A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of seven fantasy novels by George R.R Martin. Martin planned to make this series a trilogy but ended up writing five spic novels. Two more books are expected to be released soon. Currently, there is an immensely popular TV series by the same name on HBO along with a comic book and a video game.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin:
A Game of Thrones is the first novel in a series of novels by George R.R Martin names A Song of Ice and Fire. Revolving around the genre of fantasy, this novel was published in 1996 under the house of Bantam Spectra in the US, and Voyager Books in the UK. The novel has many awards to its name including the prestigious World Fantasy Award and Locus Award in 1997. The novel topped the charts in 2011 and became a New York Times best-selling novel. Further, the novel also won The Hugo Award for the best novella for Blood of the Dragon.
A Game of Thrones Summary:
The book is basically about seven noble houses of Westeros in which everyone is fighting for the throne. Told from the perspective of eight different characters, the book has three stories going in in it. Firstly, the story begins with the introduction of Stark House which is one of the noble families that is facing a conspiracy threat. Eddard Stark, the leader of his house, is executed as a result of a conspiracy by the Lannisters, another rich and wealthy house fighting for power.
At the same time, the story follows the journey of Daenerys Targaryen, who is living in exile with her advisors and brother. She is the daughter of a former king but is far far away from home growing up miles away from the throne she is the rightful owner of. Towards the end of the book, she gives birth to dragons; something her family has always been famous and dreaded for.
The third part of the story deals with the Night`s Watch, which is a group of people on the edge of the world guarding Westeros against the dangers that lie behind the wall. Jon Snow, the bastard son of Eddard Stark becomes a member of the Watch and ends up finding of the horrors that exist beyond the wall. There is a lot of court politics, gruesome murders, incest and sexual interactions between the characters.
A Game of Thrones Review:
The book is one hell of a roller coaster with a lot of details to be kept in mind. It is set in an amazingly magnificent fantasy land filled with dragons, witches, sorcerers, kings, and assassins. This gripping tale attracts the reader`s attention from the very first page and keeps him on the edge of his seat for the whole journey. Phyllis Eisenstein wrote in her article that the book is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal. However, this book is not for the light-hearted since there is a lot of nasty detail and occurrences that not everyone will be able to digest. Despite that, the novel has everything that it takes to make one of the most amazing fantasy novels of all time.
A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin:
A Clash of King is the second novel in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Written by the fantasy maestro George R.R Martin, this book was published in 1998 by Voyager Books in the UK and Bantam Spectra in the US. The book was widely acclaimed by readers and critics around the world and has been nominated for the Nebula Award. In 1999, the book won the Locus Award for the best book just like the first book in the series.
A Clash of Kings Summary:
The second book sees the unfolding of many mysteries and the birth of others. Daenerys is still marching towards the Seven Kingdoms and the Night`s Watch mingles with the wildlings who are people loving beyond the wall. The civil war for power is still going on after Robert Baratheon`s death as Joffery, his supposed son, is now the king. After the death of Eddard Stark, his son Rob is declared the king of the North.
Stannis Baratheon declares himself the rightful heir to the Iron Throne after his brother`s death. However, his younger brother Renley has the support of most lords and wants the throne for himself. The whole situation ends up with Renley`s death by a mysterious shadow, which Melissandre, the mysterious priestess, gave birth to. Rob Stark, with the aid of the Tullys, goes to war against the Lannisters to avenge his father`s death and wins quite a few battles. The Starks are all scattered with Bran being at Winterfell which is invaded by the Grejoys and later the Boltons. Arya disguises as an orphan boy named Arri while Sansa is still stuck with the people who murdered her father, being forced to marry the person who gave the orders of beheading her father.
Things are not too good at the Wall too. The wildlings are all uniting under their leader, Mance Rayder to invade Westeros with the wildling army, mammoths and giants. Daenerys is also marching on and goes to Qarth on her way where she survives a murder attempt and is shown many visions by the warlocks of the city. Jorah Mormont has become her constant supporter now and her name is becoming more heard now because of her dragons.
A Clash of Kings Review:
This book, just like its predecessor is full of mysteries and stories from different lands. The book grips your attention and makes you want to finish one more chapter before you put it down. Filled with a lot of sex, violence and some heart-shattering deaths, this novel has the right amount of drama, conspiracy, and suspense. It`s not only a work of fiction but an account of the history of a self- created the world. Everything is in such believable detail that one starts thinking if it is possible that Westeros might actually be a place somewhere far away.
A Storm of Swords by George R.R Martin:
A Storm of Swords is the third novel in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Written by George R.R Martin, this novel was published in August 2000 by Bantam Spectra in US and Voyager Books in the UK. The book received just as much as famous as the two previous books in the series. It won the Locus Award for best selling Fantasy Novel in 2001. It also won the Geffen Best Novel of the year 2001. Being the longest novel the series, in some European countries and Israel, the novel was published in two parts.
A Storm of Swords Summary:
The story sees a lot of murders and betrayals in this book. Rob Stark`s army gets to the Twins. Walder Frey is the lord there who agrees to have mercy on the army if Rob`s uncle Edmure marries Roslin. At the wedding party, Boltons and Freys conspire against the Starks and Rob is killed along with his entire army. The wedding is called the Red Wedding later because of the bloodshed of northern lords that takes place on this occasion.
Twin Lannister declares the Boltons as the Wardens of the North for their service to the Lannisters. Arya, on the other hand, is a captive of The Hound and sees the Red Wedding as she is outside the castle. Upon seeing that she has no brother or mother any more, she sets sail to Braavos. The Tyrells reach King`s Landing and Joffrey decided to marry Margaery Tyrell instead of Sansa, the daughter of a traitor. Sansa is wed to Tyrion Lannister, the Lannister’s dwarf, hated son. During Joffery`s wedding, he is poisoned to death and Tyrion is blamed. Sansa finds a way to escape the castle and run off to Baelish, who is her only ally in the city.
Tyrion is put to trial in which he is falsely proven guilty. He finds a way to flee the castle and in the process kills his father, Tywin Lannister. On the wall, the wildlings army attacks the Night`s Watch and after some agreements and happenings, Jon is made the Commander of the Night`s Watch. Daenerys is now in Pentos and on her way, she buys the army of Unsullied and starts ruling Meereen after freeing all the slaves.
A Storm of Swords Review:
The book is beautifully written with all characters having a lot of depth and a backstory. One thing the reader should learn at this point is to not get attached to any character because Martin is not afraid to kill off the favorites and that too in the most horrific of ways. The book holds the attention of the reader and makes them yearn for more drama and mystery. Ending on a cliffhanger, Martin makes sure that readers will be fighting to get their hands on the next book in many mysteries are to be resolved.
A Feast for Crows by George R.R Martin:
A Feast for Crows is the fourth book in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Witten by George R.R Martin, this novel was published in 2005 by Bantam Spectra in the US and Voyager Books in the UK. The novel was extremely long because of which the publishers wanted to publish it in two parts. However, Martin suggested dividing the book into two parts based on the characters and their location so the two parts were made according to that and were published at the same time. This novel was listed in the first place in the New York Times bestselling list.
A Feast for Crows Summary:
The civil war is getting a little slow as the competitors are slowly dying. Stannis Baratheon goes to the wall to help the Night`s Watch and offers Jon Snow to form an alliance with him in return for being named as the Lord of Winterfell after Stannis takes over the Iron Throne. The Iron Throne is currently being ruled by Tommen, who is Cersei and Jamie`s youngest son, just 8 years of age. Sansa has fled from King`s Landing and is living in the Vale, where her aunty Lysa Aryn rules. After Baelish marries and kills her off, he becomes the Protector of Vale and looks after Lysa`s son, Robert.
Arya Stark becomes a part of the Faceless Men in the House of Black and White. She makes a list of people she wants to kill after her training is over. Jon Snow, now the Commander of the Night`s Watch, orders Sam Tarly to go to Citadel for his education of becoming a Maester.
Readers are also taken to Dorne where Oberyn Martell`s daughters confront their uncle for their father`s death. He puts them in prison for the turmoil they cause and one of the daughters, Arianne plans to make Myrcella Baratheon the queen of Westeros under the Dornish laws. In all this commotion, Myrcella has her face scarred, surviving a murder attempt on her. This weakens the Dornish Alliance with the Lannisters.
A Feast for Crows Review:
Martin had decided to divide the book on the basis of characters; something that seemed to displease a lot of people. People felt like the story was not coherent due to the absence of the three main characters whom the people had connected to in the previous novels. However, the book still had the same elements of suspense and mystery. Readers felt that the only thing being discussed in the whole book was the oncoming of winter and the war that was ahead. Characters had lost their storyline and depth that they previously had. Rachael Brown said that the readers missed Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen as the previous book had left off at some pretty twisting stories of these three characters.
A Dance with Dragons by George R.R Martin:
A Dance with Dragons is the fifth book in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Written by George R.R Martin, the book was published in 2011 in the UK by Voyager Books and in the US by the Bantam Spectra. With an extensive number of thousand plus pages, this novel is a successor of A Feast for Crows. The novel won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 2012. It was on the top of Publisher Weekly`s and USA Today`s list of best sellers. The visual representation of this book can be seen in the fifth season of HBO TV series, Game of Thrones.
A Dance with Dragons Summary:
At the Wall, Jon is now the Commander of the Night`s Watch and has given refuge to the wildlings. Stannis Baratheon kills the wildling`s leader Mance Rayder because he refuses to bow down to him. Jon forms an agreement with their new leader that he will let the Night`s Watch move into Westeros if the Wildlings agree to defend the Castle Black with them against the White Walkers. The Iron Throne also comes out in support of Stannis since they have some issues with the Crows as Cersei has not paid back some debts.
Jon gets a letter for Ramsay Bolton in which he demands Jon to hand over the Stannis family to him along with Theon and Arya. When Jon ask for help from the brothers of the Night`s Watch, he is stabbed by one of the brothers. Tyrion Lannister goes through a lot of trouble with Varys and is sold by traders in exchange for money. After the entire struggle, he reaches Daenerys and comes out in her support. Daenerys is now the ruler of Meereen but finds it very hard to maintain peace in the city. To make matters worse, one of her dragon burns someone alive and she realizes the savagery of her beasts.
Theon is taken prisoner by Ramsay who sadistically tortures him by beating him and mutilating him. Treated like a dog, Theon loses all hope. He is reunited later with his sister Asha after he escapes from Ramsay`s imprisonment. In King`s Landing, the religious party has taken over and Cersei is imprisoned on certain charges. He agrees to make amends but does not admit of her incestuous relationship with Jamie nor does she admit being involved in her husband`s death. She is made to walk naked through the streets of King`s Landing all the way to the Red Keep.
A Dance with Dragons Review:
This book tells the compelling tale of the three main characters that people missed in the previous book. Along with the text, a map of Free Cities was also present in this book to guide the readers on the Dragon Queen`s journey to the Iron Throne. An appendix of the names of characters was also added since there are now a lot of characters to remember and keep up with. The book was an intriguing ride with all the court drama, incest and especially Cersei’s Walk of Shame. With winter approaching, the danger of Others from beyond the Wall is also increasing and adding another enemy in the book which is common to all Houses and contenders for the throne.
The Winds of Winter by George R.R Martin:
The Winds of Winter is the sixth book in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Written by George R.R Martin, this book is expected to take the readers deep into the northern end of the book.
The Winds of Winter Release Date:
Martin predicted that the book will be published in any year from 2015 to 2018. While a date is not confirmed yet, there are speculations that the book may be released in 2017.
The Winds of Winter Predictions and Spoilers:
The previous book ended with a lot of cliffhangers associated with many characters. There was also a battle sequence missing which is expected to be a part of this book. Martin said that he will start the book with two battles that he has been planning; the battle that will occur in ice and the Battle of Slaver`s Bay that will take place in Meereen. From the few chapters that Martin showed on his website, it was apparent that Arianne Martell goes to Griffin`s Roost to find out about the young boy who says he is Aegon. The coming book will deal with the story of Sansa Stark and Arya Stark. Bran Stark is also set to make an appearance and Melissandre; the Red Lady will also have a part to play in this novel.
A few deaths, betrayals and battles are expected in this novel just like its predecessors.
A Dream of Spring by George R.R Martin:
A Dream of Spring is the last book in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire that is still to be released. Written by George R.R Martin, this book was to be called A Time for Wolves but the title was later changed by the author. This book will have all the events taking place after The Winds of Winter.
A Dream of Spring Release Date:
There is no confirmed release date for the last volume as there is still no confirmation on the release of the sixth book. Martin said that fans can expect a Westeros book from him in 2018. He even said that there might be two books coming out in 2018 which means both the last volumes may be released in 2018. If that does not happen, it can be expected that the last book will be released sometime in 2023 since Martin takes almost 5 years to publish a new book.
A Dream of Spring Predictions and Spoilers:
Martin has not revealed much about this volume but he has assured that the characters will be the same as previous novels with the Stark sisters playing a part. He hinted that the Dothraki and their horses will also make an appearance and Bran Stark, who we have seen wandering in the wild, will also have a part to play in the story. It is possible that the White Walkers would be defeated by that time with the collaboration of armies of the Seven Houses and Dragons.