Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Audiobook Review: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
George R.R. Martin
Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Publisher: Bantam Spectra (Random House)
Acquired Via: Personal Collection
Release Date: August 6, 1996

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

My Review

Hello there, am I late to the party?

*looks around*

I suspected as much.

Yes, I realize that I'm coming into a series nearly two decades after its ascent into awesomedom, but I finally made it you guys! That's what counts, right? I mean, I'm one of those people who wants to wait until the series is finished to begin it because, hello? After eighteen years, there are only five books out. Kayla is not patient enough to wait so long to find out what happens to characters. But that's neither here nor there.

Now, I've tried to read A Game of Thrones before. When I was taking night classes to finish my degree, I attempted to listen to the audiobook. I was new to the media type, and I just couldn't get into Roy Dotrice's voices. I think he may've been too British for me, so I stepped away from the book. I also attempted an A Game of Thrones readalong in September 2012 with Clint from NorthWoods Dork (formerly Geeky Daddy), but I just couldn't get into it, though I got through about 100 pages. It was good, but I just had too many other things to do. I may or may not have left him hanging.

Why did I finally read it? Because, damnit, I'm tired of everyone talking about something without me! I'm supposed to be this book expert at work, and jaws would drop every time I admitted that I haven't read A Game of Thrones or watched the television series. DO NOT LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT! I decided to give it another try! I even used up one of my precious Audible credits! (And they are precious to me, by the way. Gollum, gollum.)

Okay, I'm a much more experienced audiobook listener now, so I found Roy Dotrice to be an excellent narrator who was able to capture the essence of each of the characters and created a distinct voice for them. I knew when Arya Stark was talking versus Ser Jorah Mormont, even when I spaced out while driving, because I knew how each character sounded. Roy Dotrice is a rockstar, and I have no idea how I found his voice annoying before. I clearly did not know what was good for me.

As for the writing in A Game of Thrones, you don't need me to tell you that George R.R. Martin is a master novelist. I mean, he has written like eight novels besides A Song of Ice and Fire, and there are some who treat him as a literary god. (I totally get it.) Martin is able to weave this world and create characters that are so complex and addictive that it's a hard book to step away from. I mean, I have review books in stacks waiting for me, but I put everything down to finish A Game of Thrones. Thank Bob that it whispersynced with my Kindle so I could read it when I couldn't listen to it. That's the only reason I'm not as behind on my books as I thought I would be.

Characters, characters, characters... There were only about a zillion of these. Okay, not really, but there are quite a few, and we are given several points of view throughout A Game of Thrones. Let's see... We have Will in the prologue (who I always seem to forget about), Eddard "Ned" Stark, Caitlin Stark, Bran Stark, Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister. Of these, my favorites are Arya, Daenerys and Tyrion because they each have something to overcome, and they own their situations. Tyrion is my favorite of favorites because he does not shy away from the truth or telling ANYONE how it is. He my favorite and my best, and if George R.R. Martin kills him off, I will show up at his house and have WORDS with him. You hear me, George?!

If you were like me and hadn't read A Game of Thrones, there is no time like the present to pick up the damn book. You won't regret it. I don't care if you don't like fantasy, multiple POVs, or magnificent things - this book is for you. *looks to the side* And you. so do yourself and your family a favor and read A Game of Thrones. When you're done, be sure to leave the book lying somewhere in your house so when you have visitors they'll know you're one of the cool kids.

And on a closing note, I give you a George R.R. Martin meme that made me giggle.

- 5/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond


  1. Just finished listening to this entire series on audio in March and loved it. I think it's the perfect way to tackle this series. Roy Dotrice is an excellent narrator. Can't wait for the next book in 2015.

  2. Yay! I'm glad you loved it as much as I did. Awesome GRRM meme!

  3. I love love love love this series. I am so glad you liked it as well :) Although I have always been a big "don't kill my people" kind of person while reading, but you cannot be that way with these books. No one is safe :)


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!