- Series: Song of Fire and Ice (Book 1)
- Paperback: 720 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (March 22, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553386794
- ISBN-13: 978-0553386790
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9,829 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) Paperback – March 22, 2011
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"The major fantasy of the decade . . . compulsively readable."—Denver Post
"We have been invited to a grand feast and pageant: George R.R. Martin has unveiled for us an intensely realized, romantic but realistic world."—Chicago Sun-Times
"A Best Book of 1996: Martin makes a triumphant return to high fantasy . . . [with] superbly developed characters, accomplished prose, and sheer bloodymindedness."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A splendid saga . . . . Inventive and intricately plotted."—BookPage
"Magic . . . George R.R.Martin's first fantasy epic [is set] well above the norms of the genre."—Locus
"Such a splendid tale and such a fantasticorical! I read my eyes out and couldn't stop 'til I finished and it was dawn."—Anne McCaffrey
From the Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
"A Game of Thrones is a contemporary masterpiece of fantasy. The cold is returning to Winterfell, where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime. A time of conflict has arisen in the Stark family, as they are pulled from the safety of their home into a whirlpool of tragedy, betrayal, assassination, plots and counterplots. Each decision and action carries with it the potential for conflict as several prominent families, comprised of lords, ladies, soldiers, sorcerers, assassins and bastards, are pulled together in the most deadly game of all--the game of thrones.
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Of course they weren't wrong.
What George R.R. Martin has done here defies genre, period. It doesn't matter if you're like me and don't care for this sub-genre of fantasy... it doesn't matter if your like my spouse, and don't like fantasy at all. If you enjoy brilliant, incredibly-developed, thought-provoking stories... those with a strongly developed cast of characters who blissfully lack being "good vs. evil" and instead all display their shades of grey, good traits, evil traits, unique traits, all sorts of traits... then this book is for you. Buy it. Open it up. Start reading. You won't regret it.
Even though it is difficult not to imagine the faces of the actors when reading the book, it is still an awesome read. Much more detailed than the series, but also enhanced by it to a certain extent.
It is a big book, many people, have said many things about it. Here are some of mine:
• The characterization is really good. There are defined personalities and traits and Mr. Martin usually conveys them without a superfluous amount of words.
• The alternating points of view chapter by chapter. This device allows the reader to take in the massive scope of the story that is being told here in manageable chunks. I hope this style continues thru the series.
• The large arc of the story. Mr. Martin has created world here, with a complete and rich history.
• The novel is unapologetic. By that, I mean there is rampant sexism, violence, etc. Not pretty elements, but the author is not casting a modern eye on them apologizing for every undesirable trait. This is an ancient world, not like our own. He allows that story to happen without foisting modern sensibilities on it. I appreciate someone just telling a story and letting the actions speak for themselves. You are disgusted or titillated by what the characters are doing based on how you view the world.
That is a quick overview, but some of the highlights. I will say, the overlong descriptions of clothing and food I could do with a little less of, but it is a small quibble, and I have friends who love that aspect of the book, so there ya go.
I will be continuing this journey through the Seven Kingdoms, but I am not sure when. My “to read” pile is massive enough as it is.
This is a story of rich living and hard dying, struggle and battle. The characterizations are incredibly rich, and half of the fun of this series is following each of the many complex characters in this complex interwoven story. Even those who normally are not much for fantasy or "swords and sorcery" are likely to find this novel and series to be captivating and well worth reading. I did. RJB.