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.
"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)
George Martin's first in the Song of Ice and Fire Series is one of the best, most balanced, pieces of adult fantasy literature I have ever read or listened to. It is a story deeply incised with political intrigue, mysteries, and powerful magic which, cleverly, is kept mysterious and unrevealed throughout most of the novel. The story follows the Stark family, lords of the north as their realm, the seven kingdoms begins a perilous descent into chaotic times, and the Lannisters, a family of arrogant, Machiavellian, perverse urban royals trying to maintain their power. There are dozens of other major characters and scores of stories within the main story.
Roy Dotrice's reading is also exceptional. Dotrice gives each character their own unique voice, and acts them out rather than simply reciting their lines.
I don't usually write reviews, but this book was very interesting. The sexual content was not really noticed since it as not out of context with the scenes in the story. Roy Doltrice did a good job at isolating the characters and making this rather long book appear to be too short. I like the way that the characters were portrayed in their own interacting storylines. I can't wait to listen to the next book in the series to find out what happens to the characters.
I read this book at least 5 times and love every minute of it and the following 3 books are just as great. Amazing fantasy reading/listening.
I hoped there would be a redone version of the audio by now, since the original narration i think may have been rerecorded from the tapes making the sound quality lacking. But the material is still outstanding and i recommend it to anyone who appreciates good down to earth fantasy.
This is an epic tale with lots of characters and plots. If you can follow complicated stories like 'Dune' or 'The Lord of the Rings' thenyou should like this series. G.R.R Martin is a great writer as far as how he tells the story and his way with weaving the adventure.
Don't be scared away by the negative comments about the narrator and miss this book. After the first few minutes he was very easy to listen to. If you enjoy Terry Goodkind and Stephen King you'll find this book will appeal to you. From this first moment until the last I couldn't wait for the next opportunity to listen. The multiple plots and intrigues are very well done and sequenced in such a way as to leave you wanting more. Go for it and make sure to download the second book at the same time so you don't find yourself waiting for your next renewal!
Blah, blah, blah!
What an excellent book. It didn't seem long at all. I'm looking forward to the next book.
Don't waste your time until he writes the last book. He has been working on it for years and does not want or knows how to finish the story. The books are great but does not have an ending.
A great book and a genius of a reader!!! Perfect British accent and an incredible number of different voices!
The story is more frustrating than climactic. The author twists the personality of characters into extremes to change a plot. It's the same for all 3 books of Song of Ice and Fire...I got in to this so I have to swallow what I've placed into my mouth but If I were you...skip this series. There's nothing here but Familial schemes to get a throne but the plots are so twisted where one cannot expect of the characters the author has made us to beleive. The author does the impossible twists to get a longer story.
NOT for young adult readers (or anyone, really). While the author has a talent for imagining interesting overall stories, he has no discernment, or sense of basic decency. The first book has bad scenes, and each subsequent book gets worse in terms of: abasing women, sadistic cruelty described at length and in the most graphic terms imaginable, characters who alter their own 'code of conduct' to the point where you begin to think the entire fantasy 'world' is populated only with sociopaths, etc. I could not stomach any more, and cannot finish the series. In short, this is depressing, debasing porn dressed up in an otherwise interesting story. Absolutely wasted talent by a sick and disturbed mind. The author needs therapy. This kind of 'art' pollutes our social consciousness.
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