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)
I like the way fantasy elements like dragons and magic are not the focus of the story. It's a "real" world that happens to contain dragons and magic. I also like how "big" the story is ... three story lines woven together and artfully done.
Dotrice is so overrated! All the characters sound like old men whether they are young women, young men, or children ... I can never forget the narrator and just listen. There are lots of narrators who make me forget who they are but he is not able to do that. Also, he has a way of spitting and slurping that I found disgusting to listen to. If the story were not as good as it is I would have stopped listening.
I feel like the book could be edited way down. 90% of the character physical description could be cut and left to the imagination of the reader. If it is not necessary to the story or unusual in some way (such as blood of the dragon having silver hair and lavender eyes or King Robert's bastards being dark while his "legitimate" children are blonde/blue) leave it out. Martin also has a tendency to repeat lines over and over again ... "he/she/we/they were not wrong" must be repeated 50 times. It's irritating especially since there are 6 of these books to slog through. Same goes for food/meal and clothing descriptions. It's cool the first few time to read about the unusual food and elaborate feasts but it becomes tedious later on. Who cares if they ate Swan or Duck or if the meal began with Beef Barley soup and ended with Lemon Cakes. A little would suffice.
This is certainly an interesting book, and not necessarily because of the storyline. After finishing up some great writing in books like The Thirteenth Tale and The Art of Fielding, the writing in this one was extremely simple and straightforward. No clever turns of phrase or eloquently woven sentences. However, the story was interesting enough that it didn’t really matter.
But, it’s an incomplete book. I knew that going in, of course, because it’s only part one of the series, but it was still a very unsatisfying experience. I can understand leaving the reader wanting more in the rest of the series, but it didn’t tie up any major storylines, and opened way too many doors and plotlines. After listening for 34 hours, there is no way I’m going any deeper into this interesting world.
Some other problems: While I liked switching between characters for the narration, a few major moments (such as the death of a major character) happened at a distance…told by different character. Or (as in the results of a battle) as a recounting at the dinner table. This was very odd to me, and seemed to minimize what were major episodes in the book.
I’d give it two stars, but the great world created by Martin and interesting storytelling pulls it up to three. Good narration by Roy Dotrice.
Bunch of families squabling over land and rights and ... yawn. I thought it was fantasy instead its a soap opera in paperback.
I wanted fantasy which why I read the genre. This is just a soap opera in a fantasy setting. Nothing fantasy about a bunch of back stabbing and in fighting between political factions. Heck if I want this I'll go back and watch the news broadcasts from the last election. I got half way through the book kept expecting it to turn into fantasy at some point and finally just deleted it when I couldn't take any more.
All of them
I had a hard time getting into the story at the beginning, but now I am hooked and want to pick up with the next book.
Storm of fellings
Tyrion Lannister: Even after living as if life was just a game he can make an oportunity out of any trouble
Aria and the hound meeting Fray's tugs after the red wedding
John Snow saying bye to Bran Stark in front of Catherine Stark
The story is captivating. Had watched the HBO series first and wanted to read the books. No time to read alas so I grabbed the audible version. Roy Dotrice is an suburb narrator for all the men's voices but one has to forgive him on the Women's parts as well as the young girls. A variation of a Scottish accent seems to be favoured for a great deal any of the characters which works in most places. You can tell when he had been reading for a long time and needed a break when it cuts back to him obviously afresh. All in all a really great experience. Looking forward to starting the next book in the series.
Tyrian Lannister, everyone loves the Imp!
Really hard to say, so many that stick out.
No extreme reaction, if I had not seen the HBO version I probably would have been upset when Joffrey had Eddard Stark beheaded.
Wished I had been listening to this in the dead of winter in front of a roaring fireplace.
Better story. It was not well developed and boring. Very sexist. Rape - 14 year old brides.
Was very much interested in listening to the entire series, so I was very disappointed in this first book. Will not listen to anymore.
George R. R. Martin takes you plaes you don't expect to go. I have read Tolkien, Eddings, Salvatore, Jordan, and many, many others. Martin has the best of each, and is still original. His world is developed and has history like Tolkien and Eddings, action similar to Salvatore, an an awesome story that keeps you interested in the next page. Most stories lead you down the path of predictability, the best have a few wrinkles but Martin is completely unpreditable. My wife doesn't read this genre but even she loves this series.
Unique, unpredictable, and riveting.
Never listened to Roy Dotrice before but he manages to give most of the characters their own voice.
Yes, but get ready to loose yourself for a very long time.
Roy Dotrice is an excellent narrator who gives good voice to all the male characters however, I wish there were a cast of voice talent especially for the women who all sound like toothless, ignorant old women in Dotrices' voice. Some of Dotrices characters sound a little too slobbery at times which for me was a bit off putting. That said, with the sheer number of characters in this book, he is amazing. But there really should have been a narrator cast like you will find in Neil Gaimans "American Gods".
Yes, but there is no way that could happen!
Of course! This has become my default book series to fall back on if no other books spark my interest. If I'm waiting for credits and I have finished my other books, I have fell back to this series.
Tyrion is my number one on a long list of characters I have enjoyed through out this series. He is solidifies the saying "Big things come in small packages".
Any characters that didn't stray too far from his reading voice. Though I appreciate his diversity in voice selection for characters, some of them did not fit the characters well. Also, when depicting sexual content he goes a little over the top. As far as an overall reading voice, I enjoyed it and he does a very good job of establishing the proper pace to establish the mood of the moment.
Near the end, that's all I will say.
Martin is fantastic in his ability to give every character, big and small, there own personality and develop such an engrossing series. With the large volume of content in the books, it can take a little to develop, but it is well worth the story. Martin creates a world filled with rich histories and culture that really brings the GOT universe alive. The series as a whole becomes more compelling as it goes along. The character complexity leaves you second guessing who is bad and who is good. What really impresses me with the series is that it is not a cookie cutter fantasy novel where main characters go through there struggles, but ultimately come out unscathed. Martin takes chances at the expense of your fandom, and it pays off in dividends. No wonder the TV series is doing so well. I recommend this book to anyone, though I caution that there is adult content that you may believe is inappropriate for young readers. Though Martin is being labeled as an American Tolkien, this is no "The Hobbit" if you get my meaning.
Report Inappropriate Content