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A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One [Mass Market Paperback]

George R.R. Martin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,127 customer reviews)
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Kindle Edition --  
Library Binding CDN $18.18  
Paperback CDN $15.16  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $10.79  
Mass Market Paperback, Aug. 4 1997 CDN $10.79  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged CDN $31.98  

Book Description

Aug. 4 1997 A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 1)

Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.


Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

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From Amazon

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

From Publishers Weekly

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
By Ravnos
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First off, I'm a heavy duty fan of GRRM. I've read over a 100 different fantasy authors in my time (started at 12; I'm now 32). Took about 5 years off from the genre b/c I felt it was all getting too formulaic and cliched.

So, when I came back to fantasy at the end of 1999, I read the usual: Goodkind, Jordan, etc. and then someone told me about GRRM and man, that was the kicker!

Here are the reasons to choose GRRM. I've also listed the reasons not to choose him to make it fair b/c I know their are certain personalities who won't like this series:


(1) YOU ARE TIRED OF FORMULAIC FANTASY: good lad beats the dark lord against impossible odds; boy is the epitome of good; he and all his friends never die even though they go through great dangers . . . the good and noble king; the beautiful princess who falls in love with the commoner boy even though their stations are drastically different . . . you get the idea. After reading this over and over, it gets old.

(2) YOU ARE TIRED OF ALL THE HEROES STAYING ALIVE EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE UNDER CONSTANT DANGER: this gets even worse where the author kills a main hero off but that person comes back later in the story. Or, a hero does die but magic brings him back.

This sometimes carries to minor characters where even they may not die, but most fantasy authors like to kill them off to show that some risked the adventure and perished.


(4) YOU LOVE SERIOUS INTRIGUE WITHOUT STUPID OPPONENTS: lots of layering; lots of intrigue; lots of clever players in the game of thrones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Time! Jan. 27 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
My biases: I love Goodkind, I like WOT but downhill seriously lately. I loved Eddings, Donaldson, Tolkien. I love magic, action, battles.
I always read any new fantasy series I start at least a hundred pages before tossing it out. As other reviewers have commented the book has little magic and action and is very political. A soap opera fantasy is probably a good way to describe it. Perhaps comparing Star Trek Deep Space Nine to the other Treks is helpful. I like all the other Treks but found DS9 to be a space soap opera and tossed it. This is what Game of Thrones is like.
I am very disappointed since, after reading other reviews, I was expecting great things from Game of Thrones. Starting the book is rather difficult also since the character you are reading about is constantly changing.
So I am out my 7 bucks.
If you haven't tried Terry Goodkind yet, I highly recommend his work. It blows WOT out of the water and continues to be extremely interesting and very moving.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Why only two stars? While the characterizations are good, there are too many sub-plots and too many characters. Some of the plots and characters are interesting, but not enough time is spent on them to make the reader care. The story skips from one to another and often leaves you wondering. There is so very little action, I was often tempted to skip ahead to see if anything more exciting was going to happen or if I should just give up. I can't even fathom why anyone would compare this work to Tolkein. It has none of the interesting world development, none of the excitement, and very few characters that the reader can actually like. While the writing can be quite good at times, it tends to get bogged down by insignificant details (probably why the book is so unnecessarily long...). I mean, does it really have any impact on the story to describe every single Lord in the land and what their house sigil looks like? Many of the characters are cliched and unimportant, as well. How many time can you read about the spoiled rotten Prince, or the Lord who values honor more than anything? These characters are DULL!!! Sorry to all of you that gave it five stars! I have no idea what you saw in this book....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't force myself to continue reading it Feb. 14 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
[....]I enjoy fantasy and sci-fi writing a lot. Usually I can force my way through a fantasy/sci-fi book even if it's pretty bad. Heck, I finished Crichton's Airframe. However, there was just a certain impenetrable thickness to this book that only let me get about 100 pages in, both times I tried. I think a book should leave you wondering what happens next when you have to put it down to go to class or something like that. However, this book was so confusing that I found myself avoiding it whenever I had time to read. Don't get me wrong, I love stories of intrigue and mystery, and stuff that messes with your head, but this was different. It was just plain confusing; I think part of that is due to the fact that so many of the names Martin uses sound extremely similar so I never knew who's who. Not as in I never knew who was on whose side in a mysterious intriguing sort of way, but that I never could get the name with the right person. Maybe he should have gone more in-depth with each character, and maybe stretched it out to a five-book series. The story did not seem to be in any way lacking; it just wasn't written as well as it could have been. Oh, and what's with the graphic sexual stuff? seriously, I think we're all mature enough to know that it goes on and don't need to be reading about "the wetness between her thighs."
Anyway, try this book out for yourself; you may be able to get into it better than I did, and it may have some good things to offer as well.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good condition and an amazing read highly recommend
Published 1 day ago by Carly
2.0 out of 5 stars Overhyped, underdone.
Nothing but a loooooong soap opera set in a slightly alternate universe version of medieval Earth. There is no real plot or story here, just endless intrigues and character... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Andrew Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the story I've been waiting for my entire life.
Quick Review (TL;DR)
These books are great. Expansive well described settings and extremely complex and detailed characters. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Andres Consumer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great mid evil style of fiction
Published 15 days ago by William A. Bolduc
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fast delivery, product came as described! Thanks again :)
Published 20 days ago by icephoenix
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 27 days ago by Edward Mahon
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Even better than the HBO series! Very detailed, you can almost hear, see and feel everything in this book. Can't wait to start the next one.
Published 1 month ago by Lucy Carvalho
4.0 out of 5 stars A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
A Game of Thrones is a fantasy book which has a very complex story. It is about knights, kings, family as well as betrayals and drama. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Read and Be Joyful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
An excellent book. It took me a little while to get into it and follow the story but once I did it was great
Published 1 month ago by Heather Saulnier
5.0 out of 5 stars Amaizing Book
this book is full of Ideas and quotes, even if you saw the series, yet the book gives you a different Idea about
Published 2 months ago by Ziad Moraly
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