Book Reviews of A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1)

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1)
A Game of Thrones - A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1
Author: George R. R. Martin
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ISBN-13: 9780553573404
ISBN-10: 0553573403
Publication Date: 8/4/1997
Pages: 835
Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 763

4.3 stars, based on 763 ratings
Publisher: Spectra
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

100 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 29
I have read more epic, huge fantasy series than I can remember and, this is by far the best I have every read. My definition of a good book is that I forget I am turning pages. And this book meets that definition. Not only did I forget that I was turning pages, I forgot to sleep, eat and interact with others. The characters are dense, interesting, complicated, and engaging. Their relationships are deep, complicated, joyous and tragic. My only complaint is the George R R Martin is an extremely slow writer. It takes him a huge amount of time between releases. I had to reread the series just to be able to know what was going on. I enjoyed rereading them almost as much as the first time
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 24
The words that best describe this novel are sprawling and epic. This story is HUGE. When I got to the end of its 700+ pages I realized that this was just a scratch in the surface of the world that the author had created. The story is broken up into multiple points of view, something I usually do not like, but for this story it is impossible to tell it any other way. I was often reminded of a huge centipede, legs moving in all different directions, but moving the body of the narrative forward. Mr. Martin has done an excellent job of creating a compelling story and dynamic characters. This story is addicting, and a definite read for any fan of the genera.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 1088 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
This may be a fantasy, but the book presents a realistic world, where characters are often cold, dirty, hungry and in distress, and the violence and language are often graphic and disturbing. But don't be put off, because these are compelling and complex characters, and Martin is adept in involving the reader in the sweep of events.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Excellent, intricate, and spell-binding. Don't get too attached to any character, you never know who is going to die. Vivid scenes of battle and political intrigue. Set in an fantasy world resembling medievel times.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This is one of the best fantasy books I have ever read. I could not put this book down. I don't think 800 pages have ever flown by as fast as they did while reading this. One thing I really like about it is that the chapters are fairly short. Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is the portrayal of the "evil" characters. The "bad guys" weren't magical, evil overlords or dark wizards, who were inherently evil, they were people who acted evil because of normal human fallacies. Evil deeds are done in this book because of greed, lust, jealousy, fear, and desire for power. The characters are well developed and things aren't always black and white. If you like fantasy, read this book!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 587 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book is absolutely absorbing! It is truly an experience of another time and place. It is a very intense tale filled with subplots and the fact is the times were cruel and harsh. There are some supernatural elements occurring, as well, that are spooky moments, but they are just beginning and a small part of this first book. The first few chapters I thought I may have trouble keeping all the characters straight, but it quickly pulled me into these lives so thoroughly that was not a problem. This is not my usual genre, but this is an experience not to be missed. I loved it! It does end set up for the next book, but I was satisfied with how things wrapped up well enough that it is not urgent to read the next. However, I am looking forward to diving back into this world!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Dark and surprising. Best semi-realistic fantasy novel I've ever read. If you like stories where there aren't clear cut heroes and villians...this book is for you.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A fabulous beginning to an exceptional series. Epic in scope and rich in political intrigue. Highly recommended!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I've read some negative reviews of this book and I have to say, I don't understand them at all. They talk about how all the good guys die, how depressing it is, and how nobody would want to live in the world that is coming. Sure some characters die, but that is a major contribution to the continuation of the story. I personally loved the first book and just started the 2nd. Things can be a bit bleak at times but I found myself fully engrossed in what each character was going through. If this book sounds up your alley, don't pay attention to the bad reviews. This book is a great start to what is shaping up to be a great series.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This had been highly recommended to me based on the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the charming Harry Potter books for their fun storylines and creative take on the genres of murder mysteries and fantasy. While this has neither the interestingly fleshed-out characters of the Potter books, nor the offbeat and humorous plot twists, if you're a fast reader like me & looking for a great way to kill long plane layovers or train rides, stash this in your bag. The grandiose story of a kingdom at war reminded me of the Lord of the Rings in its epic'ness (is that a word?) and keeps you turning the pages to find out what's next, but aside from a smart-mouthed, high-born dwarf with a taste for trouble and commensurate skill at talking his way out of a tight squeeze, every other important character is painted in broad, one-note strokes of (a) noble or beautiful, (b) evil, (c) handsome/beautiful & noble, (d) handsome/beautiful but evil, or (e) treacherous. That being said, the smartass dwarf did make me smile on numerous occasions and I fully intend to read the rest of this multi-part series to find out what happens.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 3
I tried reading the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin shortly after HBO announced its plans to create a TV series based off of the books. I barely got 5o pages in before I called it quitsthe beginning moved too slowly, I wasnt interested in any of the characters, etc. But after watching the first season of HBOs TV series, I decided to give it a try. This time, I was hooked. The first season served was a great introduction into the book series. I could picture the characters, I knew what was going to happen to them, and better yet, in the books, I could see more under the surface of each characters actions.

Martin is a fearless author. Every time I find myself entertaining a romantic notion about a characters future, I have to remind myself that Martin is behind the wheel. Martin doesnt entertain any romantic notions about his story or his characters. Bad things happen all the time, and Martin is all about showing that in his books. There are no miraculous saves, no triumphant heroes, no last-minute genius ideas. Even the moments where it seems like everything is going to go as planned, Martin does something that makes you want to throw the book against the wall. Martin is completely brutal and unpredictable, and its what makes me love these books.

The tension carries you through the book pretty well, considering that each chapter is another characters perspective, and usually you leave off with the previous characters plot-line until you return to that character. Its a really ingenious way to write a book. I enjoy the chapters of Arya and Daenarys the mostIve always loved strong female characters, and both of these girls take that archetype and fly with it. I think Daenarys could have a book series all her own and I would eat them up. Her story is just so epic. She charges through each obstacle with so much character. She experiences doubts and fears but refuses to let those emotions master her; she is completely self-aware. She could have ended up being this weak little queen to Khal Drogo and instead she took her situation and made it work to her own advantage. Such a good story!

Read more at my website, www.emnienhuis.com!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book introduced me to George R. R. Martin. Once you read this book, you will find that all other books in the series are must reads. The characters are compelling, the story is amazing, the writing is top-notch and the pace is fantastic! This is the type of book that creates "fantasy fans". I cannot recommend it highly enough!!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 201 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Highly complex (possibly too complex) fantasy, with many plot lines interwoven. Keeping all the characters straight without notes is a real challenge. For my money, not as good as Tolkien or Donaldson, but OK.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wow this book was phenomenal. I've heard so many good things about this series of books, but none left me prepared. Martin is brilliant. He leaves you hanging at the end of each chapter just waiting to see what happens next. I can't even begin to say enough good things about this book. I'm so glad i ordered the 2nd one already and can move straight into it. You're really missing out if you don't check this book out.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was awesome and will leave you wanting more, and you can get it as it continues later in the rest of the series. The only fantasy-"tragedy" series I have read which left me loving characters and hating others.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
All I can say is, if you're getting ready to start this series, buckle up....you're in for a wild ride! GRR Martin is a master storyteller.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
I liked this book. The storytelling was VERY good, and I liked how you got different points of view of the same story. It kept me intrigued. The story is a classic Fantasy epic, a little more Knights of the Round Table, versus Tolkien style, but still had some wights, direwolves, talked about giants and dragons.

That all being said, I prefer fantasy to focus on the epic story of good versus evil. I admire the writer who can show incredible love between 2 characters without being graphic in the portrayal. This book definitely has its graphic consensual and non-consensual scenes! Also, some of the violence leans more to the "gore" side, than violence. Some would argue that this makes it all the more "real". I think it takes away from the story, and adds imagery that could be done without.

I will probably not continue the saga.

I would NOT recommend this book for children under 16.

Thanks!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I can see why people like this. It offers a wide range of characters to get attached to, for one thing. But it's not really my style. Too unfocussed for my tastes, maybe? The first part of an epic series is pretty darn unsatifying and only set-up. Also, I don't like having to spend a lot of time with villains who are bluntly manipulative/evil and the protagonists don't manage to do anything about. It's just a turn-off for me.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The first book in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series (or Game of Thrones series, as it's more commonly called.)

These are honestly some of the best books I have ever read. The amount of work the author has put into this series is mind-boggling. Every character is very well-developed and has an extensive backstory, every new place has its own history, legends, religion, customs.

The scope of the book is incredible. I'm not sure how many characters we've had point-of-view chapters from at this point, but it's more than 20. And, perhaps surprisingly, it still flows wonderfully. It would not be possible to tell a story as huge as this one without using the alternating point of view method. Every character has their own compelling story, but their chapters also serve to propel the main plot forward. You learn bits and pieces of the whole truth from every direction.

Also, I love the books because you never know what's going to happen next. Martin doesn't feel the need to fall into clichés. He's not afraid to shock you, and he's pretty good at convincing the reader that one thing is going to happen, only to do something completely different.

I strongly recommend it. However, I will issue a warning: there are some pretty graphic love scenes. Don't get it for your 13 year old. Consider it R-rated.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 123 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book, and this series, should be on every science fiction/fantasy enthusiast's list to read.

Best in its class!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Let me start by saying I am not really into reading high fantasy stuff. I enjoyed TSR novels, when I was a kid, but for the most part, I find the genre to be overly rigid, overwrought, and generally unimaginative.

A friend insisted that I read this, someone who's recommendations I take seriously. I was skeptical, naturally. He found a sample chapter and forced it on me. The story got its hooks in me within the first 30 pages, and after that it flowed, it positively galloped. I found myself reading 200 pages at a clip.

The detail is so rich, the story so well told. I know it sounds cliche, but it really genuinely takes you there, through the eyes and voices of each character's chapters. You find yourself loving characters you should hate, and hating characters you should love.

It seemed like a heavy read, glancing over the book, with all the plot intrigue, names, places, and dozens of interweaving family lines, but it's written so well, it never feels heavy, or dry, or textbookish. You get the eons of history, the details and politcs, without even realizing it.

I had to add my five stars, and my shining review. I am SO glad I found this book and the books that follow, so extremely worth the read. Anxiously waiting the next installment!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
from the very begining, your thrown into what feels like a major family/monarchy soap opera but with more violence! I really enjoy GRRM's writing style. Its what i like to call 'unapologetic' writing, he holds nothing back and writes what he wants. sex, gore, profanity etc but he does it within relevence to what is going on in the book at the time. I read this book in one sitting. I couldnt sleep with my usual boughts with insomnia and found this book very intriguing and suspensfull.

The change from one characters view to another every chapter pissed me off sometimes but its still a damn good read! if anyone wants to read a REAL fantasy book. . This is the series to get!

I have also read the other 3 that GRRM has published so far. The 5th will hopefully be on its way, its taking forever and the natives are getting restless! hahah

anyways i give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. .. i reccomend it to anyone who wants to be shocked, entertained, sickened and suprised!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have seen this book on the bookstore shelves for years and have considered buying it. I started watching the TV Movies on HBO and liked it so much, I went out and bought the book. It is incredible. As good as the HBO Series is, the book is 100 times better. Tolkien-esque but I like it MUCH better than the Lord of the Rings books.

It is a 4 book series (for now) and in Book 1 Lord Eddard Stark is appointed by his childhood friend King Robert to be Hand Of The King. This causes changes for the entire family as Lord Stark moves his 2 daughters with him to the capital of the kingdom. His wife stays home to care for an injured son and his eldest son must stay home and take over as Lord. Stark also has a bastard son who cannot join him at Court and is not welcome by his father's wife to stay at home, so he is forced to join the Night Watch, a group of men who protect the frigid northernmost part of the kingdom from the "wildlings" on the other side of the Wall. The story unfolds from the perspective of the Stark family and a few other lesser characters. Murder, violence, and incest are just a few of the activities going on here. Not for young kids.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 193 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent begining of what appears to be a great series. It looks like a long book but never felt long reading it. Set in a time of knights and princes, the story is shown from a number of the characters' point of view. Honor and treachery intertwine to make a captivating story. A touch of fantacy that expands toward the end of the book. I loved it and look forward to the next book in the series -- especially since this first book left all characters in cliff-hanger sitatuations.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
excellent read. the beginning of a wonderful series (if only he gets to finish it) a warning though... Martin is not very KIND to his charecters.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Loved it!!! Not the genre of book I'm normally interested in, but I could not put this one down. I can't wait to read the rest of the series. At first all the names of the characters was overwhelming, but since there was the appendix in the back, it made it easier to follow along once I referenced it. I'm sad this book is over, but excited to see what else happens in the next!! Recommend it to anyone and everyone.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
One of the BEST series I've read! Has elements of both fantasy and historical fiction. But reader beware: this author is NOT afraid to kill off major characters.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found that reading this book was a lot like watching a television show and then I realized why once I read the author's history. It's a really interesting story, but I think that this author really loves do things to shock the reader and leave cliff-hangers that will just make you wonder what will happen next. He's not the type you want to pick up and read and bond with a character because you never know what he intends to do with them. ;P
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent book! I'm reading the 2nd in the series now, and it's good, but not quite up to the first, IMO.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good fantasy series, but not for the faint of heart.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found that reading this book was a lot like watching a television show and then I realized why once I read the author's history. It's a really interesting story, but I think that this author really loves do things to shock the reader and leave cliff-hangers that will just make you wonder what will happen next. He's not the type you want to pick up and read and bond with a character because you never know what he intends to do with them. ;P
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I tried really hard to like it but I couldn't!

(SPOILERS....STOP HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW)
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My friends recommended this book to me since I love to read fantasy...I am a huge Tolkien fan and many reviews on Amazon were comparing the books (something I consider an insult to Tolkien) anyway...then it started the hype for the HBO show and Sean Bean (of whom I am a huge fan) was cast as Ned...I decided to read the book then and I couldn't like it! Everybody can say it is a masterpiece, it is realistic fantasy and bold because Martin kills everyone but what I found was a gruesome story plagued of horrible characters doing horrible things to everyone....a book where the only character I liked (Ned) had a pointless death at the end and a story told from so many points of views that I found myself skipping chapters to avoid the utterly boring parts that should have been edited on the first place.
I didn't like it. I like fantasy to be fantasy...to be entertaining at least and I don't mean black and white characters but it is nice to read a story where you can identify and root for someone otherwise I'll pick up a history book and read it instead.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book and the rest of the series, with reservations.

I picked it up because I heard it was heavily inspired by the real-world Wars of the Roses, which sounded excellent. I'd also heard it praised for its unusual subtly, complexity, and worldbuilding.

I'll grant the second two. Even admitting that Martin has vastly simplified the conflicting web of feudal obligations and trade and economics*, there's a lot going on here. The story involves vast political upheavals in multiple kingdoms and scads of characters - and yes, most of them are relevant, because Martin shows how seemingly small decisions in one place ripple outward into huge events, as well as how much things that happened years ago still influence people's decisions in the present. I also loved the setup of the years-long seasons, the giant ice wall in the north keeping out the barbarian hordes, the mysterious Cold Ones, and the characters' knowledge that inevitably, Winter Is Coming. And it's going to be bad. Also, Martin undermines a few fantasy tropes, showing the dark side of those noble knights with their fancy armor. There are also lots of legends and songs about the old days, which contradict each other, but probably all have some truth in them, and it's fun trying to puzzle out exactly how they'll apply.

But I thought a lot of plot twists that so many people have praised as shocking and unexpected were dead obvious. Of course we know the spoiled noble in the prologue is going to bite it while patrolling past the Wall - I don't think that surprised anyone. But then, right at the beginning of the book, the Stark children find a litter of direwolves, conveniently with one cub for each child, and one pure-white cub for the bastard son just in case anyone forgot he didn't quite fit in. The cubs are next to their mother, who has a stag's antler through her throat. The direwolf is the symbol of House Stark, and the stag is the symbol of the royal House Baratheon. Gee, I wonder how this book is going to turn out? And that's even if you aren't looking for the Ricardian parallels, which make certain things even more dead obvious. That's the kind of "subtlety" I found throughout. Other mysteries and plot twists aren't solvable or guessable this early in the series, because we haven't (for instance) even heard of some of the characters involved yet, or other crucial information.

There are some bits more subtle than that, to be fair, and a lot of striking imagery. I tried looking at the story as not a surprise-twist adventure, but a tragedy all the more tragic because of its inevitability, which helped me enjoy it more.


*For a look at the real medieval world economy, check out Before European Hegemony: The World System 1250-1350. As for feudal obligations, I'll just note that you could swear fealty to multiple lords at the same time, with one designated as your "liege lord." This could make things very complicated if your lords started fighting.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found that reading this book was a lot like watching a television show and then I realized why once I read the author's history. It's a really interesting story, but I think that this author really loves do things to shock the reader and leave cliff-hangers that will just make you wonder what will happen next. He's not the type you want to pick up and read and bond with a character because you never know what he intends to do with them. ;P
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Awesome book and series. Even if you are not typically into fantasy or scifi (I am not) this is worth a try.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed reading this book- to an extent. It was very hard to read in the beginning, very dense. But I found the stories compelling, especially since they are told from so many different perspectives. I especially liked both Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark. I didn't realize this was a series, so when I got to the "end" and it wasn't over, I was a bit annoyed. I did get book two, because I was drawn in, but I keep putting off reading it because it is hard to get through.
I also wanted to add that I was watching the season premiere of True Blood on HBO last night (June, 2010), and during the advertisements for new shows, I saw, curiously: Winter Is Coming. There were several scenes of sword fighting and ladies in royal gowns and then: A Game Of Thrones, 2011. I was quite surprised, but I might consider watching it.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very interesting, loved reading it, but... I noticed it's more about the larger movements and not much character details. Considering all those pages, I might expect more details but maybe that's why you move so easily through the book. Very interested in reading the next in the series.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 95 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The plot and intrigue of the diffent factions and kingdoms were well developed. The story went into great depth with both the main and secondary characters and civilizations. A very good start to a good series!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Part one of the big sword and light magic-epic. Good King Ned leaves the frozen tundra of the North to help his friend and overlord down South. It's probably not the smart move. Meanwhile, The Others have shown up at the North Wall after a seven millenia nap. They seem hungry.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 202 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent. Robert Jordan called it "brilliant."
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Drunk king, evil queen lots of carnage. Who could ask for more? It does get a bit graphic and it surely promotes the belief that war is hell.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The single greatest fantasy novel I've read since Lord of the Rings. And the series only gets better from here.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
One of my favorite fantasy series of the last 5 years.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
I have started A Song of Ice and Fire book series since watching the fantasitc HBO series based upon this book. They are planning to continue the HBO series in the Spring Based upon the Clash of Kings. I can't wait! That said, I was underwhelmed by the first book - A Game of Thrones. It was difficult for me in that each chapter in the book was titled with a character name and told of their experiences. It was just hard to get used to since it jumped around a lot. I did love the depth of the character development and the medieval feel of the setting. Lot's of people have compared this series to the Lord of the Rings but I did not find them very similar. In comparision Game of Thrones felt more like historical fiction than fantasy. There was not a lot of magical, mystical, monster type things going on. Just normal people going about their lives in an extraordinary place and time. It's worth the read if you are a fan of this genre or if you follow the HBO series. You will get a lot of the background and detail that the TV series left out. I am reading the second book now and it is starting out much more compelling than the first.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 1186 more book reviews
Hated it. Reading this book was like drinking castor oil - you know it will be good for you ( or so everyone says), but you still hate doing it. The two best words to describe this epic are BRUTAL and DEPRESSING. I would equate this book to Braveheart - the good guys die, & who wants to live in the world that is coming? not me. Thank goodness there are other good books out there to help me get over the horrible feeling I had when I finally finished this book.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
This a great epic fantasy serial. The characters are rich and the drama continuous. I can't wait to read the second book.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 328 more book reviews
Outstanding. Complex plot, characters, setting. Keeps you guessing what will happen next. I saw the series first (very well done by the way) and the book is very similar but a bit better. Can't wait to read the next one.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
I waited until i got all 4 before i started this series. It takes you to a land that draws the reader in. A land that while I was reading seemed real to me. I couldnt put this series down. Its intense but it tells the story from all the main people and the plots are intense. Each book in this series starts where the other leaves off. It helps that HBO has shown series one already so you can almost put a face on the people in the books. If i could give it more stars I would. A must for those that want to loose themselves in a great series.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 33 more book reviews
Perhaps it is because I have seen the show first, but I didn't find the book as intriguing and thrilling as I thought I would. One thing I do like about it over the show is the insight into the characters' thoughts and minds.

That said though, the world that Martin sets up in the first book is vast and there are plenty of characters and plots to follow, if there is a character that you don't like, I'm going to come out and say it, Sansa. She is the most annoying, self-righteous girl in the book. I hope she changes in the next few books because I dread reading her part every time.

I like the realistic touch that Martin adds by making it so that no one is safe from death's reach. It is sad to see characters go, but such is life. I am not looking forward to more character deaths, but I am looking forward to the lives of those who yet live and how they overcome their grief.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Possibly the best fantasy series I've ever read. A Game of Thrones is definitely up there with The Lord of the Rings. I think these book are absolutely amazing -- the characters are nuanced and engaging and the plot pulled me right in. I imagine someone has probably said this already, but the first thing that came to mind when I started reading this series was that it's like The Lord of the Rings meets the Sopranos. I'm on book five of the series now and can hardly stand to put it down.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
I found that reading this book was a lot like watching a television show and then I realized why once I read the author's history. It's a really interesting story, but I think that this author really loves do things to shock the reader and leave cliff-hangers that will just make you wonder what will happen next. He's not the type you want to pick up and read and bond with a character because you never know what he intends to do with them. ;P
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 670 more book reviews
This book was a wonderfully well written story that kept you wanting to turn the page to find out more. Some parts were rather shocking and leaves you wanting to know more. It feels like you are right there with the characters, feeling and seeing what they are. I love books like that where you can lose yourself in the story. This does exactly that.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
excellent book - too bad in such high demand - i might have to fork out actual money for it - the wait list kills me.

Each chapter is told about one person specifically. This means you hear about their story line and then move to another story line for a few chapters before getting back - but it helps you understand how it is all connected. It is not a complete story - as some serial books are. The characters are named by title, relationship, first name, last name and sometimes a nickname making it hard to keep them all straight but there is a thing at the end that helps clarify who is who but it is at the end,so by the time you get there, it is pretty much all clear. If I had known, I might have used it earlier.

Very gripping. Lots of deaths of beloved characters. This isn't a "good guy wins" kind of deal.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 66 more book reviews
I generally do not read fantasy but I was drawn to the HBO series and watched it from start to finish. As Season 2 of the series approaches, I have a strong desire to read the second book prior to watching the season. I debated whether to read the first book, A Game of Thrones, before venturing into the second book. Being a purist at heart, I had to and I'm happy I did. My mind's eye, however, was forever set by the characters cast for the series and there was nothing I could do about it. The Cersei, Joffrey, Catelyn, Daenerys, Sansa, and Arya I imagined as I read the book where inexplicably linked to the series. I was also amazed at how well the series captured the entire story laid out in A Game of Thrones. If this is the Grey's Anatomy of fantasy series, as one other reviewer has referred to it, then please give me more McDreamy!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 41 more book reviews
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 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 coldto a distnat summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, ehre is a tale of lards and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs periolously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 46 more book reviews
I'm a sucker for big, chunky books. I'm also quite fond of long, epic, series. This book delivers on both those counts. I finished it only an hour ago and I am already itching to pick up its successor.

=part one of the A Song of Ice and Fire series=
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 123 more book reviews
This is the first book in a remarkable fantasy series. If you enjoy science fiction and fantasy, I highly recommend you read at least this book. George R.R. Martin is a master at creating memorable characters and placing them into a believable whirlwind of political intrigue. Beware - your favorite characters could die at any moment as they become trapped in the game of thrones. I favor the science fiction side of the street, so if you usually avoid fantasy, I say try this one anyhow.
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I found that reading this book was a lot like watching a television show and then I realized why once I read the author's history. It's a really interesting story, but I think that this author really loves do things to shock the reader and leave cliff-hangers that will just make you wonder what will happen next. He's not the type you want to pick up and read and bond with a character because you never know what he intends to do with them. ;P
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
This series was my first experience with the fantasy genre. I have to say it has become one of my favorite sets books of all time.

Each chapter is told by alternating viewpoints, leaving no time for the reader to tire of the story line. I love this series so much I feel obligated to push it on anyone who'll listen.

There are no rules in this book, expect the very most unexpected. I promise you will not be disappointed!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
A Game of Thrones is an extraordinary, well developed, fast-paced, fantasy for adults. The plotting is intricate with a mix of politics, treachery, and fantasy that takes place in a wide variety of climates and seasons. The interwoven family histories are fascinating with their corresponding totems. A deeply satisfying, riveting read!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 55 more book reviews
Perhaps not the exact copy of this book, but close enough! It seemed to flow exactly as the series shows on HBO.

We get a slightly better definition to the characters, but that should be expected within a book. We are also given a better understanding of relationships - like the Khalessi's and/or Drogo's "Blood Brothers."

Otherwise, you are not missing much by watching the show instead of reading the books. I am still hoping to finish the series just to find out who gains the Iron Throne before the series ends.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Had already watched the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones series and was surprised at how well the series followed the book. However, as with most transformations, the series does make some changes and does leave out some information. I thought the book was excellent with the added information and small differences. I did, however, find myself imagining the characters as they were in the series. I'm now reading the second book, on which the 2nd season of the season is based.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 50 more book reviews
This is a very involved series that is a very good read although it can be very hard to follow as there are LOTS of characters and a lot going on. Very graphic, very well written, plenty of sex and violence, and hard to tell the good guys from the bad. Loved this series although I wish the author would hurry up and get the 5th book finished...there surely is a sixth and the idea of waiting so long for it, is discouraging. Each time a new book in this series has come out, I've needed to re-read the previous books in order to remember who everyone was and where the plot was because it is so involved. Highly recommend although not for the faint of heart!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 21 more book reviews
This is an epic saga and I want to read more-as a matter of fact I am ordering the 2nd book after I finish this review. It has every thing you would want from a fantasy novel(mind you not my normal genre )without being over the top with magic,wizards or witches.It has heroes,though sometimes you do not know who to route for.It has ladies and Lords and Knights.When I first started this book I did not know if I even wanted to read it,but after the prequel the novel sucked me in and I could not wait to open the pages and be swept away into this fascinating realm. The only draw back was the huge cast of characters that was at times difficult to figure out which character belonged to which family ,though the Author did break it down chapter wise from the prominent characters point of view so you knew who`s eyes you were seeing the story unfold. On a side note my 17 year old son loves this book!
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I had read this series a few years ago, and the TV series inspired me to do so again (having an aging mind has its advantages). This book and the Ice and Fire series are terrific. The only down side is that it's taking Martin so long to publish the fifth book.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Fantastic characters and story line. One of the most entertaining and enthralling piece of fiction I have had the pleasure of reading.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 41 more book reviews
I enjoyed it, but for as long as there is a television show, I will watch that instead. This book took forever to finish and I could have read 3 or 4 other books in the time it took me to finish this one. Eddard and Catelyn are my least favorite characters and too much time is spent on their characters.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
This book was good but it does not come to any real
conclusion. It just sets the stage for the next book--
a little irritating!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 50 more book reviews
A game of thrones is a book based on the lives of several people through the events of one kingdom. Bran Stark, Catelyn Stark, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Eddard Stark, and Daenerys Targaryen. The book is called Game of Thrones due to a battle for the throne of the land in the past, and the battle that will be in the near future.

The Starks have a saying, "Winter is Coming," because in this land, while this current summer has lasted years, normally summers are short, and winters are brutally long. Winter is coming for all those in this land, and they'd better be ready.

Game of Thrones is an interesting book. If you're not used to jumping POV's, this book might not be for you. All of the people I mentioned above each get their own chapters in the book, and it switches POV from chapter to chapter. For example, one chapter will be Catelyn's, and the next will be Jon's POV. Having read a different series that had a tendency to do this, I wasn't bothered.

Game of Thrones is an epic book. And I mean epic as in, epic sagas of the past (i.e. Beowulf). The books are a massive undertaking, each being around 1000 pages each, but it's a super quick read. George R.R. Martin is an amazing story-teller, and I can't wait to get into the second book, A Clash of Kings.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
What a great read! So many wonderful characters, exciting plot, lots to keep track of!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
I love young adult fantasy and fiction. I have read many books in this genre over the past several years. I know that the Game of Thrones series has really taken off, and has gained much acclaim through the television series (which I must admit I have not watched). However, I really struggled with this series. After plowing through the first 1000 page book, I decided, since I had already invested that much time, that I would finish what I thought was three more 1000 page books. Imagine my surprise when I found that that wasn't even close to the end of the saga. Six months after starting the first book, I decided to contribute no more time to this series. While the story line is intricate and amazingly woven, I found it too dark and sinister for my taste. I read to escape and get very involved with the stories I am reading, so I found that this series was a little too disturbing to complete. I would have enjoyed discovering how the series resolved itself, and how each well developed mini story connected with the others, I just couldn't justify devoting that much time to such a dark subject when there were many other fascinating books to digest.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
This was an awesome book! I can't wait to read the next one. I am hanging....
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 162 more book reviews
Neat, if VERY detailed, story that's Arthurian ... but not.

Getting hooked on this series is dangerous; it's seductive and worth it, but the books get longer and more convoluted as we work toward the end.

Worth every minute you'll spend with it, though.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 170 more book reviews
loved this one--great world and lots of action between characters; looking forward to fourth in series coming soon
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Interesting fantasy political novel. Lots of court intrigue. Has a lot of characters that become hard to keep track of.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 63 more book reviews
First book in The Song of Ice and Fire series - excellent and enthralling epic fantasy.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 161 more book reviews
My sister, my husband, and my sister-in-law all loved this book. I finally got around to reading it, and I wholeheartedly agree. It's hard to put down and so engrossing. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Great read.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Like many others who have read and liked this series I am a fan of fantasy. I love fully incorporating myself into a brand new world and forgetting about the world around me. Huge sweeping epics are my favs!

This series has a lot of that epic landscape and setting the we fantasy readers crave. The characters are richly detailed and never fall into the boring good versus evil tropes. They are gray. Like the colors of House Stark.

At first I found the alternating chapters charming and interesting. Looking and the story from different perspectives gave me a sense of history and scope that is not easily achieved. BUT, it started to wear thin when I realized there was no one person for me to hold onto for the ride.

I simply did not like ANY of the characters. I mean, I appreciate the nuance, and they are very interesting, but I was not rooting for anyone. This meant that the "twists and turns" at the end did not hold my attention.

I felt nothing when I closed this book. Complete indifference. So, I asked myself, what was the point of reading this? Well, it did provide an escape for a few days and the world was very entertaining. That's why this book gets 3 "Like It" stars for me.

Now if only Mr. Martin could craft an anti-hero we could root for as well as he envisions this fascinating new world. Maybe he does in the next few novels? I'm not sure if I should give him another chance or not..
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 207 more book reviews
Amazing. Can't wait to read the rest. The show follows the book quite well. I am pleased with the adaptation.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
This is an amazing book, such a great story with likable characters. It is over 800 pages of tiny print and I finished it in two weeks, hardly able to put it down. It's going to be a show on Showtime soon, I can't wait to see it.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Holy Moses, why can't all fantasy be like this?! Crawl out from under the rock and try this series.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 204 more book reviews
So I picked up this book because I've started to hear a lot about it lately (of the good review variety). And I'm really of two minds about it.

The book was clearly written with a lot of skill. The various plot lines keep moving, and have little in the way of needless exposition. The characters were well drawn, and easy to keep distinct, despite the large number of them. It's definitely the first of a series of books, as it seems like the opening chapter for many of the characters. (Those "opening chapters" are meaty, and full of wonderful story -- like I said, there's really no needless exposition here.)

But about 200 pages before I was done, I was really ready for the book to be done. I kept wanting to know what happens next, but at that point I was ready for summaries. That's not to say that the end of the book was worse than the start, for it was just as compelling (maybe even more so) than the start. I was just done with the stories. Perhaps the real problem here is that there were too many plot lines going at the same time. If one or two had been removed, the book would have been much shorter.

Other things: the brutality of the "bad guys" really hit my over-the-top trip switch. And it wasn't because it was gory or savage; it was the way actions combined with the sadistic glee of the bad guys. I actually had to put the book down a few times to let things sit a bit before continuing. This isn't everywhere, not by a long shot. And it goes a long way toward making the bad guys truly bad guys, so there's a point. But wow. There's truly a difference between savage and evil.

So my review is mixed. The wordcraft is excellent. The story is grand. And yet it didn't leave me wanting more.

4 of 5 stars.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 88 more book reviews
I loved this book. It was the Very Best of Fantasy Fiction.
The problem is it is part of a series and the author just won't conclude it . He has left his loyal readers hanging for years !
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Wonderful book! I am not a fantasy reader, but this book is great.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
This is a highly recommended series. I found it to be decently written and the story ok. Hopefully the next one will pick up and be more interesting.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
I had heard a lot of good things about this book series, so I finally decided to give it a try. I have to say that I loved it. The storyline is excellently written and so is the character development. Everything about this book feels completely real. It was a great read and I can't wait to read the rest of them.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 24 more book reviews
With the length and complexity of this book alone it's amazing to me that it's only the first of many in the series. I appreciated the highly detailed and original world Martin created but I just couldn't finish this. It moves too slowly and, more important to me, it's too brutal and depressing. The villains are horrible, incest abounds, and terrible things seem to happen to every character that's trying to do what's right. I'll be passing this one along as soon as I make up my mind to pay the extra postage.
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A lot of political intrigue and sword play!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 185 more book reviews
Enjoyed greatly .. going to do the entire series. very interesting versus the HBO specials.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
Excellent story. Kept my attention the entire time!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
If you love the tv series you will love it!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 5371 more book reviews
I remember reading it soon after it came out, and I did make it most of the way through, but I didn't think it was real enough (I have high standards in that regard)
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 69 more book reviews
Excellent! Can't wait to read the rest of them!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on
Epic fantasy!
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 92 more book reviews
great series
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Great read. I watched the hbo series first, the book popped in my mind, characters more alive.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 38 more book reviews
I am really liking this series...but they are long.
reviewed A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Bk 1) on + 86 more book reviews
Please see my review here