11 reviews

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
by George R. R. Martin

Published: 2002-05-28
Paperback : 0 pages
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34 clubs reading this now
35 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 6 of 11 members

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 ...
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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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Review

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


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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

differences in maturity for children of that time and children of today
differences in gender role expectations between that time and today
by alleyair (see profile) 04/04/12

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by Jodie B. (see profile) 03/20/16

  "If you start, you'll want to read the whole series"by Lisa E. (see profile) 02/06/13

I haven't read a lot of books in this genre. Reminds me a lot of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lots of characters, history, whole other world - and you need to invest in a few of the books, first book... (read more)

  "Great Read, if you can make the time!"by Kristin M. (see profile) 12/06/12

  "Wonderful!"by Alison S. (see profile) 11/15/12

I loved this book. Engaging characters, interesting plot, and fast moving. The only reason I wouldn't recommend it to book clubs is the length.

  "A Great Book"by Jamie C. (see profile) 04/10/12

  "Game of Thrones"by Maureen W. (see profile) 04/09/12

Book was not the usual genre I read but was interesting and left me wanting to read the next one to see what happens...or watch the HBO series! I listened to it and was confused at times keeping track... (read more)

  "Addictive action-packed intrigue!"by Alison J. (see profile) 04/04/12

I'm on book three of this series now and it is even more addictive and fascinating than the Wheel of Time series and almost as good as the Sword of Truth series. If you like those, you'll love this!

  "Fantastic read!"by Paula S. (see profile) 01/07/12

Unless book club members have watched the mini-series and/or are lovers of medieval fantasy, I would not recommend this for a book club. I, however, devoured it and will do so with the next 6 novels!

  "This that of book is not for a book club but it is a great story."by Chary P. (see profile) 11/15/11

If you like fantasy, medieval fables, The Lord of the Rings...this is a well written example of Fantastic novel. I do not know if I will have the time for the rest of the series...but I really enjoyed... (read more)

  "Not Really For Book Clubs"by carla j. (see profile) 07/16/11

Most of us loved the book, although personally, I found myself slogging through the last third. Not that it was bad (unlike the last third of Pillars of the Earth), it was just too much more... (read more)

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