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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.

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    64,302
  • 4 Stars
    11,221
  • 3 Stars
    2,481
  • 2 Stars
    942
  • 1 Stars
    1,107

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    50,730
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    11,807
  • 3 Stars
    3,881
  • 2 Stars
    1,074
  • 1 Stars
    1,011

Story

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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    58,022
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    7,457
  • 3 Stars
    1,690
  • 2 Stars
    570
  • 1 Stars
    709
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I love the HBO series and truly enjoyed listening

I love the HBO series and absolutely enjoyed listening to this audiobook! Can't wait to listen to the rest of them.

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  • GL
  • 01-20-17

Best narration I've heard

I can't say enough how impressed I am with the narration. The characters are distinct and interesting. The language is clear and beautiful.

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Amazing

This book is captivating from the beginning to the end, it represents the beauty of human imagination.

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Great book and a promising start to a series

Given the TV hype and such, I wasn't sure I'd enjoy this book, but I found it to be very enjoyable. There's a great diversity of well done characters, good action, and an intricate and engaging plot.

The narration is good, with a pretty good diversity of voices. However, there are a few, brief occasions where it seemed like the narrator forgot which voice to use for a given character, but those were just minor hiccups.

While the book does include discussions of sex and such, it wasn't salaciously done and the overall profanity was kept at a semi-reasonable level.

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Great series!

Any additional comments?

I will admit, I watched the HBO series before I read this, but I was really surprised on how well the SHOW followed the BOOK. That is a rarity.

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best thing eva. even better than the show

No, Steve, it ISN'T. no matter how much better the book is formatted for epic and detailed stories it can't beat the HBO show for these simple reasons;

the book has the word sword in it but the show has the sword sword in it.

the book has the word castle in it but the show has the castle castle in it

the book has the word boob in it but the show has the boob boob boob boob boob boob boob boob boob etc.

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Narration distracting from the tale

My challenge here is the haphazard way the narrator changes character accents at will. Tyrion and Little finger get this treatment....a lot....sometimes they're welsh, sometimes they're not.....weird as heck. Kinda spoils it.

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  • R
  • 01-15-17

Narrator has limited voices

For the large cast of characters, there's only a handful of distinctive voices. Definitely adds more to the GoT lore if all you know is the HBO show.

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A spectacular performance, bringing the story to life!


I've been listening to audiobooks since the early 1980s. This is a spectacular, realistic tale about its era, and the "telling" (reading) brought it to life in a way that I would not have experienced had I merely read the book. A HUGE thank you to both Mr. Martin and Mr. Dotrice for this fabulous artistic creation. Mr. Martin, you are an amazing author/historian, and I can't wait to start Book 2! I don't have HBO but am also looking forward to the time when I can watch the series "Game of Thrones."

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Very enjoyable

Narration is excellent..I found this a great saga to delve into particularly while struggling in my sometimes lengthy commute to and from work