"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 and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's 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 cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assasins 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 wildling carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hang perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflcts: the game of thrones."--Back of container.
Featured Series5 primary books7 released books
A Song of Ice and Fire is a 11-book series with 9 primary works first released in 1996 with contributions by George R.R. Martin, Jorge Candeias, and 2 others.
Reviews with the most likes.
That's how long it took me to read this book. There were weeks where I didn't pick it up, read a different book or two, but then there days where I couldn't put it down and spent every free second reading about the wonderful characters in this story.
Yet, no matter how long it took me to read this, ever minute I did spend reading it was worth it. It is an epicly fantastic fantasy story. There truly is a reason why A Song of Ice and Fire is so popular. Part of me wants to move on to book two. However, I think I'm going to stick to the TV show and actually get some reading done this year.
The writing, characters and dialog are great. I just did not enjoy the overall plot of the book. It felt short-handed. As other people have pointed out, the author took a typical fantasy story, removed the fantasy/epic elements, and replaced them with... nothing.
The story arcs go nowhere. Having seen the tv-series, read/listened what other people have said, this is true for the following books as well. The author said in an interview this was somehow on purpose, to “break the mold”, but it felt empty to me. Still a good story, just not a great one. My greatest complains are with the latter books, if they follow the tv-series, which I was having problems following in the 3rd season and can no longer bear in the 4th.
The whole book felt as a prelude of things to come. Which is fine, as long as Martin don't kill every single plot thread, and start another, to just kill them again before they end. Kill as many characters as you want, just don't make their deaths in vain!
Among the more ore less minor plot problems I had:
- the Imp's trial outcome when captured by Lady Stark. For one thing, there was this whole scene that basically was just skipped in the book. In one moment he was talking, the next he was free. This plot device is not uncommon, and he uses many times in the book. This is not that bad, the offender here is the might is right part. He gets to go free if he wins a duel. Not only that, he can pick a fighter for him. Again, not that unusual in fantasy/medieval stories, but a very poor device. I was hoping Tyrion to use his wits to escape, not this 'deus ex machina' (the invocation of an ancient nonsensical rule that saves his dwarf ass).- master-sword Syrio Forel duel with the kings guard. I might have missed something here, because this felt like a "Really" moment. So, you're facing four armed opponents, and you are so good of a sword fighter that you probably could defeat them blindfolded. You manage to defeat and disarm three of them, yet you still keep using your wooden sword. Really?- Arya reports to her father what she heard and he ignores her. There was this whole scene, maybe chapter, where she lost herself in the castle caverns, with the dragons skeletons, and overheard sensible information that at the very least should not be ignored as a child's avid imagination. She was able to remember enough details that her could have used somehow. At any rate, this was wasted scene.- Sansa talks to the Queen about her father plans to smuggle herself and her sister out of Kings Landing. Another wasted opportunity to connect some dots here, something like Ned finding out and saying "Oh Sansa, so all of this was your fault!" :-). Well, or at least she feeling like that.
And the major one:
- Ned Stark's death. I have no problem with killing the "hero". I have a big problem with the "business as usual" attitude that follows. Yes, there was a war that followed. But there was already a war going on. And that war went nowhere. I want revenge, I want the unexpected, I want something awesome and magical to happen. I want that freaking Stannis Lord of the Light shadow baby assassin monstrosity to do something. Mundane drama I can get in other genres and, the reason I don't read them, in real life.
It was a good story though I felt as though it started off to slow. For a book that's over 700 pages, having a third of the book as introductory is killer. Picked up by the end of it, but mad at the ending...
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