A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. MartinTitle: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin
Publishing Info: August 1, 1996 by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 28, 2013
Related Posts: A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2), A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3), A Feast For Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4), A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)

    Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.

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Already read book one but not book two? Want to join in on the Song of Ice and Fire Read Along? It’s not too late to join in and continue reading the epic series by George R.R. Martin! 

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So wow. I’m kind of in shock that I actually finished this book! Just the sheer mass of this whole series was SO intimidating and to be honest, I couldn’t have done it without the Song of Ice and Fire Read Along! The participants have been reading this book for the past two months (we’re giving ourselves two months for each book of the series) and I really think that was the perfect was to read it! I didn’t feel intimidated or pressured so I was really able to relax and enjoy the book.

Now I haven’t seen the TV show so I was really going into A GAME OF THRONES pretty blind. I barely knew the basics of the books, but I knew that they were high fantasy which is a genre I’ve really been getting into lately. The first thing I have to say is BRAVO, George R.R. Martin for being able to keep track of all of your places and characters because holy cow. I could not. If there was one negative thing I have to say about the book, it’s that — Besides being high fantasy and trying to keep track of these new settings and foreign lands, I also had to keep track of a NUMBER of characters which was pretty difficult at first. I kind of cheated and watch only the first episode of the TV show just so I could give myself a face for some of the names and that actually really did help! Then the more I got into the book, the more I was able to tell (most of) the people apart.

The epicness of this book is not understated. The book has everything — violence, battles, romance, traitors, adults, children, creatures, gods, royalty, humor — you name it. Honestly, there is something for everyone in this book and despite it’s sheer volume of pages, I really think that so many different people can easily get into this story and really enjoy it. (Just take your time!!!)

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I really felt like each of the characters was very well developed right from the start and so many different personalities shined and really felt different from one another. I truly, truly hated the villains and my heart went out to the heroes. There were plenty of surprises and shocks throughout the book (I’ve been told no character is safe in Martin’s books!) and I just really got invested in the story.

A GAME OF THRONES is really just so long and so in depth, I find myself having a hard time on where to start specifically so I’ll just keep this review simple! It was such an amazing ride and I honestly did not think that I would finish the book and feel so connected to the series, but really all I want to do right now is forget all of my other books and pick up A CLASH OF KINGS and just get lost in the story. If you haven’t started this series yet, take it from a doubter — I think so many people would love it who really hadn’t thought of giving it a chance before!

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YES, there were CHARACTERS GALORE. Umm, usually this is where I do my character breakdown but honestly, there are just too many to go one by one. Let’s do this instead:

LOVED: Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Bran Stark
HATED: Cersei Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Lysa Arryn, Robert Arryn, Viserys Targaryen
THEY GREW ON ME: Dany Targaryen (she has the most immense change in my eyes), Tyrion Lannister (he was just so sarcastically funny), Eddard Stark, Robb Stark, Khal Drogo, Sansa Stark, Catelyn Stark

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Buy it!

Wow, this was so good. Very complicated but I’m so, so happy I loved it!

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15 thoughts on “A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin

  1. Jessie Marie @ The Daily Bookmark

    I love this book and this series so incredibly much that I’m glad this read-along is putting it into the hands of people who otherwise avoided it. When I first read it, I TOTALLY agreed with everything you said about getting characters confused. I didn’t have the HBO adaptation but that’s a really great idea. This book (and series, really) is so perfect because it does have something for everyone (well said) and GRRM has no problems shocking you and totally switching up the whole world. I’m glad you’re enjoying it and I’ll probably jump into the readalong when book 4 comes up. Two months is a great chunk of time, I think this was a very well organized event. Lovely review. : )

    1. Brittany Post author

      YES. I’m scared that no character is safe, but in a way that makes it more exciting!! I hope you join in the readalong for book four! 😀

  2. Briana

    I feel like the only person who doesn’t like this book–and I like epic fantasy in general. If nothing else, the pacing is insanely slow. It takes thousands of pages for very little to happen. There are good aspects of the novel–such as the characterization–but I just can’t slog through the rest of the series.

    I’ve heard good things about the show but haven’t seen it.

    1. Brittany Post author

      Aw, I hate when that happens! I feel like that with a few books too. I just don’t get the appeal! True, it was pretty slow pacing. Maybe it didn’t bother me because I was reading it so slowly & broken up? I don’t blame you for not continuing though! I’m actually just getting into epic/high fantasy so this totally went with that change for me and I was actually surprised I liked it as much as I did! Thank you for commenting 🙂 I love hearing different opinions!

  3. Alexa Y.

    *fist bump for finishing book 1* After triumphing over A Game of Thrones, I totally think that we can do this – we can read all the published books in the series by December! I have yet to review the book, BUT I did enjoy it immensely, although there were certainly parts that dragged on (particularly ANY Catelyn chapters because I just did not like her). I was totally caught up in the whirlwind by the end though!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Ya know… I’m surprised that I honestly didn’t feel bogged down by any of the characters. I was interested in the Catelyn & Eddard chapters because of what was going on in the plot so I actually didn’t feel like those moved too slowly for me. I can’t wait to really get into book two! So happy to be a part of this readlong 😀

  4. Michael

    Awesome Review of the first book in this series Brittany. I am so glad that you liked it a lot even though you were hesitant about it. I am currently on the third book in the series and am reading it along with watching the third season of the TV series. Can’t wait to see how you like the 2nd book. =]

  5. Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books

    I think the readalong you and other bloggers have going on is such a great idea! I’d join in, except I’ve already read the books. I’m glad you were able to get past the sheer amount of characters and storylines and really start to enjoy the book. Just as a warning: the character list and plots keep growing as the series goes on. (I personally think they’re a bit excessive after around the third book). This series is definitely something to behold, however, and I highly recommend watching Game of Thrones. It really does justice to Martin’s books so far.

  6. Candice

    So… I feel very pressured to take on this book, but then I think “who am I kidding? That thing is MASSIVE.” Maybe I should just tackle the shows instead. I’m very proud of you for getting through it AND keeping up somewhat with everyone. Here’s hoping the rest of the books are just as enjoyable and you keep on trucking through them! 🙂

  7. Amy @ bookgoonie

    I watched one episode of Linsone DoBR & it helped to give me a face. This book is sitting on my bedside. I meant to read with you guys. Urgh! It just didn’t get picked up. Having to keep up with stuff is a bit of a downer. I’ll think about it.

    1. Brittany Post author

      I hear ya!! I was behind for most of the book because I was reading so many other things too. It’s hard to stay on track, especially when you’re reading it over the course of two months!

  8. Kristen Williams

    I’m so happy you liked it! I read these books when I was in high school and just was blown away with them! I totally laughed at your Bravo to Martin for keeping up with all his characters and locations. I totally picture him having an entire room dedicated to pages of history, character outlines, maps tacked to all the walls. Ok…after you read the books you MUST watch the show! Being a huge fan for many years I’ve watched the show develop and was terrified it would be horrible (have you read Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series? They did a show, Legend of the Seeker that was so campy! It was fun but not like the books). Well, GoT is amazing and just beautifully done. Ok…this has gotten long. I get so excited about GoT!
    By the way–have I mentioned how lovely I think your site design is?

  9. Melody

    Great review! Looking forward to starting this series this summer! I’ve been holding it off because I’m a bit intimidated by it but I am so tired of being behind on the series and the show and I want to watch the show so I need to read this series already!

  10. Alyssa @ Books Take You Places

    HAHA I love how you make the best pictures ever. I NEED THAT SOFTWARE PRONTO. I am so glad that we are doing this readalong together and I am so glad that you are going at this blind because though I LOVED the book, there were parts that weren’t as EPIC since I knew they were coming, ya know?

    Also, Jon Snow <3 That is all.

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