A Game of Thrones: Book summary and reviews of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

By George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones
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  • Published in USA  Aug 1996,
    704 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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." - Publishers Weekly

"Judging by this beginning...it promises to repay reading and rereading, from first volume to last, on account of its literacy, imagination, emotional impact, and superb world-building." - Booklist

"Grabs hold and won't let go. It’s brilliant." - Robert Jordan

"Reminiscent of T. H. White's The Once and Future King, this novel is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal." - Chicago Sun-Times

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Author Information

George R.R. Martin Author Biography

Photo: Parris

George R. R. Martin is the award-winning novelist, whose works include including Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag., and books from the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Born in 1948, he spent much of his early career writing short stories, and he received multiple awards, building a loyal following with science-fiction and fantasy fans. In the 1980s he turned to television and editing, and was a screenwriter for feature films and television and was the producer of the TV series Beauty and the Beast as well as a story editor for The Twilight Zone.

After a ten-year hiatus he returned to writing novels full-time, notably on his lengthy cycle A Song of Ice and Fire, which includes the books A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons....

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