A Game of Thrones, Paperback
3 out of 5 (7 ratings)


HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R.

R. Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age.

A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men...all will play the GAME OF THRONES.

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plot, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where a 700-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond.

The Game of Thrones. You win, or you die. Book One of A Song of Ice and Fire begins the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age.

Winter is coming...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 864 pages, maps
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9780007428540



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Showing 1 - 5 of 7 reviews.

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Review by

Pretty good read - I'm going to read the rest. Fast moving, and multiple threads that work well in describing a made up world. Also has developed a rather amoral character in the form of Tyrion that steals the show from the other more heroic types. I like that.

Review by

Charged with his compound of sensationalSex plus some undenominationalReligious matterEnormous novels by co-edsRain down on our defenceless headsTill our teeth chatter.The star is for Roy Dotrice, who is a formidable reader. More the pity he did not chose better what to read. I listened to Martin`s work both as a response to a challenge and as a means to take the pulse on contemporary "bestselling". The review is mine, the words are of course purloined from W. H. Auden. And then I haven´t even started to review the violence.........and I don´t think I bother.......what function it has in the book, and what magic it is supposed to work upon the reader should be obvious.

Review by

I tried reading the Wheel of Time series in university, and gave up around the fifth book, due to sheer and unrelenting tedium. I've been meaning to give traditional fantasy another crack recently, and it was a toss-up between this and Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. With the recent TV series surging in popularity, it seemed like it was really time for A Game of Thrones. In the last few weeks of my bookstore job, I think I alone sold about 100 copies of this book.I didn't absolutely love it, but I liked it quite a bit, and a lot more than I expected to. Martin's series, which now stand at five thick novels and counting, is fantasy of the complex political plotting genre, full of dynasties and power struggles and betrayals and so on. It takes place in the usual medieval European fantasy setting, one where the old king was overthrown a few years back and replaced with a new one from one of the noble houses. Much of the book revolves around the Stark family, the rulers of a northern sub-kingdom, and the new king recruiting his old friend Lord Eddard Stark to begrudgingly serve as a right-hand man amid the complex political intrigues of the southern capital.Martin's world is a pretty generic fantasy setting, minus overt magic, and I didn't find him particularly creative in traditional fantasy terms. There are a few striking creations - the enormous wall of ice which protects the kingdom from something it no longer quite remembers is one, and I especially liked the "sky cells" in the dungeon of a castle set halfway up an enormous mountain, where a character is imprisoned in a room with a wall open to a sheer drop, with a slightly sloping floor. One story thread is set in a culture inspired by Central Asia, which is a refreshing change. But most of the book is in the same Tolkien/European style fantasy setting used by a thousand other series, and there were a few things that were downright lazy: the currency is "gold pieces," knights are titled "Ser" rather than "Sir," and - most egregiously of all, as far as I'm concerned - the language used across the kingdom is called "the Common Tongue."All of this is redeemed by the fact that Martin is a much better writer than most fantasy hacks - certainly better than Jordan, the only other fantasy writer I have much knowledge of. Martin's prose, while not amazing, is polished and competent, and his characters are well developed - in particular, his villains inspired utter loathing in me, while still seeming believable, which is hard to pull off. And Martin is good at doing things the reader doesn't expect - there's a shocking scene near the beginning of the book, where something happens to a viewpoint character, which made it clear that this was going to be a series where no character is safe.Most impressive of all is how he manages the flow of the story. In 800+ pages I never once felt that the book was bloated, that the plot was moving too slowly or too quickly, or that I was bored or reluctant to read it. I can't recall the last time I read a brick of a novel that was so well-paced and deceptively readable. Even Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an overall better book than this, was slow to start and lagged at the end.Generic fantasy involving political struggles between various houses, with detailed information on their fictional lineages and banners and so on, is typically the kind of fiction I avoid. But a good writer can make anything work, and Martin absolutely makes A Game of Thrones work. I'd certainly recommend this book, with the caveat that it's not self-contained - it's obviously the beginning of a lengthy saga, and you have to be prepared to make the time investment to read the whole series. But if they hold up to the standard set by the first book, I'm quite happy to do so.

Review by

brilliant characters, brilliant setting, brilliant writer

Review by

Enjoyable enough for epic fantasy, but the continual multiperson storytelling style is far from my favourite. Martin doesn't do too bad a job of it, with clearly headed chapters, but it is still confusing and jumpy which breaks the narrative flow - and in a book as complex as this with many factioned politics going on, it would be better to keep everything as simple as possible. It is however a vast improvement over the pretender of Erikson.The setting is a minimalist magic pseudo medieval europe - the mongol (or maybe aftrican it's not quite clear) hordes of horsemen are a distant threat, the old traditional defence of the northern ice is lacking after decades of long summer, and the main interest of the joint Severn Kingdoms is the internal politicking. We follow various characters, lords sons, queens and the like, (no peasantry at all who serve simply as cannon fodder and bed partners throughout) as they respond to a few events. The King wishes to ease the burden's of state by appointing the current Lord of the North as his personal Hand. They are old friends and fought together to usurp the previous dynasty. Meanwhile the Queen has close ties to her own family and there are rumours the Hand is investigating.There is little in the way of personal motivation, or planning or forethought from any of them. The vast number makes it difficult to remember who is related to whom in what way (or if it matters) let alone remember what their last set of actions had been. The is frequently made even more confusing by some time jumps between viewpoints, with various actions having occurred and only being reported retrospectively. Fortunately most of these are fairly small jumps of only a few weeks at a time, and generally easily comprehended. I think - although I'd be hard pushed to confirm it - that Martin stayed fairly strictly to horseborn transport distances and times as various people run up and down the country. His choice of ravens as the predominant method of information transfer seems odd. However there is little to no magic - although a few strange creatures are seen - weights and ghosts seem to be real, although much disbelieved. Some fairly heavy foreshadowing prepares for the return of elves and dragons too although they don't appear as such.Each individual chapter is well written and engaging. There a few repetitive themes, but among 700 pages this is likely to occur. That various characters refer to the political manoeuvring as the Game of thrones grated each time. I would much rather have read a shorter book focused more intently on fewer characters, with the rest appearing in subsequent volumes, but that doesn't seem to be the book Martin wanted to write. I shall probably persevere with the series though, as there is a certain likableness to the writing and many of the characters. Martin has tried not to create anyone who is evil just for the sake of it, and the obvious bad guy, but motivations for any of the characters are all a bit weak. Far from the best fantasy I've ever read, it is equally far from the worst.

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