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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Gary R. Harris 09-13-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a Ride - Great Experience"

    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!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dustin jenkinsburg, GA, USA 06-19-07
    Dustin jenkinsburg, GA, USA 06-19-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredible"

    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.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Glendale, AZ, USA 06-11-07
    John Glendale, AZ, USA 06-11-07 Member Since 2005
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    "Fantastic saga"

    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.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey Phoenix, AZ, USA 05-04-07
    Casey Phoenix, AZ, USA 05-04-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    153
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    43
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    5
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    "Epic"

    It's difficult to critique a work as long as this in a few lines, but for those who are worried about the length, I can tell you that it's not for being overwritten. It's mostly action and getting inside characters' heads. And, it's not just the main character's thoughts and feelings that are explored. There are several characters that you feel you know quite well by the time the story ends.

    Since there are sequels to this novel, I suppose this book's vastness lays the groundwork for the rest. I haven't started the next installment. To tell the truth, I needed a break from all the intrigue and back-stabbing. Fortunately, the characters were brought to life so vividly, it will be no trouble picking up the story in a month or a year.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennie 02-07-06
    Jennie 02-07-06 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing"

    Martin has written a wonderful tale and Roy Dotrice has the Gleeman's Gift for storytelling.

    Finally a fantasy novel that is complex and carries the tale to an adult listener.

    This is my 'best read' series in all my 4 years at Audible.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephan LuzernSwitzerland 01-06-06
    Stephan LuzernSwitzerland 01-06-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    5
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    "The Gleeman at Work"

    Ever read Robert Jordan and wondered what it would be like to listen to a gleeman?
    Well, Roy Dotrice certainly earns this title. The narrator is even better than the author and together they combine an iresistable combination that got me hooked on audio books.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. D. Wright 09-15-05 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliantly written!"

    I love the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Roy Dotrice does a fantastic job as a narrator, he really brings the characters to life for you. I highly recommend this book and the books that follow.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will Ames, IA, USA 05-14-05
    Will Ames, IA, USA 05-14-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great listen!"

    This audiobook is a great start to a vast and epic story. I think Roy Dotrice is an awesome narrator. His voices are well fit and greatly add to Martin's characters. His voices are distinct and recognizable. It is clear that he puts a lot of careful thought and creativity into his voices.

    I think what I like best about Martin's writing is the opportunity to step inside the minds of so many well developed characters. The setting for this story is very large and complex, but you get to see struggles from all sides and many view points. Characters find themselves in outward struggles with other lords and houses as well as inward struggles with family and duty. Aside from the fantasy/science fiction aspect of the book, much of the story feels like it could be "real life" in the place and time it takes place.

    I started with A Game of Thrones and enjoyed it so much I downloaded A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords shortly after and have not been disappointed. Once I was done with them, I started listening to them all over again.

    I hope Martin can finish up the series (supposedly 6 books when complete) and I hope Dotrice is able to narrate all of them. I've heard that the next book, A Feast for Crows, is due out this July and I can't wait to see it on audible!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Albuquerque, NM, USA 12-27-04
    Judy Albuquerque, NM, USA 12-27-04
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    "One of my favorites"

    This was one of my favorite books. It is well written and the reader does an excellent job. The reader does an incredible job of keeping the character's voices different so you know who is "talking" at any given moment.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Marino WV 12-07-04
    Frank Marino WV 12-07-04 Member Since 2004
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    167
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    Overall
    "Outstanding book/series, but not for everyone."

    If you are:

    * looking for a story with clearly good or evil characters
    * looking for a story with a happy ending (good people do not die, the good guy always wins)
    * easily offended (sexual descriptions, discrimination, foul language, etc.)
    * looking for a world similar to Tolkien's

    Then this book is NOT for you.

    However, if you are looking for great fiction with realistic characters then in my opinion, you will find none better than this. Roy Dotrice does an excellent job of reading, and I thoroughly enjoyed they way he brought the story to life.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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