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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 (28370 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John Easton, MD, United States 10-19-11
    John Easton, MD, United States 10-19-11
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    6
    2
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    "Great!"

    I loved this book so much when I first read it and decided to listen to it in my preparation for reading A Dance with Dragons. I didn't like how the reader portrayed the voices of certain characters, particularly Varys, and he took some time to get used to, but overall he was very passionate and made me feel the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Denver, CO, United States 10-15-11
    Carol Denver, CO, United States 10-15-11

    I love audible books, although I've been a voracious reader before I joined Audible. I long for really good books. I've had a few.

    ratings
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    18
    9
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    "Couldn't Remove the Earpods"

    I'm an old hat at listening to audiobooks, but finally joined Audible.com recently. When I bought Game of Thrones, Book I, I did it because it was very lengthy and it was my free book for signing up. What a lucky decision! Rarely have I enjoyed a book so much.

    First and foremost, for me, is the narration. If the narrator is mediocre, the experience for me is the same. Roy Dotrice is magical, no one could have chosen a better narrator.

    Game of Thrones intrigues and surprises us constantly. I was shocked when I realized I had become familiar with all the family names in the story, which is amazing. I believe this is because it is written so well.

    I cannot wait until the next Game of Thrones, Book 2 becomes available. I cannot recommend this book enough.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie APEX, NC, United States 10-11-11
    Maggie APEX, NC, United States 10-11-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Such a pleasure."

    I've never been fond of the fantasy genre, however A Game of Thrones has won me over. It is exhilarating. Such an enjoyable listen, addicting even. I cannot get enough.

    Roy Dotrice is brilliant, as he narrates, I live each character. I so look forward to the rest of the series.

    I'm particularly pleased that the prices on audible.com are about half of what they are on Itunes.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Glenwood, IA, United States 10-08-11
    Doug Glenwood, IA, United States 10-08-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent!"

    An excellent story! Engaging. Martin offers a stimulating method of narrative--having us see the events unfold through the eyes of the different characters. The reading is very good; however, it seemed as if the reader, at first, was out of breath often. This got better as the reading progressed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Bothell, WA, United States 10-08-11
    Peter Bothell, WA, United States 10-08-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic narration"

    Great book, but it's really the narration that makes it come alive. The reader is superb - pitch-perfect for the epic scope of this series, giving each of the large cast of characters their own unique voice. Highly recommended.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikki Riggs 10-06-11
    Nikki Riggs 10-06-11
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    202
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    "Great Story"
    What did you love best about A Game of Thrones?

    I loved Game of Thrones, mostly because of it's compelling story line and characters you either love or love to hate (or love to question).


    What other book might you compare A Game of Thrones to and why?

    I haven't read many other books that make good comparisons with Game of Thrones. Jordan's Wheel of Time has some very compelling characters, but it is written much differently. I would call Martin's series similar to The Once and Future King in style but with a much more compelling plot, and with more grit and sex.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I didn't like the performance as much as I have other audiobooks. Dotrice reads slowly and sometimes put me to sleep. That said, he has excellent diction and character voicing.


    Was there a moment in the book that particular moved you?

    The most moving scene in the book, spoiler free, is from Arya Stark's point of view near the end. It is both heartbreaking and somewhat shocking, while still being inevitable.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent for long trips and in general. Definitely give the book a chance, even though the first few chapters are a bit dull. :)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad ipswich, MA, United States 10-04-11
    Brad ipswich, MA, United States 10-04-11 Member Since 2013
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    7
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    "Great Story Telling"

    Great epic, a perfect choice for a long drive or curling up on a long winter's day.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 10-02-11
    David 10-02-11
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    "Great Audiobook!"

    This book is awesome! I just finished and have never gone through a 33+ hour book in such a short period of time.
    The narration is great too. Other reviewers note that some characters sound similar. I also found this; however, you have to consider two things: 1) there are a boat load of characters in this book and 2) within a particular scene, characters are quite distinguishable from each other. So, as long as you are listening the book one chapter after another, and not jumping randomly around, there should be little risk of similar sounding characters causing a problem :)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devin Boston, MA, United States 09-27-11
    Devin Boston, MA, United States 09-27-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Roy Dotrice is perfect for this book!"

    Book can be a little slow at some points but honestly an amazing book! Roy Dotrice is awesome and so glad they did not switch up the narrator in the second book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 09-25-11
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 09-25-11 Member Since 2010

    MTF

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    "engaging fantasy, even if a bit slow at times"

    I have read very little fantasy outside of Lord of the Rings (40 years ago) and some Harry Potter. Enough people raved about Game of Thrones that I decided to give it a shot. The reader of great. The story grabbed me from the start. The novel follows a number of characters and plots, some which were more engaging than others. While this story did drag a bit at times, each slow section was more than offset by great sections. The writing is excellent, most characters fascinating, and the world is a very cool place. There is just a bit of supernatural to liven this story of knights, war and medieval political intrigue. The author expertly introduces a complex plot through characters we come to care about quickly. I expected to be a lot more confused with names and places than I was. After 32 hours of listening, I enjoyed it enough to order the next book in the series. For a non-fantasy guy, that is pretty good praise.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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