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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 (25468 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DARLA Maineville, OH, United States 01-24-11
    DARLA Maineville, OH, United States 01-24-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Wonderful Story. Entertaining to listen to."

    I picked this book based on a recommendation from a relative. I love the story and the characters. It is dramatic, heartbreaking and adventurous. The narration of this book is wonderful and entertaining.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin Santa Monica, CA, United States 01-11-11
    Benjamin Santa Monica, CA, United States 01-11-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    3
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    "A Good Book"

    Bought this book on an Audible recommendation b.c I liked "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell." On that recommendation I figured this book would have a similar subject matter and academic air, comparable to JS&MN. It turns out it did not, though this is not a bad thing (just wanted to put the warning out there).

    This is not a book about magic or magicians and has very little fantasy in it, but nevertheless vivid and well written. I've never been a reader of Knight's or Medieval tales but this being my first, I was not disappointed.

    AUTHOR is fantastic at doing all the character voices and a great actor to boot.

    Also, Lots of blood and gore and some sex make this book unsuitable for young children.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jere Carrollton, TX, United States 01-09-11
    jere Carrollton, TX, United States 01-09-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
    3
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    "Hooked"

    OK, you hooked me into the series with book one. You do need to reedit the audio book, there were multiple passages re-read.by the narrator.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerry Belleville, NJ, United States 12-29-10
    Kerry Belleville, NJ, United States 12-29-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    10
    3
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    "Just amazing"

    I rarely consider 2 credit audiobooks but I saw the promo for the HBO series and was curious. After reading the reviews here I knew I would either love it or hate it. Well, love it is. After several restarts at the beginning (to keep the many characters straight) I was hooked. There are several threads working that could all be interesing by themselves, but taken as a whole they are impossible to put down.

    I not only plan to listen to the rest of the series, I will also buy and read the books. BTW, if you get the Kindle sample for the book there are maps of the North and the South to help with the geography.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Simi Valley, CA, United States 12-26-10
    David Simi Valley, CA, United States 12-26-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    117
    2
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    "Great series -- no ending?"

    First, two caveats for readers considering this series: The narrator changes for the fourth book and many people find the change a deal breaker. I have to admit that it was jarring, but I got back into the story quickly after the change. Perhaps listen to a sample of this book then a sample of book four to see if the change will wreck your enjoyment. That aside, I think the biggest problem is that the author seems to have given up on this series. The remaining books have been listed on Martin's site for years now with no movement or updates. I hope I'm wrong. I hope he'll release the final books and make me eat my words. But it's been so long since the release of book four that I'd have to re-read the entire series to get anything from new books. I urge you to put this series in your wishlist. If Martin ever gets back to it, then I highly recommend A Song of Ice and Fire. It is a very dark, gritty and realistic feeling world that is a refreshing change from the usual G-rated fantasy. Wonderful characters and twisting, interwoven plots make the hours just fly past.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    virginia MOSCA, CO, United States 11-28-10
    virginia MOSCA, CO, United States 11-28-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    32
    3
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    2
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    "Between Genres"

    Soon to be an HBO miniseries, I wanted to catch up on one of my kids' favorite book series. GRR Martin doesn't quite know if he is writing historical fiction, an epic tale, or epic fantasy. I've heard subsequent books favor the epic fantasy genre. I wasn't going to keep listening to the series because there are too many bad outcomes and unhappy events to my liking, but in the end he left me just enough positive and interesting scenarios for the better loved characters that I am intrigued and will download Book II for my next big drive. The narration is masterful, the pace excellent, the prose sufficiently descriptive to captivate one's listening ear.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tawnya Brentwood, TN, United States 03-27-10
    Tawnya Brentwood, TN, United States 03-27-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    68
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    "Draws you in..."

    The story starts spinning a web that entangles you in the lives of so many characters. As the last words were read, I couldn't wait for the next book. I was captured by Mr. Martin's writing and was thrilled to know that the 2nd book was ready to start.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen SYKESVILLE, MD, US 12-31-09
    Karen SYKESVILLE, MD, US 12-31-09 Member Since 2007

    O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught. Ralph Waldo Emerson. I Love to read, a great time for me is curling up with a great book!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
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    207
    69
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    "I Love this series"

    This is the best epic I have ever read. GRRM. Please finish it!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Loder Wichita KS 08-18-08
    Kelly Loder Wichita KS 08-18-08 Member Since 2006

    BookWorm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    41
    5
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    0
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    "Brilliant"

    This series is brilliant! The depth is outstanding. I haven’t been this delighted in a book for a long time. This one will be hard to live up to.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Newnan, GA, USA 08-03-07
    Joyce Newnan, GA, USA 08-03-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    9
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    The story moves along well keeping you wondering what is happening to all the different characters.
    No dull moments.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
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