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A Song of Ice and Fire - A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons  (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1-5)
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A Song of Ice and Fire - A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #1-5)

4.62 of 5 stars 4.62  ·  rating details  ·  26,140 ratings  ·  1,205 reviews
For the first time, all five novels in the epic fantasy series that inspired HBO's "Game of Thrones "are together in one boxed set. An immersive entertainment experience unlike any other, A Song of Ice and Fire has earned George R. R. Martin--dubbed "the American Tolkien" by "Time" magazine--international acclaim and millions of loyal readers. Now here is the entire monume ...more
Mass Market Paperback, Re-Packaged Edition, 5216 pages
Published July 22nd 2011 by Zatpix (first published 2000)
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Lysmerry I have watched the series and read the books twice each, and I have some forgotten points, but from what I remember, the first 4 seasons do hit most…moreI have watched the series and read the books twice each, and I have some forgotten points, but from what I remember, the first 4 seasons do hit most of the major plot points and character personalities, details aside, which I consider the heart of a true filmed adaptation.
The strength and weakness of the show is condensation. GRRM is a VERY meandering writer, especially in his later books. This makes him an excellent world builder, and you get great insight into the back story of his characters, many of which of tragic and beautiful tales in their own right (HBO is currently considering a prologue). These are only referenced in the show, and do not have the same power. (if you've heard of the R+L=J theory, the passion for this idea comes from the intensity built up in the book) Television also has the misfortune of being a medium where everything must be shown- so intense inner monologues must be translated into expressions and words, which don't always work. There are countless more characters in the book (if you can believe it!) who often exist for no other purpose than to add greater depth to the world (which I, as a patient reader, certainly don't mind.) But the show struggles to even fit in the main ones without seriously abbreviating their stories. The show is a landmark in Television in how many characters is covers and I believe it will see many copy-cats who don't understand the point. I firmly believe the series could successfully be twice as long, and in the later seasons, this would be twice as satisfying, though I do understand the concerns of budget and casting.
But GRRM will also go on and on about things that are essentially pointless in the end, describe what people are eating and drinking, and build long lineages without a purpose. But to be fair, this grows far worse in books 4 and especially 5, in which HBO has meandered far from the books. But if you want a tight story with a more heart racing pace, the TV show will give it to you. I consider it a great success, though I love the books. I consider book three (seasons 3 and 4) the absolute finest, and it does it justice.
The TV show has a world-building of its own, and it DOES NOT disappoint. The production values are out of this world. I have always seriously side-eyed CGI creations, but the dragons have a depth and reality that I never imagined possible. This means we don't see them as often, but it's worthwhile. The locations are stunning and are made into realistic fantasy landscapes through believable computer alteration. Casting is for the most part dead-on, with top British actors. I am especially impressed with the child actors, who are incredibly important to the plot and could easily have destroyed the show without their remarkable talent. The costumes, which in many fantasy adaptations are a Renn-faire disaster, are a careful blend of medieval and outside influences that emphasis the medieval parallels while making it very clear this is an alternate universe.
There are some annoying tendencies, especially the 'sexposition' (where a character gives a monologue, and the showrunners, not expecting us to have the patience to listen, show sexy sex in the background to keep our attention). There are some jarring new characters (I am looking at you, Talisa) but also characters who are improved upon (Oberyn, who I had little interest in in the book, steals the show and my heart in Season 4).
And now Season 5. As 4 and 5 are very difficult books that take place simultaneously in the East and West, the showrunners have decided to part ways with GRRM (who won't finish the story in time for shooting anyway) and go rogue. And some very poor decisions were made. It's still more enjoyable than most things on television, but some aspects (Dorne, oh Dorne! Sansa, oh Sansa!) were slaughtered in the name of brevity. My expectations have been deeply lowered. But I say if you like the books, give the show a chance! I consider it the finest television I have ever seen, and it would be a shame to just not watch it. (less)

Community Reviews

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Richard Sutton
Right up front — no spoilers, here or bite-sized impressions…

This morning, I laid down the last volume of George R.R. Martin’s great opus, A Song of Fire and Ice. After reading the first volume, ushered in (for me at least…) through the graces of HBO’s series, A Game of Thrones, I decided to read the series in hardbound version (probably to add some help for my tired, old eyes, as newsprint covered with small point sized type is not something I can easily settle into). And settle in, I did. My w
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“In the game of thrones, even the humblest pieces can have wills of their own.”

When I first heard about the Song of Ice and Fire series I assumed it was for supernerds who reside in their mother’s basements and only dare to venture into the daylight in order to L.A.R.P. on the weekends (my apologies to all basement-dwelling-L.A.R.P.E.R.S. for the previous comment). When rumors of the books becoming a series on HBO started, I deci
It's never master prose, but the first three of these novels--eh, particularly the first two--are just so thorough and imaginative that I devoured them, and book three...and, more slowly, book four...and then sort of skipped through book five with the despondent sense that Martin may never finish this series. Honestly, all I want is for Arya to become the Number One Badass Ever and I will be happy. Be warned when you start this series: You'll get invested in the handful of characters you start w ...more
Great story cycles usually come in threes (“The Lord of the Rings,” “Griffin and Sabine,” “The Hunger Games”). I wish George R. R. Martin, the author of “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, had confined himself to a trilogy, too. Okay, maybe five books, at the most.

Instead, I’m afraid this series which started out so well is going to turn into one of those interminable, overly-ambitious epics that collapse into a big, sprawling mess before finally limping to a conclusion. (Remember the “Earth’s Chi
I'm going to start my review of this 5000+ page, still-in-progress monster by saying something that will probably piss off a lot of fantasy fans. High fantasy, as a literary genre, badly needs to be reconstituted. For over 50 years now people who write in this vein have been held in the thrall of writers like Tolkein and C. S. Lewis, writers who for all their imaginative prowess, were far too obsessed with cheap religious parables (Aslan=Jesus, etc.) and linguistic dicking around (made up langua ...more
Susan K
I've been contemplating my response to this series; it's complicated. On the one hand, since receiving the 1st of the series, I've read all 5 published books. On the other hand, I am continually disappointed in the books.
I have not yet seen the vision behind this series; although each POV chapter can "hook" you, I don't believe the author has a clear vision of where he wants his characters to be. There are some truly horrible characters in this series: folks I have absolutely no connection to; f
Heather Harris
I'm torn on this. I'd like to do 3.5 stars. On one hand, Martin really does have an amazing ability to tell stories. His writing is often very prose-like and reads very easily. He's excellent with details and creating characters that are very believable and easy to get attached to. His characters are very human: some good, some bad, all flawed but very well developed and with motivations. He also tends to kill off many, many characters that by traditional storytelling standards you'd never actua ...more
Gareth Jones
Like most I know, I discovered this series when the HBO television adaption aired on Sky in 2011 and was instantly gripped. Since then I have read all of the books back-to-back and wow... they are AMAZING!

I am NOT a typical fantasy fan... in fact the idea of goblins and wizards going off on some good vs evil quest of grand proportions does NOTHING for me. But this is no typical fantasy novel. The story spans several view-points from across the fictional lands of Westeros and beyond. It is a stor

From a distance the Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire series looked hypermarketed, blockbusterish, clichéd.

No. Real quality.

Well, the books are blockbusterish in some ways - the pseudo-medieval setting, padded out with extended descriptions of secondary people, events and situations. But the series has attracted readers far beyond fans of this genre, due to the rich characterisations, plot, and imaginative depth, garnished here and there by passages of very good writing. It is further enhan
Jonathan Ralph Whittaker
I hopefully won't spoil anything for anyone that even bothers to read these reviews, I'm just writing for my own satisfaction and to get my own thoughts of these books out of my head really.

I admit I was drawn into these because of the tv series however despite that I've grown fonder of the books, you can't really put the tv series and books into the same category. The books are so in depth to almost, and I say ALMOST, rival Tolkein (note the R R in both Tolkein and Martin, coincidence?)
the pol
There were so many things wrong with this series. The prose was sub-par,and there were too many characters to remember, let alone care about. The scenes in the slave cities felt tedious and unnecessary.It seemed like GRRM dangled us with no true purpose, cutting us off from an interesting storyline and then forcing us to slog through a dull one. One of my greatest gripes were the cliffhangers. I like to see my characters react to a powerful event- I want to hear what they're saying and thinking. ...more
I didn't give these a poor rating because of the genre; I've always liked fantasy novels. And these are certainly engrossing - I read them straight through. But with each twist, turn, and cliffhanger, it seems more unlikely that this will wrap up in a satisfying way. In fact, it seems like he's just making it up as he goes along. And that's hard to stomach after putting in this much time.
So...I'm a little late to the Game of Thrones party. We don't have a TV so I was unaware that this was a hit TV series based on a 7-book series. Now that I've read it, I can see why.

It took a while to get accustomed to the POV switching with each chapter, but after a while this blended in and stopped being jarring.

What I like the most about this series is the characters. I love the spit-fire Arya and her dutiful yet somehow willful mother Caitlyn. Jon Snow has so many layers I could read about h
I loved reading this series and really got into the books after watching the first season on TV... cut to 8 months later and finally finished. The series was great, and the 2nd half of each book full of twists and turns, happiness and anger. I had moments of wanting to throw book three across the room when something very unfortunate happened... but I restrained myself.

My main reason for giving this series a good solid 3 stars is because of the heavy description and character development I had to
5 ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS on GoT, now that I have finished A Dance with Dragons.

10.) I finally forded the Trident, crossed the Dothraki Sea, braved the Brazen Beasts, sang "The Rains of Castamere," and made it safely home to write this review beside the hearth fire, although chances are that in my coffee is an exotic poison.

9.) Reading a series like this or LoTR makes me think that we must be created in the image of a creative God. If one human can create a world so rich and diverse with nothing bu
I’m not sure what to say in this review, but here goes.

This series is excellent if you like:

- Extremely slow moving plots
- So many characters you can’t tell most of them apart
- Watching people you like die
- Waiting for the people you hate to die
- Seemingly endless and, for the most part, pointless sex scenes, references to genitalia, incest, and so forth

Like a lot of people, I got sucked into these books after the HBO started up. I figured, “Hey, why not find out what happens so I won’t be caugh
Oct 08, 2012 Marie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone; See Comments
Recommended to Marie by: Someone on an airplane. :)
I could not put these books down. Though 600-700 (or many more) pages each they are absolutely great. I highly recommend them to anyone who likes the time of kings and knights plus enjoys a fantasy twist. Each book had a "stunner" moment and you wonder how the series can go on, yet it does & does so wonderfully. George RR Martin created a cast of characters that are compelling and he expands upon them in different books so the stories are told from, & about, multiple angles and people. T ...more
Rita van Eck
A great fantasy series that will take over your life. The detail and extent to which Martin has gone to create this world will enthrall you on every possible level. Be prepared to shed many tears for fictional characters and become obsessed with the world of Westeros.
It took me a little less than 5 months to read this series. Probably the best 5 months of my life. I love dragons, I love lords, I love direwolves, but most of all I love Tyrion.

When HBO's Game of Thrones Season 2 starts on April 1, I plan to host a Dragon party. Interpret that how you will?
I hesitate to write a review for several reasons--the series isn't finished; it's a really complex book deserving a complex review that I'm not ready to write; and R. Sutton said a lot of it already.
But I'll say a few things anyway.

My number one criteria for loving (rather than liking) a book is how well it conveys a sense of place- a quality for which contemporary tastes seem to have little patience. A Song of Ice and Fire, like LOTR, delivers on place. Plus fully fleshed-out characters!! Hurr
I wanted to save my review for the last book and review the entire series. This is a series that should be read in order because it is really one continuous story. I have fallen in love with George RR Martin through these stories, mainly because of my fascination with someone who isn't afraid to push the boundaries of storytelling. Before Martin came along few, if any, authors would dare break the convention that says good guys eventually win, even if it is their sons who win. An author would no ...more
One of the most epic, graphic and magnificent series of recent times.

I was completely pulled in by the depth and intricacy of the world George Martin has created. The way the characters are interwoven through war, politics, intrigue and lust for power, life or love is spellbinding. Once started I could not put any of the books down and I found myself constantly wanting to know more.

The realism of the characters emotions made them easily accessible, despite the medieval time period and this app
Margery Blue
This is my number 1 best series/books that I have ever read!
Still I can't find the words to describe it other than..

-Beautiful writing
-Amazing, complex story
-Very deep memorable characters
-it has everything; Action, Drama, Romance, Magic, and a lot, lot more!

Why have you not read it yet?!
Well you should.

But do not be intimidated by its monstrous size, trust me you wont feel its length ;)

And one VERY important word of advice while reading this is; DO NOT google ANYthin
I read all 5 in a row. Book one is fantastic, and is very well represented in the HBO series. Book 2 is almost as good, maybe I was just a little frustrated with the peril of all the characters. By book 3, I was used to the peril, and the writing kept me enthralled. Book three is by far the best of the series (so far, still waiting for 6 and 7 to be written). Book 4 is a little difficult because you are introduced to many new characters, and become frustrated not reading about some of your favor ...more
Ann Bateman
I enjoyed the first book in this 5-book series, A GAME OF THRONES. While I had trouble keeping the dozens of characters straight initially (should have looked in the back of the book first!), the descriptive writing kept me going. The second book, A CLASH OF KINGS, kept my interest up enough to put the next one STORM OF SWORDS on reserve. And with this one, the wheels fell off the wagon. The plot and characters became uninteresting enough that I would pick up the book, read a few pages, become d ...more
Farzin Souri

if he would just write the rest before he dies of a heart attack it would be even better.
I seriously I feel like I'm in an elite group of people now. Those who have read all 5 books in this insanely long series! It took me almost an entire year (where I had to put aside most other books and forget that the outside world existed) but I have completed the entire Song of Ice and Fire series. Books 1-5, to give you an idea, are nearly 5,216 pages combined. Just a tiny number, really!

Still, I need to tell you how amazing these books are. If you're a fan of the show, than you've already g
Nick Shaw
I thought this book was a 15/10. This series was so good and book 5 ends off with a suspenseful cliff hanger. I've heard that George R.R. Martin is making a 6th book and I can't wait until it comes out. The start leaves in the troubled world of Westoros. Rival kingdoms and civil unrest rule the land while an ancient evil dwells in the North past the Nights Watch. The story takes the eye of many different characters that all have their own pro's and cons. Tyrion of House Lannister, born an dwarf ...more
Daisy Nyang
These are the best books I've ever read. I've just finished the last one at the moment, feeling lost now, where has my life gone too? Can't wait for the next ones. It's like you are living the books. The plots and storey lines (notice plural, there is definitely many going on at the same time) change and are so unpredictable.

I have tantrums and random outbursts when the author kills off another character, but then forget about one character as another one is introduced?
Marge Atkinson
Love the series, but the internet is right. George kinda lost where he was going in the final two books, but still added a lot of depth to the universe and the story. I hope his involvement with the show will give him renewed creative juice to move forward.
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George R. R. Martin was born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was Raymond Collins Martin, a longshoreman, and his mother was Margaret Brady Martin. He has two sisters, Darleen Martin Lapinski and Janet Martin Patten.

Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies,
More about George R.R. Martin...

Other Books in the Series

A Song of Ice and Fire (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
  • A Clash of Kings  (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)
  • A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)
  • A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)
  • A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)
  • The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire, #6)
  • A Dream of Spring (A Song of Ice and Fire, #7)
  • Untitled (A Song of Ice and Fire, #8)
  • เกมล่าบัลลังก์ 1.2
  • Игра Престолов. Часть 1

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“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness.” 3155 likes
“May I leave you with a bit of a riddle, Lord Tyrion?” He did not wait for an answer. “In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. ‘Do it,’ says the king, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.’ ‘Do it,’ says the priest, ‘for I command you in the names of the gods.’ ‘Do it,’ says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.’ So tell me—who lives and who dies?” 2 likes
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