A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)

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9780553593716: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
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NOW THE ACCLAIMED HBO SERIES GAME OF THRONES

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.
 
A GAME OF THRONES
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE: BOOK ONE
 
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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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

From the Publisher:

Long ago, in a time long forgotten, a mysterious event threw the seasons of the world out of balance. Now the kingdom is blessed by golden summers that go on for years, and cursed by cruel winters that can last a generation. In the cool north of this kingdom is a castle, and a royal family ruled by Eddard Stark.

"For as Ned Stark's kingdom is assailed from the south by the poisonous plots of the rival house of the Lannisters, an even greater danger threatens his northern border: the un-earthly demons of legend, the Neverborn. And across the sea, the barbarian hordes are amassing. Dark times undoubtedly lie ahead. . . ."

So unfolds an unforgettable novel that will mark the launch of one of the greatest fantasy trilogies to appear in years. With all the adventure of Terry Brooks, all the magic of David Eddings, and the epic scope of Robert Jordan--and the literary aspirations of the granddaddy of them all, J. R. R. Tolkien--George R. R. Martin is about to enter the ranks of the elite handful of bestselling fantasy writers. A Game Of Thrones is a tale of unrivaled passion, heroism, action and romance, sure to win legions of fans.

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