In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow. At the center of the conflict, the Starks of Winterfell hold the key: a reluctant Lord Eddard is summoned to serve as the king's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder both family and kingdom. In this land of extremes, plots and counterplots, soldiers and sorcerers, each side fights to win the deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.Plus
Why we think it's Essential: A favorite of Audible listeners, the first book in Martin's series introduces a world of deep intrigue, dark fantasy, and varied characters. It might prove overwhelming, were it not for Roy Dotrice. With a voice so seasoned and gripping that he may have stepped from, well, a George R. R. Martin novel, Dotrice gives each character their own persona and regionality, helping to anchor the listener throughout the action and intrigue. Ed Walloga
Locus Award, 1997
"Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes...He's probably going to have to add another shelf, at least." (Publishers Weekly) "The first volume in Martin's first fantasy saga combines intrigue, action, romance, and mystery in a family saga." (Booklist) "Grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant." (Robert Jordan) "This novel is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal." (Chicago Sun-Times)
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- Lady Diana