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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
    65,439
  • 4 Stars
    11,370
  • 3 Stars
    2,509
  • 2 Stars
    954
  • 1 Stars
    1,118

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    51,636
  • 4 Stars
    12,010
  • 3 Stars
    3,940
  • 2 Stars
    1,089
  • 1 Stars
    1,027

Story

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    59,095
  • 4 Stars
    7,560
  • 3 Stars
    1,707
  • 2 Stars
    577
  • 1 Stars
    715
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  • Overall

Wicked Awesome storytelling

Love the story and the so very varied characters, wish I was true of spirit and heart as Ned Stark is, would even settle for being at least capable of civility like the hound, but alas I dread I'm mean and nasty and uncaring as the mountain who rides is, the narrator is very good if not great at the men's dialogue, but as other reviewers point out he's lost at the young people's voices and women, wish they could have had other narrators for their dialogue, won't stop me from the next book for now, hope you enjoy these other realms

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  • Story

Great story, not so great narrator.

I enjoyed the book, would like a different narrator. The voices the narrator uses for some characters completely takes you out of the story, though he has a few voices that are quite good.

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excellent

the sorry I'd so detailed and exciting. if you enjoy drama and adventure, I highly recommend reading this book or listening to it here.

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great good awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome

awesomeness to be the best way for you and I have to do with it

  • Overall
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  • Story

Great Story brought to life w/ great voice acting

This story is amazing. George R.R. Martin really outdid himself in this tale and I can't wait to tear into the next one.

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Already loved the series but the narrator made me fall in love all over again

Roy Dotrice narrated this book so beautifully! Job well done!!! The way he reads makes the characters come alive

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Gives a lot of intimate knowledge of the character

The book gives a much more intimate understanding of the characters that the tvshow didn't

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  • Michael
  • SUPPLY, NC, United States
  • 12-07-16

There MUST be better narrators.

The women even sounded butch. I almost didn't make it out of the first chapter, but decided to stick it out. By about chapter 20 I had gotten used to.him.

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love the show love the book

i love how close it is to the show but different at the same time. can't wait to hear the others.

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Great! But Sound FX...

I LOVE A Song of Ice and Fire Books. The Voice performance was great, very tolerable to listen to! But the audible sound effects got kind of weird... (Crows, horns, etc)