A New York Times Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
A 1997 World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel
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.
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.
© 1996 by George R. R. Martin
“Such a splendid tale and such a fantasticorical! I read my eyes out and couldn’t stop ’til I finished and it was dawn.”
Anne McCaffrey, Hugo Award–winning authorSuch a splendid tale and such a fantasticorical! I read my eyes out and couldn't stop 'til I finished and it was dawn.Anne McCaffrey
“The major fantasy of the decade…compulsively readable.”
“We have been invited to a grand feast and pageant: George R. R. Martin has unveiled for us an intensely realized, romantic but realistic world.”
“Magic…George R. R. Martin’s first fantasy epic [is set] well above the norms of the genre.”
“Martin makes a triumphant return to high fantasy…[with] superbly developed characters, accomplished prose, and sheer bloodymindedness.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A splendid saga…Inventive and intricately plotted.”
4 out of 4 (100%) recommend this productWrite a review
Exciting and absorbingOctober 6, 2014I watched the TV series and now I am listening to the audiobook ... ummm ... definitely a yes to both media.
Great Book to Lead the SeriesJune 24, 2014A great and very long audio book! I greatly enjoyed it since I am a fan of the show. It's nice to hear/know the thought processes of all the characters to get a better understanding of what's going on. If you're a fan of the show, definitely get this.
Loved itAugust 17, 2013Great book, I downloaded the audiobook for a roadtrip and got hooked. I really like the way roy dotrice reads and changes his voice for the different characters. Because of this book I've started watching the hbo series, of course the book is better but the series is pretty good so far. I just started listening to the second book and its only getting better.
A Great Audiobook!August 12, 2013I first got drawn into A Game of Thrones by watching the HBO show, but as we all know the actual books are usually much better than any movie or TV show, so I was always intending to give them a read. That said, I did have friends who had read them and they told me that the books are really challenging, mostly because there are so many characters and we get kind of a first-person view from all of them. Bearing that in mind I decided I’d give the audiobooks a chance, as they would help me get through the books on my drive to work.
I’d read a lot of different opinions of the Narrator, Roy Dotrice, some people liked him, some people didn’t, but I for one really found his voice a great fit for this book. I like to imagine that he is an old storyteller in King’s Landing, or possibly Winterfell or something, looking back and kind of telling the story to everyone. He tries to give every character a distinct voice, but with so many it gets hard to tell them apart. I don’t blame Dotrice though, he actually got into the Guinness Book of World Records for most characters voiced in an audiobook (I think it was 244) in this book. That’s a lot of voices.
Once I got into the book itself though I really started to enjoy it. I’m a sucker for long stories that develop characters over time, and that’s exactly what you get here. I’d read some of George R. R. Martin’s other works before, so I expected the characters to be good, but I really think he’s outdone himself on this one. There are so many interesting characters, and they are all so deep. Something you miss in the show is how differently they all view the world and events going on around them. Taking the time to listen to the audiobook though, you definitely get more insight into the characters thoughts and feelings.
And that is really Martin’s strength, and the strength of this series, is the depth and uniqueness of the story and characters. It’s not a cookie cutter fantasy world. The characters aren’t all good or all bad. They are complex people. Sure, some really are “Bad Guys” like Geoffrey Lannister or Viserys Targaryen, and some you genuinely want to see come out on top, such as Arya Stark, John Snow, or Tyrian Lannister (the Imp), but you see through their characters and the story how good people can end up doing terrible things, and bad people can sometimes have redeeming moments or qualities.
So, to sum it all up, if you want a great story, where the outcome and the characters aren’t completely predictable, where the good guys don’t always win in the end, and where you can still be surprised and delighted by the way the story twists and turns, then this book is for you. It really is a long and challenging read, but I found the audiobook version of A Game of Thrones to be well-read, and easy to digest during my otherwise boring commute to work every morning. I recommend checking it out!
Roy Dotrice is a Tony Award–winning actor best known for his Broadway performance in the revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before producing and directing some three hundred stage plays. In 1957, he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theater, an experience that brought him opportunities in radio, film, television, and numerous Broadway productions.