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1,456 of 1,565 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
I stumbled across this page and saw a handful of 1-star reviews that left me puzzled. Then I realized that all of them were regarding the supposedly-poor quality of the Kindle version. Well, I can't tell you anything about the Kindle version. I'm one of those old-school guys, so I bought the paperback set, and it's undoubtedly worth the money. Obviously, the content is 5-star worthy (see the reviews for each individual book), so I'm going to limit my review to the box set itself. This set contains each of the first four books in the Song of Ice and Fire Series (that's A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows), with all-new cover artwork. Out of all the versions released, this is the most visually enrapturing artwork yet. The novels are brightly colored and contain designs that are brilliant in their simplicity. The outer box contains some high-quality shots from the upcoming HBO series.

Highly recommended for:
-Someone who's never read A Song of Ice and Fire. This is the place to start, and a great value too (4 loooong books for $23).
-Longtime fans whose old paperback copies are worn from reading and re-reading in anticipation of A Dance With Dragons.
-Hardcore series collectors who want to own the best versions.

I lent my older copies of this series to my ex-girlfriend, and since I never got them back, I decided that this box set was a worthy purchase. I'm so satisfied with it, I can honestly say that I don't miss the books I lost, not even one bit. I've posted some pictures of the box set so you can decide for yourself if you like its look enough to drop the money.
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728 of 788 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
I'm not sure why everyone is complaining about the formatting of this bundle -- my copy has a TOC at the front with links to each book and has a separate TOC for the chapters of each book -- so it seems like everyone else's probably has this too. When you open the bundle for the first time on your Kindle, it doesn't take you to the actual beginning of the book (I've found this to be true of basically all Kindle books -- what it considers "the beginning" skips the cover, table of contents, forwards, etc.). If you use "Go to" on the menu and then choose "Cover" (again, something I do at the start of every Kindle book), you will be brought to a picture of the box set. Three page turns brings you to the Contents page, which has links to the cover pages of all 4 books, as well as the bundle cover, title page, and the bonus material at the end (including the excerpt from A Dance with Dragons). If you don't choose a link from this page and instead turn 4 or 5 more pages or so (through the title and copyright pages), you'll come to the TOC for the first book. I would think that it probably doesn't give TOC as a choice on the Go To menu because there is more than one table of contents to choose from!

In addition, as you can see on the bottom progress bar, the start of each book is marked with a dot on the bar. So you can judge your progress through a particular book by seeing how far away you are from the next dot. Also, from the cover pages in the beginning, if you hit the right arrow on the directional pad, you will be taken right to the cover page of the next book. Hitting the left arrow takes you back to the start of the previous book. This will work from any cover page. If you are in the text of the book itself, hitting the left or right arrow takes you to the start of the next or previous chapter. If you have a Kindle 2, you would push the 5-way controller left or right.

I haven't begun reading this bundle yet (though I have read all the books previously -- twice), so I can't comment on the text of the actual bundle -- though of course the books themselves are fantastic! I have browsed through it, though, so I can tell you that the maps are all there as well as picture covers for each book as well as a picture of the box set. The beginning pages of each chapter all have an illustrated border at the top, and the text itself looks great (no problems with text formatting that I can tell).

I also can't complain about the price, since I preordered this for $17.99, which was a great deal for all 4 books. I would agree that the price is kind of high now, but it's really pretty much the same as the 4 books separately in Kindle editions. As it says at the top of the product page, the price was set by the publisher -- not Amazon.

So, in summary, I really don't see the problems that the other reviewers are pointing out. If you are wanting all 4 books for your Kindle, either because you haven't read them before or because you want your next re-read to be in Kindle format, this is a great way to get them!

Edit 3/31/11:
Amazon has updated this book set, and there is now a link in the Go To menu for table of contents, which brings you to the page at the front with clickable links to each book. This page was already there, but now you can get to it from the Go To menu instead of having to go to Cover and page forward.
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353 of 391 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
I received this book set the day it came out. Love this series! I would recommend looking at book #3 "A Storm of Swords" because I am having to replace mine as a result of publisher error. It is missing pages 561-592 and it has a double inclusion of pages 593-624. Make sure that your book set doesn't have the same publisher error! Otherwise, I am very happy with this purchase.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
I will write this review in two parts, because there are two important aspects to this particular edition of this series:

1. The Series, Itself - FANTASTIC
Martin writes a gritty fantasy epic, that truly IS epic. Raw, dark, honest, but full of liars, this series will shatter any notion you have that fantasy is for kids, or that adults cannot have their pleasures. Martin does not shy away from butchering his characters, yes even the main ones, and this lends a sense of urgency and real alarm to the series. Find yourself liking one of his characters? Watch it, that character could be next. Meanwhile, the dishonorable and "evil" in the series really seem to get away with their acts. While the series is not without the comeuppance of evil, get used to darkness thriving, as Martin does not pull his punches. There's a reason HBO has been successful, and a large portion of that reason is the source material.

2. The Kindle Edition - JUST FINE!
I've seen complaints about the Kindle edition being horrible, from the formatting to the fact that it's 4 books squished into one. I have seen nothing that convinces me that the Kindle edition is anything less than perfect. Yes, there are 4 books. On the Android versions of the Kindle app, there is nothing to distinguish the books on the progress meter. I am 31% of the way through the series, and I don't know when this book ends and the next begins. On the Kindle, itself, however, there are marks where each book ends and the next begins, so you can more easily see where you are in the 4-book series. However, there is a total Table of Contents (ToC) just after the cover of the Kindle book, so you can quickly jump to the beginning of any of the books.

The formatting, also, receives no complaints from me. I don't see how there could really be a problem...there are words, which are strung together to form sentences, which are likewise strung together to make paragraphs....what's the problem? New chapters start on a new "page".

And with the kindle edition, you can bookmark and highlight the book to your heart's content. Honestly, it really is the best of all worlds.

That being said, the paperback series is currently being sold for less than the Kindle version of the same product. This is seriously annoying, as the Kindle edition does not have the overhead of paper, the printing process, etc...This is more a complaint about the pricing of kindle books by publishers than a complaint about this particular book, however.

Verdict: Awesome series, in an awesome format. I love not having to carry around multiple books when I'm getting close to finishing one. I also love being able to read on multiple devices, and having the latest page read sync to each device. All standard features of a Kindle book!
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33 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2011
If you like this genre as I do, you will thoroughly enjoy it. G.R.R. Martin wrote each character, scene, place, setting with great detail and displayed his mastery with the language of that time. The story is full of intrigue and conflict. The heros fight against evil from several fronts, against evil doers in the south and north, then also there is the great terrible winter. The tale moves fast and is easy to read. And as far as its worthiness to read with the HBO series under way, I think it's better in the sense of how a book is nearly always better than the movie, which is saying a lot, since the HBO production is so well done. To those who find it hard to keep up with all the charactors names and roles, as well as the many different places they travel throughout the book, I will recomend the HBO Game of Thrones website that makes it easy to keep it all together in your mind.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2011
The first four books of George R. R. Martin's best novel for 20 bucks. The quality of the printing and paper is fair for what you pay, I thought is was going to be worse for the given price. The covers are nice too.

In my opinion it's a pretty good deal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fans of George R.R. Martin's smash hit Game of Thrones shouldn't hesitate in ordering these books, to accompany (but not replace) their viewing of the popular television series.

But please recognize this important point -- the box set on this page (either the hardcover or paperback versions) was put together before the fifth volume in the series was available in paperback, and so it does not represent the best value if you want the full collection of books.

That is available here --> George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones 5-Book Boxed Set, which includes all five books A Game of Thrones,A Clash of Kings,A Storm of Swords,A Feast for Crows (the same four books included in the box set on this page), plus the most recently released fifth volume A Dance with Dragons.

That would probably be the best you can do for now. There is a sixth book planned for release in the near future, though, so be prepared to want that one as well, just as soon as it is available.

Do you need any more justification? How about this - the expense of this five book set can easily be rationalized by considering that it provides one of the best 'bangs for the buck' currently available on Amazon for popular fantasy literature.

Think of it this way:

- Game of Thrones 5-book box set (refer to the link above) -- 4272 pages of high adventure for only 1.2 cents per page!

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy -- 1350 pages of Russian historical fiction, slightly less expensive at 0.9 cents per page, but three thousand pages shorter and far less racy and titillating!

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon -- approximately 4000 pages of real Roman history, originally published beginning in 1776 and with the final volume published in 1789, comparable in length to Game of Thrones but, lets face it, nowhere near as interesting to read (sorry, Rome), and somewhat expensive at 2.2 cents per page (nice slip-cased hardcover books will look good on your bookshelves and impress your friends and neighbors, though)

World Book Encyclopedia -- over 14,000 pages and still being printed in actual paper volumes annually (!!) for those holdouts who stubbornly and inexplicably refuse to consider wikipedia to be the source of all information available to mankind. The 2014 edition does not seem to be available on Amazon at the present time, but can be purchased at the companies own website for a stratospheric 7 cents per page!

The battle lines have been drawn, and the choice is clear! Game of Thrones is the obvious winner (and again, don't forget to order the 5-volume set, not this outdated one here).

(NOTE: cost/page calculations are based upon current Amazon pricing for the particular editions I've linked to above)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2011
An amazing series. I've read a LOT of fantasy and feel that I'm pretty picky about my praise. There are no other authors that can measure up to Martin for this writing style.
His world is in depth. It is gritty. He does not spell things out for you so pay attention. This is not a series for children. There is sex, bad language and death in all it's varying horrific degrees.
Characters die. No, I don't mean they die and come back as ghosts to chat up other characters, they die and stay dead. You do not know what will happen or if a character will succeed in their endeavors simply because they have a main role in the story. If there is a life threatening situation, you better believe that somebody can die. This alone makes the story MUCH MUCH better than so many other series I've come across. Makes the tension tighter. Makes your releif for a favorite character that survives something more acute.
The world has magic in it but does not drown in magic. The regular soldier is still the main driving force for most of the story's conflicts.
There are very few fantasy type races but mostly just regular humans being human (which is terrifying enough in and of itself). Fantasy monsters do pop up on occasion.
The chapters are split into points of view. So chapter titles are the name of the character whose point of view you'll be experiencing.

There are only 2 down sides to the series.
1) Time between books.
1st 1996
2nd 1998
3rd 2000
4th 2005
5th 2011 (supposedly! has not yet, also, this book was supposedly so big he decided to split it. So many very popular characters haven't had a POV chapter in over 11 YEARS, this is a VERY annoying aspect for those of us who have been reading the series since the late 90s).
If you haven't been following the series from the start, then this won't matter.
Martin has been very occupied with the HBO series based on the books (which has been kept true to the books and has been very well done, amazing casting as well) of late. The show will be done at a rate of one book per season (although there is speculation that some books will require more). They covered the first book in 10 episodes. So, we are hoping that HBO will make all the books and thus will require Martin to finish writing the #*^$ing thing! My friends and I have been concerned that with his age (in his 60s) and a bit over his ideal weight that he might pull a Jordon on us. Hopefully the TV series helps him focus on his goal.

2) The splitting of the POVs. Basically in book 4 you get half the story. You get some hints at the other half but nothing specific. Book 5 will have the other POVs covering the same time/events as book 4. Which would have been OK, I guess, if there had only been a year or two between the books but SIX YEARS!? Come on now! However, I must admit, I'd much rather give up selfish desires for the hopes of a better crafted story...assuming I don't die in the waiting!
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2011
I discovered the series because of the HBO show and after about three episodes I needed to buy the books! Cleverly written, full of suspense and intrigue, and wonderfully complicated developed characters! I feel like I'm in Westeros whenever I'm reading! I'm already on the third book and I've only had the set for a couple weeks (these are long books: roughly a thousand pages a piece). I can't put them down! There are many characters- which at first was hard to keep track of- but once you get into the rhythm of the story you can catch on. Also there's appendixes of the families and houses in the back of the books to help keep track of who's who. For under twenty bucks for the first four books of the series- this is a STEAL! I highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2013
The first three books of this series are amazing. Quite possibly the best fantasy books I have ever read. Martin does a great job of taking situations and turning them in directions you'd never expect an author to go. This is an extremely compelling read, essentially a medieval soap opera with world spanning consequences as well as stories of personal triumphs and tragedies. Join a huge cast of characters as they journey through this roller coaster of highs and lows. During the trip you learn to loath and love them (sometimes even the same character). Most of Martin's characters are rendered in such a way so that they feel human and not just one dimensional caricatures.

If there is a downside to this series it is that by book four we begin to wander away from the main characters we come to care about as new ones gets introduced. I can understand the author's desire to milk this gravy train, but the reality is that he should finish this story and then start another in the same universe. Trust me, people will tune in.
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