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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 are heavy, and (4) mentally agile--they follow a host of characters through a myriad of subplots. In A 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, which Locus called "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 Thrones is 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
In a world where the approaching winter will last four decades, kings and queens, knights and renegades struggle for control of a throne. Some fight with sword and mace, others with magic and poison. Beyond the Wall to the north, meanwhile, the Others are preparing their army of the dead to march south as the warmth of summer drains from the land. After more than a decade devoted primarily to TV and screen work, Martin (The Armageddon Rag, 1983) makes a triumphant return to high fantasy with this extraordinarily rich new novel, the first of a trilogy. Although conventional in form, the book stands out from similar work by Eddings, Brooks and others by virtue of its superbly developed characters, accomplished prose and sheer bloody-mindedness. Although the romance of chivalry is central to the culture of the Seven Kingdoms, and tournaments, derring-do and handsome knights abound, these trappings merely give cover to dangerous men and women who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. When Lord Stark of Winterfell, an honest man, comes south to act as the King's chief councilor, no amount of heroism or good intentions can keep the realm under control. It is fascinating to watch Martin's characters mature and grow, particularly Stark's children, who stand at the center of the book. Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes, including Hugos, Nebulas, Locus Awards and a Bram Stoker. He's probably going to have to add another shelf, at least. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I've read this series before many times, it is an amazing work of art and i recommend it to any LOTR, fantasy, medieval, or even history fan. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
Tried to read this after the first episode on tv. After 5 seasons have picked it up again and am LOVING it. Will definitely be purchasing the rest of the series.Published 2 months ago by PooHoo's Mom
Big fan of GoT. Read the books many times. The voices are sometimes a little strange (trying to come up with voices for so many characters would be difficult). Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rick H
Great read, well developed characters and plots. I've already been enjoying the tv series, so I thought I'd give the books ago. I'd recommend this to any fantasy book lover.Published 4 months ago by Mrs. E. Clark-Emmons
The first book in the Game of Thrones series is just as good, if not better than the show! I'd say both are equal. Read morePublished 5 months ago by koolz03
Appeared daunting due to its length, however, this book lived up to all of my expectations. Onward to book ll.Published 6 months ago by Kathy Nixon
Difficult to get into this world, but completely enthralling once you do. The chapter by character is difficult at times but also keeps you connected with all of the story lines.Published 6 months ago by mark