A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Title: A Game of Thrones.
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1.
Writer(s): George R.R. Martin.
Publisher: Bantam.
Format: Hardcover – 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition.
Release Date: October 18 2016 (First Published August 6 1996).
Pages: 896.
Genre(s): Fantasy.
ISBN13:  9780553808049.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.


There’s something fundamentally reassuring to have power over others, to lay out the full strength of your will onto others, to dictate the decisions of others. To obtain such power, only a few will do what needs to be done. For some, a showcase of high moral standards might suffice to win over a mass of common mortals. For others, a showcase of brute force and terror leads to a kingdom fully at their mercy. Unfortunately, the true war begins from within as each person fights to do what they believe is right. But is it always what’s best for the realm? Infamously unfinished, the A Song of Ice and Fire series begins with writer George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and sends readers into a treacherous world where vice and vertu clash in a fiery tangle filled with absolute madness and subtle mayhem.

What is A Game of Thrones about? Behind the Wall, far into the northern wilderness, a strange, dark, and supernatural force silently awakens from the eeriest depths of the world. As these terrifying beings crawl their way into daylight, a war for power and control begins with the Starks of Winterfell arriving in King’s Landing and demystifying an unforgivable plot amidst the Lannisters. As an evil ploy sinisterly sees the day, opportunities too good to be true are taken advantage of to secure each kingdom’s path to glory and peace. Meanwhile, across the narrow sea, Targaryens seek to bring forth the wrath of their own fury fueled by their birthright to the throne of Westeros. As terror and calamity begin to take shape, the game of thrones begins.

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

— George R.R. Martin

Honour, valour, and honesty. They are sought in leaders, hammered into disciples, and held close to the heart by all. Yet in this universe, they do not assure your safety, peace of mind, or life itself. Told through multiple viewpoints that allow readers to follow, witness, and experience the lives of key characters who are destined for prophetic tragedy or fortune, the story mercilessly depicts the realm as a cruel environment where these values have no place in this world. Meticulously and brilliantly written to expose an intergenerational and transcendent exposure to good and evil, the story brings forth the inner conflict of these characters who face grand dilemmas that challenge them into making impossible decisions, often exposing their weaknesses but also their strengths.

As the story progresses and switches around between countless viewpoints, it also cleverly exposes the underlying political landscape that broils under a war-inclined civilization, a divided society that is often too proud to contemplate peace, communication, or understanding for one another. Hindered by their experiences of the past, unable to forgive or to seek redemption, these kingdoms bide their time for an opportunity to fight and win the game of thrones, and it is through their action that readers observe the unforgivable terrain in which these characters bathe, the innocence of a future generation molded by their ruthless parents, and the clash between good and evil. While many are blinded by the tragic events they are front and center of, it is what is brewing in the background that promises a tomorrow far too sinister to imagine.

A Game of Thrones is an exquisitely-written masterpiece heralding a ghastly and treacherous tale brimming with plans and ploys, loyalty and betrayal, love and death.


Have you followed the live-action TV series adaptation that won over the whole world’s attention in the past years? Season 1 essentially covers Book one.



39 thoughts on “A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

    1. Having been part of the TV series hype and a witness of the show’s downfall with the later seasons, I just wanted to see what the source material was like. For now, I’ll probably stick to this specific edition, work my way through each one (I got the 2 released illustrated sequels already), and space them out as much as I can. There are still 2 released books that didn’t get this treatment yet and since these take time to make, maybe by the time all of the released books get an illustrated edition, GRRM will have fallen prey to temptation and released the end of this series.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review! This is indeed a deep, multi-layered story that draws you in and never lets go, which makes its unfinished status even more painful…
    I’m almost sorry for you that you started this saga with no certainty about the possibility of seeing its end: after ten years since the last published volume, my hopes of reaching the word “the end” have dwindled to almost nothing, given my perceived lack of commitment from the author in finishing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Maddalena! It is indeed frustrating to know that it’s been so long now since any news regarding the next book… I’m almost just trying to convince myself that its state of incompleteness might as well be its own version of completeness. That should at least get me through the rest of the books while also remaining interested in the upcoming spin-off TV series!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I discovered the Game of Thrones TV show before the books and binged through the two seasons that were available at the time and then went to the books. Naturally, as someone who doesn’t like reading and gets bored easily, I didn’t find the first two books as compelling, because the show was fairly faithful in the beginning. Book 3 was where it was really at for me, but then my interest in the books started to wane again. I think I struggled with seemingly endless amount of POVs and often not enough focus on those I cared about the most. I didn’t enjoy the final season of the show either, but knew the books would go differently, but at this point, I’m not sure I’d still read them … it has just been too long.
    Having said that, I still think this was a beautifully written and expert review! I really enjoyed this post, Lashaan ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having now read the book, I totally agree that the show did a magnificent job in staying ultra faithless to be the book. There are maybe a couple super small details that deviate from what we see in the show but in its globality, I was able to relieve the show through these books! I am curious to see how things go in book 3 and onward though. I want to discover that turning point in the show where things went in a different direction, good or bad. I do hope GRRM will have convinced himself to finish this series by the time I get to the end though… I’d be sad if he still doesn’t finish it by then! Thank you so much for your super kind words, Kat. I really appreciate it. Makes me want to write more than ever before! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So far I’ve only seen the first episode of the show, but long before that this was one of the big series I always wanted to try, and still do. Granted, I’d love to hear it’s been finished so I know there’s an ending to look forward to, and I migth put this series off for a bit and work through those that are finished first. But I’m sure I’ll one day return to it and see how it works for me. Based on what I’ve heard from yourself and others I’ve no real clue if it’s one I’ll love, but I always enjoy that little bit of uncertainly and mystery when first exploring a new world. Do you plan to continue the series? And if so, right away, or maybe later?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad that you have an interest in the series despite its state of incompleteness, Todd! I’m going to tell myself that GRRM will break free from his dry spell and give us a sequel and an ending by the time I get there… for now… I do plan on getting through the available books but I won’t be binging the series, I think. I’ll work through them at a slower pace, giving GRRM more time to finish it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Woohoo! 😀 Glad you liked it. The story is so compelling because of the characters. I started rereading the series fairly recently. I keep doing that in hopes that GRRM will complete the series by time I catch up lol.
    The illustrated version is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing review, Lashaan! I have seen the whole series and I can’t wait to watch it again (after I finish re-watching some other series ahah). From the books, I only read the latest book (which is hopefully not the last), basically to know what would happen as I was waiting for a new season of the TV series… 😂 It was not the first book but I really enjoyed it, and loved how it was written – even though sometimes my confidence in knowing the English language took a bit of a hit ahah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Juliette! The final seasons left a sour aftertaste for me… If it weren’t for them, I’d probably do like you and rewatch the series at some point hahah For now, I’m mostly intrigued by the upcoming prequel show in development and I hope that the books will get an ending by the time I get there too hahah Ohhh, that’s interesting! Glad you enjoyed it without having read the previous books.


  6. That’s a pretty edition!
    Fab review, Lashaan, glad you liked it so much 🙂 I really liked the first book, it’s great. Sadly, it’s also the best of the bunch for me and after the first three the rest significantly trends down in terms of everything – plot, execution, even writing. I do wonder sometimes if Martin ever finds it in himself to finish the series, or if the fandom’s expectations just broke him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Heh, thanks for reminding me how great the first one is! I agree with Ola first three are what’s best here, although I’m definitely going to read books 6 and 7, if they even get published…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They’re similar, actually, both start great, continue strong, turn OK-ish, and… the show finishes poorly, Martin still has a chance to do it with style, but will he ever finish the series??

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Ooh, illustrations! It looks nice.
    I did not read the book. I binged the series a few years ago to know what everyone was talking about. Meh. I’ve been told that maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I haven’t had the ability to binge-watch. I don’t think so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how you managed to binge through it all but that’s impressive. As for not enjoying it so much, that’s unfortunate. I guess some things just aren’t for everyone too. What have you been watching lately that has your seal of approval though? Did you get around to checking out Clifford the Big Red Dog yet? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I have not. Hopefully sometime in the next week or so when I have more time.
        The Squid Games were decent (no fireworks, though). Other than that, I have not really been watching anything. Oh, “It’s a wonderful life” was good!

        Liked by 1 person

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