Fire and Blood

300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) (A Song of Ice and Fire)
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 27 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (185 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Set 300 years before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is the definitive history of the Targaryens in Westeros as told by Archmaester Gyldayn, and chronicles the conquest that united the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule through to the Dance of the Dragons: the Targaryen civil war that nearly ended their dynasty forever.

The thrilling history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work by the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO's Game of Thrones.

With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally best-selling author George R.R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen, the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria, took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel’s worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel. Listeners have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbons' The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving listeners a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody and always fascinating history of Westeros.

This audio edition now includes an exclusive interview between George R.R. Martin and historian Dan Jones.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 George R.R. Martin (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Fire and Blood

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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good , well read and detailed

Its written very well and positioned from the perspective of a narrator - historian . Nice fresh approach that makes you wonder how much is true. It puts a lot of perspective to the original Ice and fire saga. Very amusing and never dull. One downside : it ends closely after the civil war: Dance of Dragons events. Thus its a bit misleading because you expect the whole story until Aerys II.

3 people found this helpful

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More of a chore than a pleasure!

I'm a big fan of George R R Martin, but found this book heavy going. Despite the excellent narration, I was left feeling I needed a pen and paper in order to take notes in an effort to track character, dates and events! I was relieved when the book finished and hope I never hear Mushroom quoted again!

12 people found this helpful

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OK for pseudo-history buffs ...

... but not so good if you were wanting a story like the GoT series. No one can fault Mr Martin when it comes to the depth and scale of his universe, but I really prefer his story-telling prowse. Nevertheless, it's well narrated and structured.

3 people found this helpful

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Must ready for Ice and Fire fans

Amazing book. great Narration. it was a pleasure to read. loved it. must read for all fans.

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More wonderful works building from GRRM

Fire and Blood is a very unique book giving long time ASOIAF fans a great depth of back story to our main plot in the series. This book stands on it's own in terms of story, but it ads later upon later to GRRM's other works in the series. Can't wait for part 2, and the tv series that will be made from this. Also looking forward to The Winds of Winter more than any other book in my life. 5 stars. Give it a chance and you will not regret it at all....

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i loved it

however, it is not a story. it is just like a measter book, telling the interesting tells of the first few Targeariens! very fun. if u enjoy learning about song of ice and fire history you would love it!

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Absolutely Brilliant!!!

I always enjoy the complexity with which George R. R Martin writes his novels, you understand why it takes as long as it takes. For anyone who’s a fan of “A Song of Ice and Fire” this is a great add to your knowledge and for anyone who’s a fan of well written stories and likes to imagine, this here is your gem. I can’t wait for the next one. While you might wish for Mr Martin to finish his books quicker what you do not want if for him to have compromised in anything that he did in this book and any of his other books. I love the narration by Simon Vance, “Well done Ser” in the voice of Ser Maynard Plumm

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A long and boring cencus.

Too long and boring. Was disappointed through the whole and was glad when it finished.

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Fun to listen to

This was a good book, very informative. It is a little dificult to always keep the family tree straight with all the names being very similar. Bit all in all it was worth the time.

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It's like listening to a Discovery documentary!

The book is very good, but it's a lot of information condensed into parts ... It's 300 years of history about the Targaryen family narrated in a spectacular way. Listening to this book is like accompanying a Discovery Channel documentary, where historians are presenting known facts and other deductive facts based on the discoveries made. It is marvelous how the author recounts the story of Targaryen family, narrating at various times various narratives about the same fact, which makes the story a little nebulous but with surprising results. The search for power, betrayals, alliances permeate the narrative at all times, which ends up being a characteristic feature of the series.

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  • michael Billington
  • 11-29-18

The epic story of house Targaryen

This is not a novel so it might not be for everyone but I loved it. It covers the House Targaryen from Aegon the Conqueror to the end of the regency of Aegon iii it shows both sides of the Targaryen coin the greatness and the madness. from the hideous tyranny of maegor to the genius of Jaehaerys I found myself really caring about the characters and being moved by the tragedy that was the dance of the dragons. excellent narration by Simon Vance also made this an enjoyable listen I would highly recommend.

24 people found this helpful

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  • D. J. Mole
  • 11-27-18

History in George RR Martins own style

I know a number of people have not enjoyed this. It is true that it lays out the family history. I am not one who generally likes being given historical facts whether they be real or fiction. But this has the same sense and feel that was given to The Game of Throne series and each individual has been given his or her own personality. I like the 'evidence' or 'non evidence' for how things came to be, giving the book it's own sense of reality. I loved listening to Roy Dotrice telling the Game of Thrones and Simon Vance is also an excellent narrator. Would like the other books to be finally published and narrated!! Come on George! Love the TV series but there is so much more colour in the books and would love for those who can't see to be able to hear it all!

21 people found this helpful

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  • Edwin Brown
  • 01-21-19

Hard Work compared to the game of thrones

Found this to be confusing and hard work compared to the game of thrones and can't really say it adds to the books. He should have spent the time finishing the Game of Thrones first!!

8 people found this helpful

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  • BenCrowther
  • 12-04-18

Truly Excellent

Although I was initially disappointed to hear about the announcement of Fire and Blood, wanting George R.R. Martin to focus on the Winds of Winter, I could not be more satisfied with this release. This is an excellent account of the history of the Targaryen reign, that isn't just a plain recounting of events. Told through the perspective of a maester and the use of different and often unreliable sources makes that world feel far more alive and engrossing. Introducing new favourite characters to me, from King Jaehaerys and Corlys Velaryon, I can't wait for the next book to come out!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-22-18

Excellent excellent excellent

Excellent!!!! If you are familiar with GRRM Novellus such as The Princess and the Queen, The Rouge Prince and The Book of Swords then you will be able to dive into this books utter brilliance and complete detail without looking back. If you are only familiar with the works of Game of Thrones rather than the whole ASOIAF world then I would 100% recommend you read the “World Book” before you read this or at least have it to hand so you can reference maps, family tree and facts as it can get rather confusing (I have been a complete geek and I have the beautiful hard copy with the maps, illustrations and family tree and I have downloaded it on Audible as Roy Dotrice and Nicholas Smith do a wonderful job of narrating) In fact having the Targaryen family tree to hand is incredibly useful while reading this regardless to how familiar you are of any of GRRM works because it’s just so damned confusing which makes for all the better reading! Thank you so much Mr Martin this was completely amazing!

12 people found this helpful

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  • jamesg
  • 04-07-19

pretty bad actually

Needlessly complicated, lazy and thoroughly unentertaining. I loved a song of Ice and fire, so this book was a bit of a disappointment unfortunately. I really didn't enjoy the third person style of writing, I found that it took away all immersion. it almost seems like the author was being paid per character that he creates to then kill off three paragraphs later, in this book characters died before you even fully comprehend who they are. please don't get this book thinking that you will get anywhere near the same amount of entertainment value that you may have got out of a song of Ice and fire.

2 people found this helpful

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  • James W. Barrell
  • 01-09-19

Lists of names

Purchased this as I enjoyed The Song of Ice and Fire books and have read all of them. Sadly I don’t think that this ‘history’ ever really gets going and all too often reverts to filling the pages by listing hundreds of fictional characters who are irrelevant to the story. Personally I think that it compares very badly with the Silmarillion despite sharing the same goal of wishing to provide historical context to the stories. Completing the primary story would have been a better undertaking

2 people found this helpful

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  • FilmNutzAdam
  • 12-26-18

Dull! Avoid

performance is excellent! That's where the praise ends. The book is essentially cliff notes and a wireframe. it's bloody dull and has practically no story and adds little to nothing to the intrigue to the main story. With quotes directly from the lord of the rings, it is clear that Martin is attempting to flesh out his world in the same manor as Tolkien, and it comes across forced, boring and disingenuous.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Olivier
  • 01-12-19

Feels like a very long history lesson

Although there's no denying the splendid imagination of the story, I really feels like work listening to this book. I struggled to get to the end (which was pretty abrupt and didn't tie into anything).

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kevin H.
  • 12-18-18

A struggle

Struggling with this one. Thought it would be a ripping yarn like GoT - NO

1 person found this helpful

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  • Darla Hatton MacDonald
  • 12-26-18

Expecting a story!

This really is a history and is not entertaining. If you are a hard core GoT fan, maybe it will satisfy. I thought I was getting a story to entertain in the holidays.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-28-19

It’s good if you’re after a list of names.

Bring a pen and notebook to keep track of the names that you might want to add to the family trees of Westeros but don’t come to this boon expecting the intrigue and storytelling of GOT.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Eirik F. Eriksen
  • 11-23-18

A treasure trove for any lore fans

I've come to understand that this book has become divisive among fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, or should I rather say, fans of George R. R. Martin. Many are outraged that the man is working on, or indeed doing anything other than writing The Winds of Winter. The few reviews I've read of Fire and Blood thus far has said as much, and finding the style and prose of this work dry, dull and ponderous. I was intrigued from the first when I heard Martin was writing a history of the Targaryen dynasty in the manner of non-fiction history, and as I relished the accounts he had already put forth concerning the Dance of the Dragons, I wished for more of the same. And that's exactly what has been laid before us. It's not high fantasy, apart from being set in a high fantasy setting and containing dragons. Don't expect any elucidation on the higher mysteries from this book. However, you can expect massive amounts of intrigue, scandal and much and more sundry information about the Targaryen dynasty and their courts and associates, from the time of Aegon I until Aegon III, almost 150 years of Westerosi dynastic history with many tangents and tons of lore. All of which the narrator presents sublimely. In my head, just spent a lot of hours with Archmaester Gyldayn himself. The narrator's voice, presentation and inflection were supremely well suited for a work like this, and I applaud the producer that made this happen. Indeed, he may in large part be the reason I found this book as engrossing as I did. Kudos to you all for this happy match. If you're passionate about the world of Ice and Fire and share the author's enthusiasm with fleshing out the world and constructing a living, breathing fantastical universe, I heartily recommend this book. If you're a fan of the television show and you're looking for something cool with dragons, you'll probably agree with the detractors within a few pages (or in this case, a few minutes).

18 people found this helpful

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  • GT
  • 02-04-19

Textbook

Written from a Maesters perspective as a history. Extremely dry but narrator worked hard to breath life into it. Should have been left as background notes.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-09-19

It's just so bad!

Gave up after 2 hours save your money. It's not a story it's a fantasy history lesson.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-15-19

No character building

This is not a story where characters are built. It is simply a historical record of events that occurred before the GOT books. Imagine reading the bible.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-19

Great

Its almost like a giant wikipedia page about Targaryens and there rule over Westero s

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-30-19

Know What You’re Getting Into

Just remember that this is an account of Targaryen history and not some tightly sewn together story. Yes hearing about Aegon’s conquering and the Dance of Dragons is cool but there is so much more. And by more I don’t mean good. Many chapters are devoted to slow, boring happenings in and out of King’s Landing along with the listing of names, so many names. I’d honestly recommend having a Targaryen Family Tree next to you as you listen because every bloody Targaryen has similar sounding names and it gets VERY confusing. They recycle the same 5 damn names every generation. Targaryens may have had dragons but they’ve got zero originality in naming their own kin. There are definitely good and exciting elements but overall the book is a bit of a drag. This is a George RR Martin novel after all so I should have expected it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shaun
  • 02-03-19

One hour in and the names are killing me

This isn’t a narrative. It’s a list of names with a few sequenced events. So boring. Not another 24 of this !

14 people found this helpful

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  • Hamish
  • 01-02-19

Bearable at first, unbearable after a few hrs

Yeah. I just sat and listened to a man recite the Westerosi phonebook for 5 hours. Name after name after name after name. Couldn't take it anymore. There's no dialogue, no plot, just a writer who has decided, for reasons best known to himself, to kill stone dead his fabulous earlier work with a lot of tedious and totally unnecessary history. Bearable at the beginning, unbearable after a few hours of it. The reader is good, but if anyone thinks I'm going to listen to TWENTY SIX HOURS of that... scuse me a sec... chik chik BOOOOM!

4 people found this helpful