Petrik's Reviews > Fire and Blood: A History of the Targaryen Kings from Aegon the Conqueror to Aegon III

Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin
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Recommended for: Diehard fanatics of aSoIaF

A good and unnecessary comprehensive historical overview of the Targaryen Kings.

The aesthetic of this book is gorgeous; easily one of the most beautiful books I own. I mean it, the cover art of both editions are stunning, the typography inside the book is beautiful, the font used (Centaur) was easy to read, and most of all, Doug Wheatley’s artworks were simply spectacular to look at. As for enjoyment factor, I really wouldn’t call this an enjoyable read, it was more like a homework reading that I gladly imposed upon myself on my own will. This book took me almost three weeks to read; that’s an extremely long time for me to spend reading on a single book. For a bit of comparison, I finished reading The Crippled God (385k words) in four days and Oathbringer (450k words) in six days.

Picture: King Aegon I On Balerion the Black Dread by Doug Wheatley



Fire and Blood explored the history of the Targaryen Kings from the time of Aegon I’s conquest up to the ascension of Aegon III. If you’ve read The World of Ice and Fire (Page 29-86), you’ve read the abridged version of this book. Now then the question you're probably asking would be: "If I've read The World of Ice and Fire, is it still necessary to read this book?" My answer to that would be nope, it's not necessary at all. In fact, having read this one, I would be satisfied with the information I got from The World of Ice and Fire.

Picture: One of the interior artworks by Doug Wheatley



The most significant additional contents here were the intricate expansion of Jaehaerys’s story and The Dance of the Dragons. The World Ice and Fire made me super interested in Jaehaerys, I feel like he was one of the extremely few kings in the history of Westeros who ruled with kindness and justice, and I'm glad to get the chance to read more of his rule. The Dance with the Dragons part in The World of Ice and Fire were too short to make me care, but here it was awesome to see the deaths of each dragon in details. Although I think this was a good read, I will conclude that I can’t actually recommend this to anyone unless they’re extremely fanatics about A Song of Ice and Fire, dying to know every single tiny detail, and wouldn’t mind knowing about every stranger irrelevant to the main series. Just like the existence of this book, a lot of sections felt like fillers. The parts that truly focused on the Targaryens were great, but irrelevancy aside, my problem with this book is that the history tends to focus its narrative for a long period of time on other non-Targaryen characters; which frankly speaking by tomorrow I’ll forget already because I simply don’t give a damn about them. Remember, there’s close to zero emotions within the storytelling of this book; just like The World of Ice and Fire, this imaginary history is told entirely from the writing of an Archmaester. Wheatley’s artwork immensely helped during the boring parts for me, just the fact the next gorgeous artwork awaits me, I was able to push myself reading through the boredom.

Picture: Vermithor at the Second Battle of Tumbleton by Doug Wheatley



In my opinion, Fire and Blood is an unnecessary read but overall a better book compared to A Feast for Crows or A Dance with Dragons; that should say what I think of book four and five of the main series. I won’t deny Martin’s importance as a role-model for modern fantasy, it would be idiotic for me to deny that; a myriad of incredible epic fantasy books appeared because of his influences. However, if you’ve read anything he produced after A Storm of Swords, it should be very clear that he doesn’t know how to continue with his series anymore. Martin is praised for the first three books of the main series, not book four and five. With this book finished, I’ve read all the books in A Song of Ice and Fire; main series and spin-offs included. I can say with confidence that Martin isn't even included in my "top 10 favorite authors of all time list" for now. Maybe his next book can change that notion but what's next and when will that happen? Maybe even a reread through the main series can change that, but that's something I'll do only when Winds of Winter is truly near its publication date.

For now? Words are wind...

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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Reading Progress

August 13, 2018 – Shelved
March 5, 2019 – Started Reading
March 10, 2019 –
27.0% "Reading through this slowly... Enjoying it so far but can only read one chapter a day. 😅"
March 17, 2019 –
page 458
64.87% "The Dance of the Dragons begins!"
March 22, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 50 (50 new)

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message 1: by Leona (new)

Leona I checked it out at the bookstore and found it unreadable. It's like a dry history book.


Zaid I am still reading it. It's quite thick.


Petrik Leona wrote: "I checked it out at the bookstore and found it unreadable. It's like a dry history book."

Not a surprise, that's exactly how the prose felt and meant to be written. Took me 3 weeks to read this one...


Petrik Zaid wrote: "I am still reading it. It's quite thick."

Yeah. It definitely is! The prose made it feels even longer!


message 5: by Alex (new) - added it

Alex Nice review, and the pictures are beautiful. I wonder if he will write novels of all the histories of the houses. I would like to read about the Greyjoy’s and Fray’s.


Petrik Alex wrote: "Nice review, and the pictures are beautiful. I wonder if he will write novels of all the histories of the houses. I would like to read about the Greyjoy’s and Fray’s."

Thank you, Alex! The pictures are gorgeous, I loved looking at them so much. That's actually an interesting idea, but looking at his schedule and series's status... i doubt he'll have time to write more history books that focuses on other houses. No idea though, this is GRRM, we have no idea what he's planning to publish next xD


message 7: by Alex (new) - added it

Alex Very true. Haha. I can’t wait for Winds to come out. I hope it comes out instantly after the show!


message 8: by Jody (new) - added it

Jody Awesome review, bro! :) I have yet to delve into any Game of Thrones books. I will almost have myself talked into starting book 1, and then my desire just goes away. Maybe someday soon......or not. Lol!


message 9: by Alex (new) - added it

Alex Oh Jody! It is a fabulous series! 😂 I want to re-read them, and solve everything.


message 10: by Rinaldo (new)

Rinaldo With this book finished, I’ve read all the books in A Song of Ice and Fire; main series and spin-offs included. I can say with confidence that Martin isn't even included in my "top 10 favorite authors of all time list" for now. Maybe his next book can change that notion but what's next and when will that happen?

Welp that's a bit disheartening isn't it? Hope you enjoy the next series better, man.


message 11: by Brandon (new) - added it

Brandon Cormier I went out and got this book as well! However I haven’t read it yet and to be honest not sure if I will the fact book 6 isn’t out yet makes me feel like why should I dive in to the history of a series of the story’s not even complete yet! So maybe one day for now your review was good enough for me!!


Petrik Alex wrote: "Very true. Haha. I can’t wait for Winds to come out. I hope it comes out instantly after the show!"

Fingerscrossed it will, Alex! :)


Petrik Jody wrote: "Awesome review, bro! :) I have yet to delve into any Game of Thrones books. I will almost have myself talked into starting book 1, and then my desire just goes away. Maybe someday soon......or not...."

Thank you, Jody! I definitely will encourage you to read the first three books, they were amazing and even though I've watched the TV shows, they remained captivating. That being said, I totally understand your reluctance, it's hard to commit to something that will never be finished. xD


Petrik Rinaldo wrote: "With this book finished, I’ve read all the books in A Song of Ice and Fire; main series and spin-offs included. I can say with confidence that Martin isn't even included in my "top 10 favorite auth..."

It is... If I were to judge Martin just from the first three books of ASOIAF, that would be a totally different case. But as a whole, yeah, there's a lot of good reasons why AWoW takes such a long time to release, one of them is without a doubt because Martin doesn't know how to continue the story anymore.


Petrik Brandon wrote: "I went out and got this book as well! However I haven’t read it yet and to be honest not sure if I will the fact book 6 isn’t out yet makes me feel like why should I dive in to the history of a ser..."

Take your time, Brandon! That's totally understandable. Usually a history book like this is better released after the main series has been completed. Just keep the book for now! A lot of other amazing reads await you!


message 16: by Brandon (new) - added it

Brandon Cormier Petrik absolutely sir!! Def not insulting the song of ice and fire series!! And your right lots of great series to read out there!!


Petrik Brandon wrote: "Petrik absolutely sir!! Def not insulting the song of ice and fire series!! And your right lots of great series to read out there!!"

Oh definitely not insulting the series, for sure! Happy reading to you, Brandon! :)


message 18: by Brandon (new) - added it

Brandon Cormier Thank you! :)


message 19: by Audrey (new)

Audrey I am not surprise of your review.My husband read first ASOGAF when he was a teen do you believe he is 37 and the books are Still not finished. I didn’t read them myself because too much disappointment to read something you have a chance to never know the end. I don’t understand the meaning of write this spin off instead of the overdue WOW. Anyway great review petrick as always


message 20: by Chloe (new) - added it

Chloe I will read this book because I got it for Christmas but I expect it to take me a long time! Great review as always


Petrik Audrey wrote: "I am not surprise of your review.My husband read first ASOGAF when he was a teen do you believe he is 37 and the books are Still not finished. I didn’t read them myself because too much disappointm..."

Thank you, Audrey! Yeah, it's insane! The only other instances where I can think of is the Kingdom Hearts video game franchise. The first game came out in 2002, and the third and final game was recently released 2 months ago; that's 17 years. The good thing though is that Kingdom Hearts is finished already, finally! This one... probably won't ever be finished.


Petrik Chloe wrote: "I will read this book because I got it for Christmas but I expect it to take me a long time! Great review as always"

Thank you, Chloe! Yeah it was massive and it took longer to read. I hope you'll enjoy this book more than me! :)


message 23: by Audrey (new)

Audrey I will watch the serie next month at least a little solace lol


Petrik Audrey wrote: "I will watch the serie next month at least a little solace lol"

Oh yes. I'm super excited for the final season! :D


message 25: by Prashasti (new)

Prashasti Jeez, these updates are just adding in the excitement for April :P


Petrik Prashasti wrote: "Jeez, these updates are just adding in the excitement for April :P"

I know right? Just one more month! :)


message 27: by Davidfunk (new)

Davidfunk Hello everyone I’m really interested reading as soon as possible.


Petrik Davidfunk wrote: "Hello everyone I’m really interested reading as soon as possible."

Good to know. I hope you'll enjoy it when you get around to it! :)


Scott  Hitchcock I'm actually surprised your rating was this high.


Petrik Scott wrote: "I'm actually surprised your rating was this high."

It's only 1 star difference from you though, Scott. There were some parts that I found to be quite compelling and I consider the artworks (which is part of the book) into account when I'm rating it. :D

Excluding the artwork, I would rate this 2.5 stars


message 31: by Marcos (last edited Mar 23, 2019 12:56PM) (new)

Marcos I never had any desire to read this book, it seemed to me like an unnecessary extension of what we had in Awoiaf, this review makes me think I was about right, even tough I am a big fan of the series. I don't need a book about Targaryen but a book that expands on things not already known, or even better the 6th book.

Good review Petrik, although I was quite impressed that you decided to read this after your strong distaste for the last books which imho aren't that bad and definetly have to disagree with the fact that George hasn't written anything good since Asos, I really enjoyed Dunk and Egg stories and the last one written in 2010 was probably my favorite.

Farewell my friend, looking forward more tasty reviews :)


message 32: by TS (new)

TS Chan Hah, excellent review. I’m not a die hard and even the illustrations won’t help in this case when I’d rather read some history of our world instead. Your review helped me make up my mind.. cheers for that.


Petrik Marcos wrote: "I never had any desire to read this book, it seemed to me like an unnecessary extension of what we had in Awoiaf, this review makes me think I was about right, even tough I am a big fan of the seri..."

Thank you, Marcos. Yeah, that sounds about right, I was honestly genuinely curious about the Targaryens because of what I've read in TWOIAF. But, the idea sounds better than the actual reading experience and necessity. Like I said, if you've read The World of Ice and Fire, there's no need to read this one imo. I didn't understand people's outrage about the release of this book before, but now? I truly understand why sooooo many people are outraged.

I blame my completionist side btw. It's like... "ah only one book left and I've read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire, might as well do it." Something like that. Not gonna lie, I enjoyed A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, I actually forgot that the book exist when I wrote this review xD


Petrik TS wrote: "Hah, excellent review. I’m not a die hard and even the illustrations won’t help in this case when I’d rather read some history of our world instead. Your review helped me make up my mind.. cheers f..."

Thank you, TS! Yeah... I think if you love the series or the world that Martin has built, The World of Ice and Fire is more than enough. That one was really good imo! :D


Mel (Epic Reading) Martin went from my favourite author for 15 years to one of my least favourite. I totally agree books 1-3 of ASOFAI are amazing. Everything else is brutal. And don’t even start me on him letting HBO right an ending.
Wonderful review. You’ve just certified for me that I should not be sad about having a chip on my shoulder over Martin; as I’m not missing out on anything.


Petrik Mel (Epic Reading) wrote: "Martin went from my favourite author for 15 years to one of my least favourite. I totally agree books 1-3 of ASOFAI are amazing. Everything else is brutal. And don’t even start me on him letting HB..."

Thank you, Mel! It's a shame isn't it? The first three books are absolutely amazing, imo. I read them after I watched the TV shows, and I'm super damn sure I would've loved them more if I haven't watched the TV series. But yeah, you're definitely not missing out, this is more like a cash grab more than anything else.


Lucia Great review Petrik! I am waiting for the library copy to be available so I can read it and see for myself how I like it. Because similarly to you, even though I do adore A Song of Ice and Fire series, I do not count G.R.R. Martin among my top ten favorite authors, yet I am interested in Targeryan history so hopefully I wont be disappointed.


Petrik Lucia wrote: "Great review Petrik! I am waiting for the library copy to be available so I can read it and see for myself how I like it. Because similarly to you, even though I do adore A Song of Ice and Fire ser..."

Thank you, Lucia! Waiting for a library copy is a very great choice!!! I hope your queue will be done soon. I'm curious on your opinion about this book, I'm looking forward to it. The Targaryens history are definitely worth knowing about, but imo the one that I learned from The World of Ice and Fire was enough. :)


message 39: by Mare (new) - added it

Mare Kinley I took this out from the library. I didn't finish. Large portions of my life are taken up looking for non-fiction that reads like fiction. This book is fiction that reads like non-fiction, the beauty factor notwithstanding.


Petrik Mare wrote: "I took this out from the library. I didn't finish. Large portions of my life are taken up looking for non-fiction that reads like fiction. This book is fiction that reads like non-fiction, the beau..."

Well-said! :D


message 41: by jess (new)

jess Removed frrom my TBR, thanks Petrik!


Petrik Jess wrote: "Removed frrom my TBR, thanks Petrik!"

Haha you're welcome, Jess! :)


message 43: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole Awesome review, Petrik! I was actually considering reading it. I thought there would be dialogues and you know... a story. I don’t want to read another World of Ice and Fire (which I really liked just took me ages to read and this one is over 700 pages.. no thanks).


Petrik Nicole wrote: "Awesome review, Petrik! I was actually considering reading it. I thought there would be dialogues and you know... a story. I don’t want to read another World of Ice and Fire (which I really liked j..."

Thank you, Nicole! It was okay i guess, the artworks really helped improve the enjoyment factor, which isn't saying good thing about the writing itself. I really won't recommend it unless you're a super diehard fanatic of ASoiaF. The World of Ice and Fire is enough and better imo. :)


message 45: by Ghaidaa (new)

Ghaidaa Naguib Do you think it’s a good idea to read this book if you have only read parts 1 and 2 of ASoIaF?


Petrik Ghaidaa wrote: "Do you think it’s a good idea to read this book if you have only read parts 1 and 2 of ASoIaF?"

I don't think it matters but I usually recommend people to read book 1-3 before reading the prequels (A Knight of 7 Kingdoms, The World of Ice and Fire, or Fire & Blood) of ASoIaF. I also won't recommend this book unless you're a huge diehard fans of the main series.


message 47: by Tim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tim Great review. I found it interesting, but agree that there was a fair amount of unnecessary digression. The art is wonderful, but I would only recommend this book to a hardcore ASOIAF/GOT fan.


Petrik Tim wrote: "Great review. I found it interesting, but agree that there was a fair amount of unnecessary digression. The art is wonderful, but I would only recommend this book to a hardcore ASOIAF/GOT fan."

Thanks, Tim! Yeah, there were some parts that's not necessary imo. I agree, definitely won't recommend this to non-diehard ASOIAF fan! :D


message 49: by Travis (new) - added it

Travis Once again great review!


Petrik Travis wrote: "Once again great review!"

Once again, thanks dude! :D


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