NOW THE ACCLAIMED HBO SERIES GAME OF THRONES
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
From a master of contemporary fantasy comes the first novel of a landmark series unlike any you’ve ever read before. With A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has launched a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill the pages of this magnificent saga, the first volume in an epic series sure to delight fantasy fans everywhere.
A GAME OF THRONES
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE: BOOK ONE
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 forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. To the south, the king’s powers are failing—his most trusted adviser dead under mysterious circumstances and his enemies emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the king’s new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but the kingdom itself.
Sweeping from a harsh land of cold to a summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, A Game of Thrones tells 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; a child is lost in the twilight between life and death; and a determined woman undertakes a treacherous journey to protect all she holds dear. Amid plots and counter-plots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, allies and enemies, the fate of the Starks hangs perilously in the balance, as each side endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Unparalleled in scope and execution, A Game of Thrones is one of those rare reading experiences that catch you up from the opening pages, won’t let you go until the end, and leave you yearning for more.
“A Game of Thrones is a contemporary masterpiece of fantasy. The cold is returning to Winterfell, where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime. A time of conflict has arisen in the Stark family, as they are pulled from the safety of their home into a whirlpool of tragedy, betrayal, assassination, plots and counterplots. Each decision and action carries with it the potential for conflict as several prominent families, comprised of lords, ladies, soldiers, sorcerers, assassins and bastards, are pulled together in the most deadly game of all–the game of thrones.
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.
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.
What could be said about Game of Thrones, the first of George R.R. Martin’s epic series, that hasn’t been said a million times? It’s absolutely brilliant. Going into these books (I read them after the show began but before I’d seen the show…), I enjoyed my share of sci-fi/fantasy along the lines of Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer… fairly light-hearted stuff (in comparison, at least) that always felt grounded in the same world I live in. The one genre I really disliked was “Middle Ages Fantasy” as I called it. Lord of the Rings, for instance, while the films were visually appealing, was not my cup of tea… too detached from reality. So when I first saw articles and clips from the HBO Game of Thrones series, I thought it looked like the one type of fantasy series that I would never enjoy. I held out for a looong time, until 3 different friends of mine with similar tastes in books/shows/films promised me that, while they too disliked this sub-genre of fantasty, this series was different, and I HAD to read the books or start the show. Grudgingly, I picked up the first book, figuring that I’d push myself half-way through it and let me friends know I tried and they were totally wrong.
Of course they weren’t wrong.
What George R.R. Martin has done here defies genre, period. It doesn’t matter if you’re like me and don’t care for this sub-genre of fantasy… it doesn’t matter if your like my spouse, and don’t like fantasy at all. If you enjoy brilliant, incredibly-developed, thought-provoking stories… those with a strongly developed cast of characters who blissfully lack being “good vs. evil” and instead all display their shades of grey, good traits, evil traits, unique traits, all sorts of traits… then this book is for you. Buy it. Open it up. Start reading. You won’t regret it.
First off I fell in love with this show on HBO. The characters, the story, the drama so I knew I would eventually get the books. When I found out there was a collectible leather edition I was extra excited. And then when I got a gift card for $25 I knew I would get this set immediately.
However, the reviews scared me off. I was afraid the books would be “too small” to read, or “pages would be missing”, or even have a “funny smell” to them. All these things I’ve read in previous reviews. All of which, for my taste at least, has not been a problem. I was under the impression it would be the “size of a pocket bible” and the pages were so thin u could see through them like bible paper. Not the case for me.
The set arrived 4 days early and to my surprise they were really heavy, good quality, smaller books. Not nearly as small as my pocket bible. All of my pages are here (from what I can tell) and although I doubt the quality of the “leather” it still feel great in hand and is just stunning to look at. Also the lettering is perfect for reading, sure it’s not your normal size but it is still a big enough size that I don’t even need my glasses to read it. The colors are gorgeous and it looks great on my book shelf.
I’ve included pictures to show its beauty and also compare the size to an actual pocket bible and its paper.
If your a Game Of Thrones fan like I am and u like collectibles this is a product for you. I hope the pictures and this review can help someone take these reviews just as a mere opinion and make the decision for themselves.