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

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9780553573404: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
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NOW THE ACCLAIMED HBO SERIES GAME OF THRONES—THE MASTERPIECE THAT BECAME A CULTURAL PHENOMENON
 
Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
 
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
 
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.

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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:

"The major fantasy of the decade . . . compulsively readable."
--The Denver Post

"We have been invited to a grand feast and pageant: George R.R. Martin has unveiled for us an intensely realized, romantic but realistic world."
--Chicago Sun-Times

"A Best Book of 1996: Martin makes a triumphant return to high fantasy . . . [with] superbly developed characters, accomplished prose, and sheer bloodymindedness."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A splendid saga . . . . Inventive and intricately plotted."
--BookPage

"Magic . . . George R.R.Martin's first fantasy epic [is set] well above the norms of the genre."
--Locus

"Such a splendid tale and such a fantasticorical! I read my eyes out and couldn't stop 'til I finished and it was dawn."
--Anne McCaffrey

Locus Award Winner: Best Fantasy Novel

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9780553103540: A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire)

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ISBN 10: 0553103547 ISBN 13: 9780553103540
Publisher: Bantam, 1996
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9780553381689: 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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9780553386790: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)

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9780002245845: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire book 1)

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