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A Song of Ice and Fire

(A Song of Ice and Fire #1-4)

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  45,296 ratings  ·  1,012 reviews
George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has become, in many ways, the gold standard for modern epic fantasy. Martin—dubbed the "American Tolkien" by Time magazine—has created a world that is as rich and vital as any piece of historical fiction, set in an age of knights and chivalry and filled with a plethora of fascinating, multidimensional characters that you ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 4-Book Boxed Set, 4081 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 4.63  · 
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 ·  45,296 ratings  ·  1,012 reviews

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Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After putting off starting this series for a month or so (I mean, really, these books are WHOPPERS), I decided I was finally ready to give it a whirl. Now, with more than half of the first book (A Game of Thrones: Song of Fire and Ice) under my belt, I say, "Where have you been hiding, my dear? It seems I've been waiting for you my whole life!" Like any new romance, it is constantly on my mind, and I find myself wishing there were more hours in a day, so it could fill those too. I read when I wa ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am given to understand that G.R.R.Martin is an accomplished and beloved author. And I admit that these four books are the only G.R.R.Martin books I have read. So take this review with that in mind.

G.R.R.M. appears to have no concept of formulating a story arc around a central character (or characters) around which the plot (or plots) revolves, spanning problem to resolution and ultimately reaching some sort of conclusion. Instead, he seems extremely fond of creating lists of extremely detailed
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just finished Storm of Swords. WOW!

Never have I read a series with more intricate layers of the past affecting the present plot lines. The past is very slowly revealed to us, and motives and explanations take a while to surface. I can't believe we still don't know the full back story by the 3rd book, nor do we even have the events of the first book adequately explained by the third book. (But we're getting there...)

Never have I ever read a book where the character's wounds actually affect them f
Matt Luedke
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It feels a little insane to review this entire series with one swing, especially considering that each book is like 800 pages, depending on the book and the format. But they are really intended as one big piece of work and I don't feel like writing a review of each separately anyway, so here goes (for the record I have read all 5, though for the first 3 books it was about 10 years ago).

In the 1990's, disgruntled TV writer George R R Martin decided to shake free of the budgetary restraints and ce
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a woman, the first several chapters of ASOFAI were very disturbing to me; the lack of a strong female character and the violence against women made me nearly put the books down.

I'm glad I didn't.

Martin invests himself in every character he writes, and it shows. The men and women in the series show strength, resourcefulness and really grow as characters, and to give up early is to miss the process of maturation the characters themselves go through, especially Danaerys. Dani begins the series a
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ok. Read the 4 books. Liked it less the more I read.

The only people of virtue are destroyed one after the other. Everyone else is corrupt and SO vulgar. There are about 100 too many characters and I got bored with all the minute details about each unimportant one.... When you have to have a 30 page compendium of names and allegiances at the back of the book to make sense of it all, that's just too many...

Sufficiently curious to see how it all ends, but will be checking them out at the library.
Patrick Prager
Aug 16, 2012 rated it liked it
The writing, setting, and intrigue are fantastic. However, Martin methodically kills off every "good" and likable character. We're left with a work that is, at best, grey... And at worst, one full of black characters.

I have read and loved many bleak books (The Road, Black Company) but no author seems to take pleasure I killing off characters like Martin.
Aug 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
This author has been compared to Tolkein. Not even close. Tolkein wrote great characters, good and evil and in between. This guy makes up and kills off people so fast all you know about everyone is that they are "craven" or a "raper". The violence and raping is an overwhelming part of this book, not the story of the characters in the book. I am a persistent almost obsessive reader and I was mildly interested in a few of the characters so I actually finished all 4 of these books. I will not be re ...more
Aug 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Radnor
I admit it, I started watching the HBO series first, fell in love with the story and decided I had to read the books. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time for fun reading (I teach) but I'm still trekking my way through what is proving to be a hard book to put down.

Not sure yet which I enjoy more since Peter Dinklage's interpretation of the Tyrion Lannister character is SO incredibly good (he has definitely earned all the awards he has been winning for the role) ... and then there are the im
Vikki Patis
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone of a mature reading age - blood and sex and foul language are abound in these books.
What can I say? I don't think words can describe how quickly and absolutely I fell in love with these books and the world G.R.R. Martin has created. I devoured all of the books in a short space of time, and am impatiently waiting for the 6th.

It took me a few chapters to get used to the style of writing, but the use of the omniscient narrator and the multiple point of views really sets these books above the rest, in my humble opinion. I'm not a big fantasy fan, and I'd never heard of Martin unti
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
8/19/17 - Rereading for the second time, starting with Volume 1, _A Game of Thrones_. Following comments were from my first reading in 2012.

* * * * *
I loved the mini-series, and the books are exactly like it. Dialogue for the most part is verbatim. Sooo exciting!
Wow, so good. First volume was finished 7/12/12. Now I'm starting on the next volume. The first was over 800 pages long, and the second is over 900 pages. I hope I live long enough to read all of these.
8/28/12 - Finished the second volum
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Dear George R.R. Martin (if that's your real name),

It is known: You are one sick, sick mofo. With "A Song of Ice and Fire," you have fleshed out and made explicit everything that was probably happening behind the scenes in "Lord of the Rings," the night being dark and full of terrors and all. The things that tweedy, Norse epic poem-lovin' J.R.R. Tolkien probably didn't even think about. The things that probably DID get written about in the early days of BBS slash fiction. Which you yourself were
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
"A Song of Ice and Fire" is well written. The problem is: the "evil" people are the heroes and the "good" people fail and die. I see enough of that in the real world, I don't want to encounter the same depressing state of affairs in my fantasy worlds, too. Also, it sets a bad moral example encouraging readers to be morally corrupt and behave in a way that ultimately destroys societies. (I guess that's why Hollywood has leaped on the chance to make a movie series from it).
Another issue: while the
Jenny Jo Weir
I feel like this series speaks for itself. I mean, there has to be a reason over a million people have read it and it’s still one of the bestselling series out there.
The complexity and characters and diversity of the world George creates is simply unexplainable. The whole thing is magical and ridiculously overwhelming in the best way.
I know everyone is upset with his delay in releasing the 2 final books in the series but once you read these, you can understand the time and effort it must take
Jason Donoghue
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
truly enjoyable read, some books are better than others but that can be expected. i hate reading about Sansa and cat they are so boring and really hard to get through. It's a huge book series with so many characters and people to like and dislike.

my only dislike of the books are a lot of the stories are taken from history or other authors work and that takes away from the story.
Leona Bodie
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If FEAST OF THE CROWS were the first title of the Song of Ice and Fire Series, I'd never have read the quadrilogy. The previous sequels were on the edge of your seat exciting and hard to put down. FEAST OF THE CROWS is the carrion of the lot. Characters of import that you'd expect to see, such as Tyrion, Lady Catelyn, Bran and Daenerys Targaryen were MIA, replaced by long-winded, minor characters, who are long in discussion and short on action. For the first time in the series, my eyes glazed ov ...more
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wilmar Luna
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Finally, after three years of perseverance. I finally finished the first four books of A Song of Ice and Fire also known as the Game of Thrones TV series on HBO.

Unlike most readers on Goodreads, I am not a fast reader (unless a book is incredible). Let me tell you, when I started with book one: Game of Thrones, I hated it! The book bored me to tears and I kept on saying to myself, "There’s MORE?"

Whenever I’d see the name Catelyn pop up in a chapter. I died a little on the inside wonder why I was
Rebecca Jean
Oct 17, 2012 rated it liked it
*Spoilers in review are indicated*

A Song of Ice and Fire is a complicated series. The differences between the first and last books are so vast it's almost impossible the review the series in one singular thought, with one cohesive rating. The analogy I've always used when comparing the series to someone who hasn't read it is the first book is a bullet, the last a painstakingly slow bulldozer. The first book I turned page after page, not putting it down, reading 600 or more pages in a day, and fi
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a series worthy of its hype. The world Martin creates is intricate, realistic, gritty and beautifully crafted. The character writing is some of the best I've ever read, and the characters are never static, they all evolve through the books and your feelings change towards them. They are never two dimensional either and I often found myself sympathising with characters who may have started out as nominally 'bad'. Martin uses the level of empathy he generates with the characters against yo ...more
Samuel García
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great work of fantasy, with its ups and downs (in terms of attention grabbing). Had a few problems with Martin's style of writing at first, like he was playing at being a fantasy writer, mimicking a fantasy narrative style, instead of just writing. It did get better after the second book. As for the story itself, it has no shortage of shocking moments, and I love how Martin does not try to sway the readers into preferring some characters over others, or establishing a "good" side and an "evil" ...more
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
OH MY GOD! This book is ALL KINDS of epic. If you find that you can't stick to it when you first starting read the book... BE PATIENT! The first 150 pages are a bit intense because there are SO many characters and so much going on but oh, once you get the hang of who's who and what's what it will just blow.your.mind. It's one of those books that takes things slow and just keeps building up till it just explodes into all kinds of good stuff in the end but even when it's going slow there are some ...more
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh goodness this was quite the long haul but I made it! Very excellent, dived right into ADwD. Some foreshadowing, which is always fun. I'm enjoying trying to decide which side various characters are REALLY on.

Starting a re-read as of 7/9/16
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
George R.R. Martin is not shy about creating a fantasy world of great complexity, peopling it with many characters, some of whom are noble, some clever, some conniving, and some downright evil. He probably felt empowered by the fact that he shares the rare phenomena of two middle names, both beginning with "R," with the other epic fantasy world creator of our time, J.R.R. Tolkien.

The times are apparently in the post-dragon era, but their existence is not so long ago that they are considered myth
Chrystal Grcevich
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
George R.R. Martin, wow...what a creative wind bag you are! I absolutely adored these books, but you killed off nearly EVERYONE! It's brilliant. I don't even know where to begin. Basically, these books start off telling you which way the wind blows, how everyone looks, how everyone is related to everyone else, yadda yadda. Truthfully, I have to say that I put down the book (in my case, I bought the four-book e-book pack, book) and could not continue for months because I was so frustrate ...more
Ilika Ranjan
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Book Review
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin:

A tremendous epic of all times in which the transformation of each character is absolutely hard hitting, real and compelling. The reader is forced to transcend to that era feeling the pain and ruthlessness of circumstances, and witnessing the hardening of personalities in the book.
Every page pushes the reader to explore what next? This very aspect is warning me to be wary of the information I render in the book review, without revealing an
W.M. Driscoll
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
George R.R. Martin's gritty fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is set in a quasi-medieval world where magic is returning and winter is coming; breaking onto the scene with the publication of the first volume in 1996, A Game of Thrones, it has now reached its fifth installment with 2011's A Dance with Dragons. The narrative takes place on the mythical continents of Westros and Essos; told from 31 different points of view (to date), it follows the bloody machinations of four major houses: Hou ...more
Manuel Pirino
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
The boxed set of the Song of Ice and Fire. These books have been an amazing journey. The plot is great, and the world of Westeros (and everything around it) compelling and easy to plunge into. I give it an overall 4 stars. The saga is great, no question about it, but Martin could have made it in fewer pages. I guess it was intentional, the world evolved with its popularity, and even more so after the HBO series. So he took pains to describe it in minute detail, to feed the need for escapism of s ...more
Thomas Herlofsen
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(volume one)
Absolutely riveting, epic fantasy. The supernatural elements are used sparingly (though that may change in later volumes, there is a storm brewing), the focus is on intrigue and war. The vast cast is filled with believable characters (Tyrion the imp being a personal favorite, being a slightly disappointing younger brother myself). The book is almost entirely buildup for what is to come; the final chapter gave me goosebumps and I'm truly on board for the duration. Winter is indeed com
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George Raymond Richard "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 chil

Other books in the series

A Song of Ice and Fire (7 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)

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