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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 (33178 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Hennigan 09-10-11
    Hennigan 09-10-11

    master of geek studies

    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "Enthralling fantasy in a world of gray"

    A Game of Thrones tells a rich, sometimes disturbing but always compelling low fantasy tale filled with political intrigue and hazy moral choices. I love the way Martin keeps the supernatural elements of his world on the margins of the story, yet integral to it, and his character (love them or hate them) are deeply flawed, interesting, imperfect human beings. I can't speak for the rest of the series, but A Game of Thrones (especially with Roy Dotrice's pitch-perfect delivery) is well worth your time. Dark? Yes. Uncomfortable at times? Yes. Worth your time? Absolutely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorri A Karn 09-07-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
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    "Keeping my Interest! Loving this Story!!!"

    So, I am only about 1/2 way done with this first book and IT IS AMAZING! The story is very interesting and the characters are very easy to relate to. I like the narrator except for the fact that he doesn't do the female voices very well. It actually takes away from the amazing story when there is a woman, sounding like a man, saying something about a man. I am thinking a gay character came into the story, but it's really just a bad female impersonation. He does bring a lot of drama into his voice, which I like, but a lot of the characters sound similar so it's hard to tell which character is saying what until it is announced. The narrator gets 3 stars from me because the drama is great and sounds authentic; he just needs to work on more of a variety of voices and most definitely female voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HEINO 09-05-11
    HEINO 09-05-11

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    26
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    "Outstanding."

    Fantastic book. Broad variety of deeply developed characters. The book kept me on the edge of my seat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brigett Portland, OR, United States 08-31-11
    Brigett Portland, OR, United States 08-31-11 Member Since 2008
    ratings
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    47
    2
    Overall
    "NOT for Children"

    Although I enjoyed the story very much I can not imagine who whould think this story is appropriate for children. It has several sexual encounters, abusive situations, extreme violence and references to incest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Telrunya 08-30-11
    Telrunya 08-30-11
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    47
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Story, Performance is so so"

    A well written story with alot of thought into subplots and details. You have to ask yourself if anyone in this story is a good guy though. If they are someone you count as a good guy, chances are they will end up dead soon. Roy Dotrice's reading is ok for the most part but lacks the full range of some performers to really draw you into the story. Someone with the voice range of Phil Gigante would have been better I think. Roy reminds me of my grandfather reading me bedtime stories rather than a professional performance

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christy Birmingham, AL, United States 08-25-11
    Christy Birmingham, AL, United States 08-25-11 Member Since 2015
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    4
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    "Good but not Great"

    I enjoyed this book, but it took me quite a while to get used to the narrator, although he did a good job. His voice was just hard to listen to. It also took me a while to get into the plot of this book. It has so many different stories going at the same time, and it was hard for me to put it all together at first. Once I got to the second part of the four-part book, I was tracking with the story, and I was drawn into it. However, it took too long to get me hooked. (If I had had another book to listen to, I would have quit this one.) After listening to it all the way through, I went back and listened to the first part again and was able to follow the plots a little better. I would most likely get the second book, but I don't think I want to use 2 credits for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zizi MORRISTOWN, NJ, United States 08-25-11
    Zizi MORRISTOWN, NJ, United States 08-25-11 Member Since 2013

    malu

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Outstanding story, poor narrator"

    The story is outstanding, the narrator is awful. I'm surprised that so many people like him - I guess I'm alone here.

    Catelyn's character has the most manly voice in the book. Drogo sounds mentally challenged. Other than that, good luck trying to differentiate one character's voice from another.

    I couldn't stand the narrator, and after listening to 1/3 of the audiobook I switched to the original book and only then I could see how amazing the story is, how wonderfully constructed the characters are.

    My advice: read the book and save 2 credits...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 08-17-11
    Daniel 08-17-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Game of Thrones"

    This book and reading has a richness that surpasses almost any literary experience. I read Tolkien to my boys, from the Hobbit on through the end of the Lord of the Rings, for their bedtime stories for several years. The moral and character lessons were incomparable, as well as the poetry and richly imagined world.

    This is better. Where Tolkien was poetic, Martin is gritty. Not what I would read to young kids, but just as richly imagined and detailed, and with characters and events adults can relate to. From characters I love to hate, to those I detest and loath, to those with shining virtues marred by cringe-worthy flaws--all are there.

    When trying to follow in Audio, the sheer richness of characters can be daunting. However, the production by HBO has resulted in a wealth of available Internet cribs. I found these invaluable to begin, but now I know them like I know my own neighborhood and family.

    Spoiler warning--it is hard to avoid learning some stuff in advance using these sites--but Martin is so artful, and Dotrice so beguiling, that a bit of an inkling of what is coming serves only to spice the listening.

    Feast and enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan WINDSOR, CALIFORNIA, United States 08-11-11
    Dan WINDSOR, CALIFORNIA, United States 08-11-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Addicting"

    I'm actually not getting work done because I am so hooked on this book. It does take a while to get all of the names straight. Really worth the effort. I really like the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Burningham fullerton, ca USA 08-10-11
    B. Burningham fullerton, ca USA 08-10-11 Member Since 2014

    imbiber

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "fang me in da bangbang!"

    i have always had an aversion to this genre but after seeing the hbo series and loving it (gratuitous nudity and violence anyone?), i thought i would give it a shot. george r r martin has put together something really fantastic here. so many brilliant characters, so much politics, so much darkness. ah and roy dotrice the narrator - to you i say BRAVO! how is it that you basically have no other work on audible.com? anyhow - i kinda hate the dothraki storyline and what the hell is going to happen with the AGONDRAYS (pig latin spoiler)? this could get ugly. dont let me down george.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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