, but the material alone makes up for lackluster narration. (Besides, how can you blame the guy for running out of accents in a 33+ hour performance?) I eagerly look forward to volumes 2, 3 and 4.

    5 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Jacksonville, FL, USA 06-22-05
    Mark Jacksonville, FL, USA 06-22-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    59
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    "Great But Beware"

    The series is so well written that it's captivating from the start. It pulls you in, but beware of the fantasy world you are being pulled into. It's harsh, destructive, with a sexual edge that makes it nearly more erotic than fantasy. Unfourtantly, the sexual edge combines with the harshness to create some very disturbing situtations. I have trouble recommending this series to people for that very reason. It's not just that it's adult content, at times its disgusting content. The rewarding part is that the story continues to move, and once you get past those "scenes" you find one of the most well written fantasy stories you will every hear/read.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent Vienna, VA, USA 04-15-04
    Kent Vienna, VA, USA 04-15-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    19
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    "Great Story"

    Written in classic epic style, I found the book spellbinding.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
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