This was an incredible book. The narrator took some getting used to in particularly the way children and women are spoken. Otherwise, the narrator is brilliant. He sounds like the great actor that he is. This is not just a good narration; it is a great performance. As strange as it was at times, I have been tempted to listen to the next book in the series just for the narrator.
The story is deep and complex… exactly what I was looking for. The characters are rich and it is easy to become invested in their fate. Therein lies the rub. If the character is good and kind and honorable, they are probably going to die. This is a story in which it pays to be bad. Maybe that was the way things were back then, whenever then or where is. The sex and violence did not seem gratuitous… only the evil that men and women do. Okay, there was a lot of violence, which brings me to my conclusion.
I give the book 5 stars because the book was that good. Reading beyond the first in the series feels, for me, like self-flagellation. The book was just too dark and depressing. There was too much torturing of characters and eventually, I felt like was starting to feel the pain myself. I am not a sadist nor am I a masochist. So as well as the book was written and narrated, I do not think I will continue beyond Vol 1.
I am without words.... This book is just epic! I am still reeling from the captivating storyline and the amazing narration! This is what mature fantasy literature is all about, it is magical and yet feels so realistic. The vast array of characters are engaging and beautifully developed. The characters age so realistically in the book and the many sub-plots and intertwining leaves you just wanting more and more. The narration is so spot on I can't think of anyone else that could do this book any more justice, Roy Dotrice, you are just plain great. This was one of those books that you CANNOT stop listening to. I mean I listened to this book non stop, going to bed some UNREAL hours because of it. I am so impressed, so so so impressed
Wow. George R. R. Martin has renewed my faith in the Fantasy genre. I enjoyed this book so much I was pulling my hair out waiting for the month to end so I could download the next 2 books in the series. The writing is excellent. The dialogue is wonderful. The setting is dark, intriguing and original. The narrator, an experienced actor, is exceptional and he easily allowed me to immerse myself in the story. The only thing that I fear would turn people off from this book is the intense violence and certain taboo situations--but such things are expected in a more gritty, realistic medieval setting. So if you prefer your fantasy novels rated PG, than A Game Of Thrones is not for you. Also, those of you who expect all of their fantasy novels to end with shiny, happy people holding hands can just stop reading now and find another book. R.R. Martin isn't afraid to kill characters. So if you're not already squeamish by what I've said above, then read this book. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll shake your fists into the air and seethe with rage. I have found my new favorite fantasy author, and his name is George R. R. Martin.
I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, and I can promise you that this series of books is among the best.
This tale takes place in a land known as the "Seven Kingdoms." However, these kingdoms are actually ruled by a single King with various Lords under him. The history of these kingdoms is expertly blended into the plot, so that you effortlessly become emersed into the world. I can't overstate the skill with which the author draws the reader into his world. It feels as if this land, with its people, traditions and history is as real as our own.
Magic does exist in this world, but it is rare. It is used to color the plot, not to dominate it. There are hints of other races, but varieties of humans are all we encounter. There is some profanity, but it's fairly rare and in context. There is some sexual content. I wouldn't recommend this book for children.
Large sections of the plot revolve around the "palace intrigue" of the King, his family and the Lords. This is a book about the nobles of this realm and, as the title suggests, the high stake games they play for power. The characters in the book are deep, colorful and simply splendid. Their lives have a depth to them that few authors accomplish. I confess that, when not reading the book, I actually thought about them during the day and laid awake wondering about them at night. In the audio version, the narrator does a wonderful job of giving voice to these vivid characters.
The plot has numerous twists and turns. Sometimes I think the author intentionally speculates about what the reader would expect in the plot of a fantasy novel, and then does something completely different. I gave up trying to predict what would happen, and decided to just enjoy the ride. However, there is an overall "master" plot that is slowly unveiled in this and subsequent books.
If you enjoy fantasy, this is a must read. Even if you usually don't like fantasy, you may very enjoy this one.