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A Game of Thrones

A book by George R.R. Martin

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And so it begins...

  • Jul 26, 2008
Well, I'll tell you. There's nothing like reading this series to really make you greatful to live in a republic, or just about anything other than an oppressive, authoritarian land where one person runs the whole show. Yeesh!

This book is the start of what is technically a fantasy series. It draws heavily off real history (most notably the War of the Roses), and actually contains surprisingly few fantasy elements, at least at first.

The characters (all twelve million of them), are generally well-drawn, and there are certainly those I like spending time with and those I don't. The setting is fairly imaginative, if somewhat iffy (I really, really get annoyed at fantasy realms where they have institutions that date back thousands upon thousands of years, but in all that time the surrounding cultures and technologies haven't changed one bit).

The writting, as I've come to expect from other Martin works, like the Wild Cards series, is fast-paced and interesting, with plenty of political intregue, plotting and scheming as well as lots of blood and gore.

But, boy, I'll tell you. By the end of the book I was thinking "To blazes with all these kings and their game of thrones. Where's a good ole fashioned peasant uprising when we really need one?"

Still, vastly entertaining and worth reading!

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More A Game of Thrones reviews
review by . June 24, 2010
I have heard of a lot of great things about George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, but I was reluctant to take the plunge, since his production on the series has slowed to a crawl in the past decade (after releasing the first 3 books from 1996 - 2000, his fourth book came out in 2005, and the fifth book still hasn't been released yet).  But I heard that HBO is adopting the first book into a TV series, I wanted to read the source material before the TV tainted my interpretation …
review by . June 22, 2010
When I first picked up George Martin's A Game of Thrones, it felt as if I was betraying my fantasy author idol Robert Jordan. It began when I agreed to read the first book of from The Song of Ice and Fire series, as long as my friend read the first of Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. Though A Game of Thrones retains many fantastical elements of the fantasy genre (dragons, knights, queens, and so forth), it tends to approach these subjects from an almost political, or diplomatic angle. …
review by . July 13, 2010
   Truly, Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is absolutely enthralling. I have recommended it to fans of the genre and those less interested in fantasy, both, because these books are so well done that I think most people will find them absorbing. Martin is a fantastic writer, and I recommend all of his works, in fact.      A Game of Thrones is the first book in the series, and though long, it's actually the shortest of the 4 books so far. In this beginning …
review by . June 24, 2010
I could not put this book down after it was suggested to me be a friend. Goerge R R Martin has created and wonderful world full of characters i can't get enough of. The Song of Ice and Fire series is well worth the read, and i recommend it to anyone with a pulse. But beware, because if you are anything like me once you finish the first book you'll drive yourself insane waiting to get your hands on the second, and then the third etc.    Because first and foremost …
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
This is one of my most favorite fantasy books of all time. The Stark family will take you away to a fantasy land of the north you will be forever addicted to the "Song of Ice and Fire" series.
review by . May 20, 2009
What is it about fantasy that endgenders massive series of books? From the works of Tolkein on up to Terry Pratchett, we have series of three, five, twenty or even thirty-six books. You don't generally see that in other genres. Oh, there's the occasional exception, but if you want really large, epic works, fantasy is your go-to genre.    I'm not sure why this is. I guess it's because authors love to have a chance to show off and what better way to show off then by creating an …
review by . June 30, 2004
George R.R. Martin hits it big with this book. Simply put, this book is one of the best fantasy books on the market, and maybe always will be. It is that good. What is so great about "Game of Thrones" and "the Song of Ice and Fire" series altogether is that it is such a great break from many of the fantasy series that are out there or emerging.This epic is not about friends traveling the world together. This epic is not about clean tactics and good natured people always winning. It is not about …
review by . May 16, 2001
I've already ordered George Martin's "A Clash of Kings" and "A Storm of Swords," even though the mighty, multi-volume, multiple-viewpoint, medieval-war epic is a genre I usually avoid.I'll continue to read Martin's epic because I'm obsessed with his characters and their stories.Of course, I would rather have fallen in love with his characters (love lasts longer than obsession), but that's hard to do when the author alternates his chapters between eight different points-of-view (not counting the …
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C R Swanson ()
Ranked #59
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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Readers of epic fantasy series are: (1) patient--they are left in suspense between each volume, (2) persistent--they reread or at least review the previous book(s) when a new installment comes out, (3) strong--these 700-page doorstoppers areheavy, and (4) mentally agile--they follow a host of characters through a myriad of subplots. InA Game of Thrones, the first book of a projected six, George R.R. Martin rewards readers with a vividly real world, well-drawn characters, complex but coherent plotting, and beautifully constructed prose, whichLocuscalled "well above the norms of the genre."

Martin's Seven Kingdoms resemble England during the Wars of the Roses, with the Stark and Lannister families standing in for the Yorks and Lancasters. The story of these two families and their struggle to control the Iron Throne dominates the foreground; in the background is a huge, ancient wall marking the northern border, beyond which barbarians, ice vampires, and direwolves menace the south as years-long winter advances. Abroad, a dragon princess lives among horse nomads and dreams of fiery reconquest.

There is much bloodshed, cruelty, and death, but A Game of Thronesis nevertheless compelling; it garnered a Nebula nomination and won the 1996 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. So, on to A Clash of Kings--Nona Vero

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ISBN-10: 0553381687
ISBN-13: 978-0553381689
Author: George R.R. Martin
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Bantam
Date Published: February 22, 2011
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