The books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series might best be known now for being the basis of HBO's Game of Thrones. But before author George R.R. Martin's series became a zeitgeist-capturing television series, it was already one of the best fantasy book series ever written.
The five books that are part of the A Song of Ice and Fire series have combined to sell 70 million copies and have been translated in to nearly 50 languages. The first three books in the series, A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords, all won major science-fiction/fantasy awards.
This list can still grow if Martin ever releases the planned final two books in the series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, but of the current A Song of Ice and Fire books that have been released, which stands out as the best? Which book best exemplifies the greatness of George R.R. Martin's landmark fantasy series?
Released: November 2000
A Storm of Swords is the third of seven planned novels in A Song of Ice and Fire, a fantasy series by American author George R. R. Martin. It was first published on 8 August 2000 in the United Kingdom, with a United States edition following in November 2000. Its publication was preceded by a novella called Path of the Dragon, which collects some of the Daenerys Targaryen chapters from the novel into a single book. At the time of its publication, A Storm of Swords was the longest novel in the series. It was so long that in the UK, Australia and Israel its paperback edition was split in half, Part 1 being published as Steel and Snow in June 2001 and Part 2 as Blood and Gold in August 2001. The ...more on Wikipedia
Released: August 1996
A Game of Thrones is the first novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of high fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin. It was first published on August 6, 1996. The novel won the 1997 Locus Award and was nominated for both the 1997 Nebula Award and the 1997 World Fantasy Award. The novella Blood of the Dragon, comprising the Daenerys Targaryen chapters from the novel, won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novella. In January 2011 the novel became a New York Times bestseller and reached #1 on the list in July 2011. In the novel, recounting events from various points of view, Martin introduces the plot-lines of the noble houses of Westeros, the Wall, and the Targaryens. The novel ...more on Wikipedia
Released: February 1999
A Clash of Kings is the second novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, an epic fantasy series by American author George R. R. Martin expected to consist of seven volumes. It was first published on 16 November 1998 in the United Kingdom, although the first United States edition did not follow until March 1999. Like its predecessor, A Game of Thrones, it won the Locus Award for Best Novel and was nominated for the Nebula Award for best novel. In May 2005 Meisha Merlin released a limited edition of the novel, fully illustrated by John Howe. The novel has been adapted for television by HBO as the second season of the TV series Game of Thrones. A Clash of Kings is also the name of the first expansion to ...more on Wikipedia
Released: July 2011
A Dance with Dragons is the fifth of seven planned novels in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by American author George R. R. Martin. In some areas the paperback edition was published in two parts titled Dreams and Dust and After the Feast. It is the first novel in the series to be published following the commencement of the HBO series adaptation, Game of Thrones. A Dance with Dragons was originally intended to be the title of the second novel in the sequence, when Martin still envisioned the series as a trilogy. Some early US editions of A Game of Thrones list A Dance of Dragons as the forthcoming second volume in the series. The 1998 anthology Legends, which features the ...more on Wikipedia