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I m torn on this I d like to do 3.5 stars On one hand, Martin really does have an amazing ability to tell stories His writing is often very prose like and reads very easily He s excellent with details and creating characters that are very believable and easy to get attached to His characters are very human some good, some bad, all flawed but very well developed and with motivations He also tends to kill off many, many characters that by traditional storytelling standards you d never actually kill usually due to being main characters Odd as it may sound, it s actually kind of a nice change of pace you really don t know who will or won t die, and so it s much realistic It also gives the story weight, as no character is safe, but their deaths still mean something and they aren t just expendable But on the other hand, Martin puts A LOT of very explicit sex throughout the books While I appreciate that he doesn t focus or dwell on it, it s still a lot detailed than I care to know Cutting away from the scene, leaving things to the imagination instead of specifically telling everything would be preferable Were it not for the abundance of this, I d easily give these books 5 stars and recommend them unreservedly to friends I really dislike how much and how explicit the sex is, hence the lower rating and my hesitation to recommend the series to friends. I m going to start my review of this 5000 page, still in progress monster by saying something that will probably piss off a lot of fantasy fans High fantasy, as a literary genre, badly needs to be reconstituted For over 50 years now people who write in this vein have been held in the thrall of writers like Tolkein and C S Lewis, writers who for all their imaginative prowess, were far too obsessed with cheap religious parables Aslan Jesus, etc and linguistic dicking around made up languages to really create and focus down on actual human characters They fell so in love with the archtypes and mythos of their world s that they forgot the humans at its core, and quite simply they seemed not to care, as has often been the case with subsequent writers of high fantasy We have all read and watched enough media about chosen ones, dark lords, tediously byzantine systems of magic, creepy sexual bonds with dragons, etc to even pretend to be surprised or engaged by this stuff on anything than a painfully superficial level any That, to me is what makes a song of ice and fire so incredibly refreshing and engaging throughout its many many many pages Martin puts the people in his world, no matter how awful or broken they may be and everyone in these books is an awful, broken person at one level or another at the center of his writing, he makes westeros about them and their struggles, instead of forcing them to revolve around some clever clever tropes that he simply regurgitated from someone else cough christopher paolini cough Not only that, but he is able to sketch out descriptions that flesh out his world without burying the reader in tedious, unnecessary details but which still conjure up the dark, sad history of the 7 kingdoms Honestly, I think his world building has akin to the 19th century novelists like Hugo and Tolstoy than it does with his obvious, obtusely prudish fantasy predecessors And god, can he write women well More serious literary novelists should take notes on the chapters written from the points of view of Catelyn, Cersei Arya, etc The real emotional core of these books, the profound sense of violence and loss that comes with living in such a militantly unfair civilization really comes to the fore in the chapters about women How many writers of any kind of fiction are able to do that Not many, and certainly not many of the kinds of fiction writers who would be inclined to thumb their noses at a fantasy epic In terms of the immediacy of his prose, his ability to orchestrate literally hundreds of characters and seemingly tens of thousands of plot points, all while creating fully realized, fleshed out characters and giving them space to breathe and live within their world, Martin is the single best, most original writer of fantasy fiction currently active When the dust settles and the series ends, he will probably prove to be even better than the stodgy predecessors he owes so much to There, I said it. @Download Book ë A Song of Ice and Fire ⚟ For The First Time, All Five Novels In The Epic Fantasy Series That Inspired HBO S Game Of Thrones Are Together In One Boxed Set An Immersive Entertainment Experience Unlike Any Other, A Song Of Ice And Fire Has Earned George R R Martin Dubbed The American Tolkien By Time Magazine International Acclaim And Millions Of Loyal Readers Now Here Is The Entire Monumental Cycle A GAME OF THRONESA CLASH OF KINGSA STORM OF SWORDSA FEAST OF CROWSA DANCE WITH DRAGONS 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 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 First let me say I know that there are many people who adore this series, and I respect that For your own peace of mind, and mine, maybe stop reading now For I did not find A Song of Ice and Fire all that I was lead to expect it to be.Disclaimer The following review is highly subjective and contains spoilerFor the first two hundred something pages of A Game of Thrones , I was thrilled enough to buy the boxed set If I hadn t, book three, A Storm of Swords , would have been the last for me, and possibly I wouldn t even have finished it.So, what was my problem Great expectations, so to speak From what I had heard about this series, it was better than Tolkien and had basically none of the typical stereotypes of the fantasy genre It was supposedly well balanced something that always appeals to me as a pen and paper player , well written, and flawless Nope, it isn t.First of all, I expected a great fantasy epic in the league of the Lord of the Rings, but for quite some time I got a historical fiction series which transplanted the War of Roses and other bits of British history to an imaginary world The fantastic elements seemed decorative than a necessity to the plot for quite a lot of the time Yes, the dragons were said to be important for the overall great plot of Targaryens returning to power but as far as the books reach now, their maximum use was to set the occasional enemy or shepherd boy on fire and otherwise be kept locked up And yes, there is the whole Bran plot line But so far there hasn t been anything useful coming of that, or even any explanation for the rising enemies, white walkers, or Coldhands who seems one of those but actually helps the heroes None of the fantastic elements feel as if there is an actual system of magic with rules and regulations behind it all They seem to be put in place mostly for showy effect If otherwise, I guess one of the two said to be following books will have to focus on that, and nothing , to make it comprehensive.The other book, then, will have to deal with wrapping up the stories of characters not accounted for by Bran s or Daenerys magical plots As of A Dance with Dragons , they are scattered all across this fictitious world, without much connection and not exactly quick ways of transportation Arya will take a few years to become the super assassin she seems intended to be Sansa is still busy being object of desire ward of Peter Baelish in that remote valley The other potential dragon rider, John Snow who so obviously is the late Ned s nephew by his sister and Daenerys also late father gosh, they ll have so much to talk about once they re married as brother and sister should be , is kind of dead or dying which, of course, is nothing that ever kept anyone from mucking about in Westeros, is it And then there is Cersei, and Tommen, and Jaime and Brienne, and, oh yes, Rickon Stark who supposedly also wanders about still somewhere, and the Ironborn, and Theon.I don t quite see how Mr Martin ll do it in two books without pulling some cheap tricks And neither does he, it seems, when you look at the publication dates have come and goneThen there is this whole topic about female representation which seemed to me bound up in clichees from the 1950s, such as a lack of brains, self discipline, and independence even Brienne of Tarth regularly needs men to save her from her enemies here, and sexual encounters which so often are strongly initiated not to say violently forced by the men I ll leave it at that, or else this will turn very long and ranting.In the same field, somehow, there is the gods This is so blatantly directed to show that Christian monotheism is the right thing that I wanted to scream at points Who is the only God here who gets things done Not the old heathen tree gods, not the newer, civilized Seven but the one God of Light Anybody else reminded of some guy with a typical halo whose followers had a nasty habit of burning people at the stake for a while So, to cut a long rant short A Game of Thrones was a historical novel with some fantasy stage props, but it wasn t a bad read at all.A Clash of Kings was my favourite part, with less action, but general development story wise.A Storm of Swords was a bloodbath where I felt that even the author sometimes forgot where he was headed, with all the rolling heads and hacked off limbs, and so forth.A Feats for Crows was like reading about people doing everyday housework while a radio in the background lets you know that there are interesting things happening elsewhere which you don t get to hear about, though.A Dance with Dragons was not quite as bad, but it definitely had too many characters just moping or being indecisive which lead to an unnecessary lack of development in the greater plot line.Having begun to watch the TV series now, I can see where the adoration in many cases comes from This adaption is much improved due to strict editing, and if you have the TV characters in mind while reading the books, they might even overlay their shortcomings of intellect in female characters, for example in print If you haven t read this so far and haven t watched the TV series, but would like to, do not expect as much of it as you will have heard people praise it for Make allowances for lengthiness and clichees Then you might be able to enjoy this than I did. This leather cloth bound box set is without a doubt the most beautiful thing on my bookshelf The blurb does not lie size of these books is extremely convenient and very easy to handle while you read Paper is super thin, so even though books are long they are not heavy An edition worth of such masterpiece as is A Song of Ice and Fire I truly hope that Bantam Books will print books 6 and 7 when they are released in the same format so I can add them to this collection. Great story cycles usually come in threes The Lord of the Rings, Griffin and Sabine, The Hunger Games I wish George R R Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire series, had confined himself to a trilogy, too Okay, maybe five books, at the most Instead, I m afraid this series which started out so well is going to turn into one of those interminable, overly ambitious epics that collapse into a big, sprawling mess before finally limping to a conclusion Remember the Earth s Children series by Jean Auel At this rate, the successful HBO TV series based on these books is going to overtake the author and his fans will start to lose interest.I tore through the first three books of this series A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords Usually I m not much of a fantasy genre fan, but even I liked these first three books The stories, which take place in an unspecified time period which seems medieval, chronicle the exploits of the Stark, Lannister, and Baratheon families and the other houses that follow them during their battles over who will rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros In a separate storyline set on another continent, there s also an exiled princess who hopes to come back and reclaim Westeros There s just enough dragons, magic and sorcery to qualify the stories as fantasy, yet they are also realistic enough to be totally believable There s also lots of brutality, gore and sex in them, so be forewarned if you re squeamish about those things The best thing about these books is the rich and complex characterization The dwarf Tyrion Lannister, the knight Jaime Lannister, and the Lady Catelyn Stark are some of the most complicated, morally ambiguous, yet ultimately likeable fictional characters that I ve encountered in a long time I also liked the positive, diverse portrayal of women in this series There are several strong female characters who use their wit and cunning to get what they want in spite of the restrictions of their societies.However, the series starts to bog down in the fourth book, A Feast for Crows, and gets worse in the fifth, A Dance with Dragons Just as we get caught up in the fates of familiar characters we ve come to know and love or hate , Martin introduces a whole slew of other characters in whom we re also supposed to make an emotional investment We do in some, but not most There s also way too much exposition that doesn t do much to move the plot forward Martin is certainly an imaginative and talented writer I just hope he doesn t sacrifice cohesiveness on the altar of creativity It takes great discipline to know when enough is enough and wrap things up into a satisfying conclusion The only modern writer who has been able to successfully create a series of this scale in a timely manner without losing its fan base is JK Rowling with the Harry Potter books And even she almost ran out of steam by the last book There s supposedly two maybe even three books to go in the Ice and Fire series I sincerely hope Mr Martin proves me wrong and finishes up this series in the way it deserves. Like most I know, I discovered this series when the HBO television adaption aired on Sky in 2011 and was instantly gripped Since then I have read all of the books back to back and wow they are AMAZING I am NOT a typical fantasy fan in fact the idea of goblins and wizards going off on some good vs evil quest of grand proportions does NOTHING for me But this is no typical fantasy novel The story spans several view points from across the fictional lands of Westeros and beyond It is a story where no characters are safe from harm or death at any time Each of the character arcs are expertly woven and plot developments continually keep you in the dark whilst simultaneously steadily moving toward what can be some really devastating conclusions.What I love about these books is that every character serves their own purpose, has their own private agendas and are all capable of good and bad to one extent or another they do what they must to survive, and through their actions I found myself able to relate to and bond with these fictional people, who I have loved, loathed, pitied and despised These novels are extremely character centric which means the reader really does become emotionally involved with its characters, and believe me I did As with a lot of other fantasy series ASOIAF is set during a medival time frame, a time defined by murder, chivalry, classes and war a lot of war However unlike other fantasy series magic and mythical monsters do not play a major role, but instead is allowed to steadily build and spread from the beginning, with beings such as the mystical Others, skin changers, wights, dragons and This gives the series of a realistic grounding, and is perfectly researched by Martin.The bottom line is that I found this series truly addictive It was difficult to put down at times and I really cannot recommend it enough Give it a go you will not regret it I ve been contemplating my response to this series it s complicated On the one hand, since receiving the 1st of the series, I ve read all 5 published books On the other hand, I am continually disappointed in the books.I have not yet seen the vision behind this series although each POV chapter can hook you, I don t believe the author has a clear vision of where he wants his characters to be There are some truly horrible characters in this series folks I have absolutely no connection to folks I abhor In fact, in some ways this series reminds me of why I detest reality TV survivor Housewives ofI have not yet detected the underlying thread to this series I am annoyed by the author in many ways he uses way too many words to tell his story I also think calling this series fantasy is a misnomer This series could be better called historical fiction NOTHING in these books is fantasy except for cursory connections to wargs others etcthis is truly nothing but historical fiction with a few odds ends added Everything within the narrative could be framed within what we know about the pre enlightment period of european history.I m so disappointed in this seriesand YET i ve read all 5 So obvi, something is connecting That something is the connection I have to a VERY FEW characters Jon Snow, Arya Stark,Tyrion Lannister, Jamie Lannister I want to know THIER story and so have to wade through a bunch of crap to find it out You know, basically I think George RR Martin is a mediorcre okay, BAD writer. Find all of my reviews atIn the game of thrones, even the humblest pieces can have wills of their ownWhen I first heard about theSong of Ice and Fire series I assumed it was for supernerds who reside in their mother s basements and only dare to venture into the daylight in order to L.A.R.P on the weekends my apologies to all basement dwelling L.A.R.P.E.R.S for the previous comment When rumors of the books becoming a series on HBO started, I decided to give it a shot and read A Game of Thrones And I liked it but good lord did it have a lot of pages and continuing on to book 2 while working a full time job and raising two young children with busy schedules just wasn t in the cards Not to mention the fact that I hate books in a series with a fiery passion Obviously the hype about GoT never died down, and I found myself saying I would definitely make time to read the remaining books over the winter and then I said the same thing the next winter and the next apparently using Winter is Coming as your motivator DOES NOT work Then a bunch of motherfuckers decided to start chiming in all over my interwebs about how they were such fans, and G.R.R.M is their hero, and posting spoilers EVERYWHERE, and a bunch of blah, blah, blah bullshit only for me to find out that they were all non readers who watched the t.v show, but had not read one page of the books which would have been perfectly acceptable until they decided to start doing all of the aforementioned Note The dildos who spoil everything good about television and film are the same ones who incessantly post how successful they are at their various fitness challenges In an effort to maintain at least a couple of my Facebook friends, I decided it was high time to say F it all to my responsibilities and do my own 30 Day Facebook Challenge which meant I would read the 5 book box set in one month Plus, it was June and we all know Martin is GREAT when it comes to weddings Now that I ve read all five books consecutively, what can I possibly say to sum it up I liken A Song of Ice and Fire to birthing a child A horrible, monstrous little child Okay, that might be too gross for some of you Let s go with comparing this to a marriage you have to enter it knowing you are committing for better or worse, in murder sickness and in health You won t always be in love Martin will test your patience and will attempt to rip your heart out You will want to throw a plate at his head one minute and be ready for some make up sex the next Discussions with friends who have either read or watched this series have confirmed to me that most of us easily compare it to a relationship and that it is a very individual experience You alone will decide if you would choose to be a Stark, or a Lannister, or a Frey, or a Tully, or a Targaryen, etc You alone will decide which individual to route for You alone will decide which portion of the realm you would wish to claim as your own And at the end of it all, when Martin has killed off people you love and blurred the lines between right and wrong and good and evil, you might find yourself trying to wrap your head around exactly how you ended up routing for bad guys or maybe hoping to hear a little from the ancillary characters like Dolorous Edd or The Greatjon come Books 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 in hopes of saving your sanity The only thing that remains is the question of who will sit the iron throne at the end of it all Although theories abound, I m sorry to tell you that every single one of you is wrong The true king of the Seven will be none other than view spoiler hide spoiler It s never master prose, but the first three of these novels eh, particularly the first two are just so thorough and imaginative that I devoured them, and book threeand, slowly, book fourand then sort of skipped through book five with the despondent sense that Martin may never finish this series Honestly, all I want is for Arya to become the Number One Badass Ever and I will be happy Be warned when you start this series You ll get invested in the handful of characters you start with, but they ll slowly get diluted with side characters some of which you ll like, but some of which you honestly couldn t care less about I won t say who fits each category, as I m sure it s different for everyone Days will turn into nights which will turn into days, you still won t be finished with Book Five, and even if you do finish it, it will be with at least some level of concern, because the end which gets clearer with every book seems further away than ever.