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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  887,609 ratings  ·  36,030 reviews
Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the
Mass Market Paperback, 835 pages
Published August 2005 by Bantam Spectra (first published August 6th 1996)
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Charlotte G I think when you have read the books yourself you'll get a feel for how appropriate they are. I was around 17 when I started reading them and have had…moreI think when you have read the books yourself you'll get a feel for how appropriate they are. I was around 17 when I started reading them and have had no issue - there is very mature subjects in the books and often people comment on this more than the amazing story which is unfortunate! That is a tiny part of what's in the story though, I wouldn't let it put a young reader off :)(less)
aPriL eVoLvEs (ex-Groot) Maturity might not be the problem if you are what is called 'sensitive'? If chopped off heads, sword stabbing, child rape and descriptions of rotting…moreMaturity might not be the problem if you are what is called 'sensitive'? If chopped off heads, sword stabbing, child rape and descriptions of rotting bodies do not make you physically ill or give you nightmares then this book is interesting. Whatever the age, sensitive readers would cringe through the book. However, it doesn't linger on details, so I'd consider it medium graphic on violence, a bit milder on sex details. But even babies are killed, briefly described. The book is set in a Middle Ages European type world, with a lot of primitive sword cutting and women are property.

Fifteen is an in-between age. Some fifteen year old girls have been very protected by their parents and have not dated and have gone to church every Sunday and only go to parent watched/come along events. For those kind of 15's , this book would be forbidden by the parents.(less)
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
1st out of 2,304 books — 15,944 voters
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Best Books Ever
69th out of 35,335 books — 135,707 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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There are plenty of fantasy authors who claim to be doing something different with the genre. Ironically, they often write the most predictable books of all, as evidenced by Goodkind and Paolini. Though I'm not sure why they protest so much--predictability is rarely a death sentence in genre fantasy.

The archetypal story of the hero, the villain, the great love, and a world to be saved never seems to get old--and there's nothing wrong with this story when it's told well. At the best, it's excitin
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I really feel the necessity of a bit of personal backstory here, before I start the review. Back in 1996 when this book first came out, and I was about 14 or 16 years old, I saw the hardcover on a sale table for about $5 and couldn't resist a bargain (still can't, though I'm more cautious these days). So I started reading this book with the vague idea that it was a flop, and that may not have helped, but I got through 100 pages of it before feeling so crapped off with it that I shoved it in my c ...more
EDIT: 14 Dec. 2012. I no longer get notifications for the comments. Feel free to duke it out with each other; just don't expect me to respond.

WARNING: If you enjoyed this book, even a little bit, you may not want to read this review. It will probably make you angry. Heaven knows that the book made me furious, and I intend to turn every bit of that wrath back on it.
Instead, I suggest you read karen's review, Brigid's review, Joyzi's review, or any other of the gushing four and five-star reviews h
nerds, now i am among you.

this is going to be a review where i just prattle on and on about meee meee meee, because let's face it - there are a million reviews of this puppy out there so i don't have to worry about doing a disservice to the book. you'll either read the book or you won't. but you should: it's got direwolves.

i wasn't going to read this. after years of watching hordes of desperate sad-eyed nerds coming up to me, asking "any news on the george r.r. martin release??" (like the bn
MJ Nicholls
Jan 12, 2014 MJ Nicholls marked it as getting-even
Reader Logic:

I HATE this book.

I HATE it so much I had to get a new hardback copy to read so I could underline all the parts I HATE about it so much and post them on Goodreads.

I HATE it with such a passion I also bought copies for all my friends and family, also in new hardback editions, so they could HATE it along with me.

When the TV series came on I was so fuming with rage I watched the entire season twice and bought six copies of the DVD, because I could not believe how much I could HATE somet
First off, I'm a heavy duty fan of GRRM. I've read over a 100 different fantasy authors in my time. Took about 5 years off from the genre b/c I felt it was all getting too formulaic and cliched. So, when I came back to fantasy I read the usual: Goodkind, Jordan, etc. and then someone told me about GRRM and man, that was the kicker!

Here are the reasons to choose GRRM. I've also listed the reasons not to choose him to make it fair b/c I know their are certain personalities who won't like this ser
Mar 22, 2009 Jesse rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes anything epic and historical
Recommended to Jesse by: William
I know no one reading this knows me much (well some of you may) but I DON'T reread books. I usually read a book once and its quite well locked into my brain. As much as I've enjoyed many books I've read, they just don't require a second read for me. I read them, now its time to move on. "A Game of Thrones" is different. I loved this book and its characters so much, and crave the world and narrative so much that I couldn't wait for Martin to get the newest installment out. So I started rereading ...more
Emily May
I tried reading this a long time ago and gave up very quickly. I know many love it but I think from the start I knew it wasn't for me. Looooong fantasy series never have been, for some reason. HOWEVER, I have to confess that the TV series is such a guilty pleasure of mine. And, even though I will never return to this series, can we all just take a minute to admit that how I spent my weekend is kinda cool...

And a sneaky bonus for Torchwood fans!

Just so you know, all the cool people totally close
mark monday
there are about a billion reviews of this one so i doubt i have anything to add. the only thing i feel truly compelled to say is TYRION THE DWARF IS AWESOME! my God, i haven't read a character who is so different and so enjoyable in years. many-layered and consistently surprising, hero & antihero, generous & spiteful in equal amounts, as capable of high-handed miscalculation as he is of clever deduction, brave & loyal & vindictive... just overall a superb creation. Tyrion, you ar ...more
Jun 05, 2011 Martha rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Martha by: a stupid internet search I shouldn't have trusted
I am on page 470, and although it pains me to put a book down unfinished, it is simply time to for me quit.

A Song of Ice and Fire is the Grey's Anatomy of fantasy. It isn't perfect in the beginning (it's pretty flawed, actually), but you think "That's okay, the premise is good! It will improve!" And then before you know it, everyone is having everyone else's baby and murdering their mother (who is also their sister, and a schizophrenic) and traveling around on horseback setting things on fire fo
Dec 08, 2007 Allen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
A friend and I were talking about Tolkien one night after a sesh of Call of Cthulhu and he came at me with the insane standpoint that George RR Martin's breed of fantasy is superior, though indebted to, Prof. Tolkien. I immediately informed my friend that he was once again proving the ineptitude of his intellect. Tolkien is the father of modern fantasy and the ultimate writer within the genre. This is not opinion but fact.
That said I was intrigued and promised said friend to look into this infi
I want to give A game of Thrones five stars, but alas, I cannot. It is a fantastic epic tale with engaging heroes, and nasty villains that one would enjoy to slap silly. I found myself emotionally invested in the fate of the Stark family. Unfortunately, the book contains some glaring problems.

First, Martin throws sex into the book willy-nilly. It's like a horny twelve year old got his typewriter and went to town. It would be one thing if the sex were provocative and, well sexy, but unfortunately
Dan Schwent
When the King comes to Winterfell, Ned Stark soon finds himself given the post of Hand to the King by King Robert. All is not well in Winterfell, however. Stark's son is gravely injured and signs point to the King's wife's family, the Lannisters. Stark will soon find out that when you play the Game of Thrones, you either win or die...

Okay, so it's way more complicated than that but it's hard to write a teaser for an 800+ page kitten squisher like this.
I was bound and determined not to read the S
I'm somewhat disappointed by this. I found it fun and entertaining for the first couple of hundred pages. It was interesting and engaging, and I could see why it's being filmed. But as the book progressed my enjoyment waned. It may be mostly me.

First, I've come to fantasy from science fiction, and expect writers to be logical and consistent in their world-building. I love Martin's idea of a climate where winter can last for years and summer can last for years, but he doesn't seem to have thought
Before I read this book, I had read some reviews which had me wondering if this one would be something I'd like, reviews from people whose opinions I trust. I am willing to read anything though, so the book stayed on my "TBR Someday" mental list... Until I decided to read it along with some friends. Friends who then got me so excited to read this that all of my reservations were hanging by a thread and blowing in the breeze.

And I can honestly say that not only did this book not suck, but that I
Jason Koivu
Jun 25, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
Recommended to Jason by: just about everyone
Shelves: fiction
A Game of Thrones is really good. You may not think so after reading the rest of this review, but yes, I enjoyed this book. I liken it to Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in that it's a sweeping epic mostly focused on the movers and shakers while keeping the timeline linear by shifting the focus back and forth between characters and groups of characters, specifically families.

Also, it's a big honkin' huge book, just like those Russian classics. Honestly, A Game of Thrones could have been made into two o
The read was amazing, as well as overwhelming. I could not even anticipate the events that unfolded in the end, and I'm still in shock and awe of it all.

Initial thoughts:
1. The writing is amazing. It's hard to believe that it was first published in 1996! The read has a timeless quality to it.
2. Characters are fantastic. From the honourable, to the wicked. But each are not as black and white as they appear. Some surprising, admirable aspects to the most loathsome characters, and less than worthy
Lisa Kay
Warning: Don’t expect Donna Reed to show up in this one.
Donna Reed Pictures, Images and Photos
★★★★★ I loved it, I hated it, I couldn’t put it down, I vowed never to pick it up and read another chapter. Yeah. I went on an emotional roller-coaster ride with this fantasy Machiavellian soap-opera. It grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go, even when I pleaded for mercy. I can’t image what those poor people, who don’t read, are doing while they wait for the next installment of this series to come out on HBO.

Then again, I may commiser
John Wiswell
Apr 22, 2008 John Wiswell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers, folklore readers, political fiction readers
Recommended to John by: Nick Sabin, Cassie Nichols
This may be the best Fantasy I've read since J.R.R. Tolkien. I highly recommend it to any fans of the Lord of the Rings series who have been disappointed by the other supposed epics that have shown up since. Martin has created a sprawling world, full of intrigue and potential, and sowed it with characters who can carry out interesting conflicts within it. His prose is far more readable than the average Fantasy writer, capable of beautiful phrases and sweeping passages, but also excellent at carr ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 28, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Ranee
Shelves: adventure, fantasy, ya
I did not mean to read this book. My copy was just given to me by a friend as gift for my 47th birthday last month. I think I am too old for fantasy. Life in itself has too much of it and I don't think I need to read more. I enjoyed a couple of Tolkien's works last year and that friend knew that I also shared her love for Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's and I thought that was the reason why she gave me this book. I am past the halftime of my life so what I am trying to do now is to read the books in ...more
A Game of Thrones has been plaguing my Amazon recommendations list for years and, for just as long, I've gone back and forth over whether or not I wanted to plunge in and give it a try. Some sources used words like epic, Tolkien-esque, and masterpiece, so I would promptly put it on my list for my next bookstore visit. Before I could purchase a copy, though, I would encounter other sources using words like convoluted, complex, and plodding, resulting in my just as promptly striking it off my list ...more
First things first. Someone needs to get Jessi a Direwolf,Stat.

I mean come on.Look at the face.
Anyway back to the book, maybe this should be five stars, I really loved it, but I started this book because I started watching and LOVING HBO's Game of Thrones and I am not sure which I love more. The show or the book?

The book is great fantasy it is set in a world where seasons can lasts years and winters have killed entire generations, I found this facinating but the idea has not been expanded on, H

I really can't review this, the story is way to complicated to even begin to do that.
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And Wigs spoke to the book-lord and said, send me a book worthy of five stars in 2012, please!!! And the book-lord said, it's already on your shelf, so get your shit together and pick it up. And Wigs did, it is known.

SO I had this on my shelf but I ended up watching the show first, simply because I just didn't care to wait any longer. I watched all of season 1, and then read it. To be honest, I'm glad I did it in that order, since I liked having an idea of what the characters and la
(reviewer's disclaimer: as I write this, I've had two cocktails and three beers in the past three hours, so while this will not be strictly a Drunk Review, it will definitely be a Tipsy Review. To the extent that I've had to re-type "review" twice because I can't seem to spell it right. Viewer discretion is advised)

My first exposure to this fantasy series was in high school when I was talking to a friend about books and she said, "Have you read the Song of Ice and Fire series? It's amazing." I h
In A Game of Thrones, Martin's dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, explains that "most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it."

True, I think. Isn't that why we read fantasy novels about gallant knights that die fighting bravely against the undead? Sure, they die, but they die bravely. When other soldiers die serving their lord, they die loyally. Regardless, the Dark Lord will eventually implode and flowers will bloom, unlike in reality.

Of all the characters in fantasy, few seem to have stepped so
2.5 Stars

600 pages ago, I might have given it 4 Stars. But as the pages flew (okay, crawled) by I had a lot of time to think about it and my ruminative contemplation led to this.
A harrowingly long review.

First off, let me tell you :

1. For all those who dismiss everything perfunctorily as, "This is just fantasy or this is just fiction.", please do yourself ( and me ) a favor, don't read on. When I started reading as a pastime a few years ago, my mother simply cautioned me against those books t
Melissa (ladybug)
(Another thing I hate. :( My reviews being messed with!!! Somehow some of my reviews were changed.)

I had originally given this book 2 stars, but while writing this review; I realized that while the book had kept my attention somewhat, I hated it.

Goodread's description of A Game of Thrones:
"In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes of the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing bey
Jo ★The Book Sloth★

Winter is finally returning after years of summer and it brings its horrors with it.

"Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods."

The lords and the armies prepare for a war that seems in
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*

“When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”

This review will be pretty short (by my standards, anyway) because ... 1) I've been on a reviewing hiatus for a while, because I've been too lazy/busy to review things and now my to-review pile is getting overwhelming, and 2) honestly I don't have much to complain about.

Wait what, Brigid doesn't have much to complain about?

Yes I know, so shocking!

Anyway, everyone and their dog was recommending this book to me for the last couple of years. An
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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 (8 books)
  • 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)
  • Fire And Blood
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) A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold (A Song of Ice and Fire #3, Part 2 of 2)

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“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” 10579 likes
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” 7836 likes
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