A Game of Thrones

” ‘When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die,’ she whispered.”


Title: A Game of Thrones
First in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire
Author: George R. R. Martin
Published August 6, 1996 by Bantam
Number of pages: 835 (US paperback)

Locus Award – Best Novel (Fantasy) (Won) – (1997)
World Fantasy Award – Best Novel (Nominated) – (1997)
Hugo Award – Best Novella for Blood of the Dragon (Won) – (1997)
Nebula Award – Best Novel (Nominated) – (1997)
Ignotus Award – Best Novel (Foreign) (Won) – (2003)

Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction. (Random House)

What a book! If you want epic, if you want fantasy, if you want to escape…if you want to care about your characters, not to mention what happens next, pick this up.

I normally wouldn’t have chosen it, myself. But, with Carl‘s Once Upon A Time III Challenge, and needing to escape from certain stresses in my life right now, I reached for something other worldly, and I’m so glad that I did.

It’s hard to say goodbye to Daenerys, and “her sun-and-stars” husband, Khal Drogo. It’s hard to say goodbye to Jon Snow, bastard son of Eddard Stark, who has gone to join the Night Watch on The Wall. What is the mysterious force he’s fighting, with his direwolf, Ghost?

But, it’s easy to want to slap self proclaimed King Joffrey, who’s killed Sansa’s father and brought her to see his head on a stake before their forced marriage. It’s easy to want to throw Joffrey’s mother, Queen Cersei, off some parapet because she’s the manipulation behind much of his decisions.

Those are only a few of my favorite characters. The book is so full of them, I’m sure you’ll find a few favorites of your own. When you do, let me know; we’ll have to discuss who should be King. Or, Queen.

14 thoughts on “A Game of Thrones

  1. Hi DB -Love the new site! Thanks also for this passionate review. Maybe not as passionate, but I've just posted my review of Kafka by Murakami. I would hasten to warn you, whom I know adores your pets, this might not be one for you. I was a little disturbed at parts, although I pushed on through to see this fascinating work come to it's end. So when does the Third Japanese Reading Challenge start for 2009??


  2. Hi Bellezza,Love the new site! Thanks also for this passionate review. I've just posted my review of Kafka by Murakami. I know you were interested, but see my warning re chapter 16 – It's a little disturbing for those who love cats or hate violence. Still Murakami does take his readers on a roller coaster ride in surrealism of the most bizarre.


  3. Oh I want to go start reading book 3 now!!! I absolutely loved Daenerys and Jon Stark and Sansa…three of my favorite characters. Daenerys is just one of my all time favorite characters period. Wasn't the ending of the book fantastic with her final scene??? I jumped right into book 2! Fantastic review Bellezza!!!


  4. Tamara, I can't wait to come see what you thought of Murakami's Kafka On The Shore. I have bought my own copy of that in hardback because I absolutely must reread it. So many things need clarification in my mind that I don't think once through was sufficient. The third Japanese Literature Challenge starts July 30, and I'm so excited I've already started accumulating the prizes!Chris, I doubt I will ever forget Daenerys! I'm just in awe of her strength of character; I completed the part where she goes into Drogo's funeral pyre last night, burying him with his bells, and her three valuable dragon eggs, and she emerges unscathed with three baby dragons: so cool! Their whole relationship will always be memorable to me, something to aspirei to, anyway. It's a fabulous, fabulous book, and I can't wait to start book 2. Who knew that I'd become a fanstasy fan? 😉


  5. I bought this book over the weekend. I've been wanting to read it, then you reminded me that I'd been wanting to read it, THEN I had a coupon for 40% off at the bookstore. I'm looking forward to it :o)


  6. Terri, I've been resorting to buying it as well. Our normally well stocked library has copies on reserve for weeks! Who knew it was this popular! Certainly not I! Now I'm just itching to get to the next book in the series; as far as I can tell, five of seven are already published.Thank you for enjoying the photograph as much as I do. I'm not familiar with Where Angels Fear to Tread other than a saying, so I'll go search that out now.


  7. Edi, I think it would be enjoyed by young adults. It's a bit tricky to keep all the characters straight, as each chapter leaps from one to the other, but eventually one gets used to that. And, in case this is an issue, there's nothing I found inappropriate. It is really a well done fantasy that has me wanting to continue the series, and I did give it to my teenage son because I know he'll love it, too.


  8. A Game of Thrones is one of my favorite books of all time. It's really interesting..with the multiple point of view approach..and how the characters truly develop. With Martin's books (at least with this saga) the line between good and evil is really blurred..and I like that. Nothing is black or white.. good or bad. It's what it is..harsh..brutal..touching.. sad, etc. All the characters work a way..and have reason for the way they work..and getting to see that is nice, especially since martin does it so well. The complexity of the characters, and how we really get that insight is what I like. You get to see and feel what makes the characters tick..what motivates them..etc..no matter how much we may come to hate them. Plus the story is amazing.Anyway, I agree with everything you said :D. ..and Joffrey..ugh I hated him. Haha.


  9. Tyrion, I got so enthusied about Martin's Fire and Ice series that after reading the first, I bought all the rest on eBay. I really hope to read them in 2010, because I didn't in 2009. But, at least I was introducecd to them! I often thin of the characters, especially Daenerys; what a heroine! Have you read the rest?


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