✔ In the mythical Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, several royal families are locked in a bloody struggle – some for a seat on the Iron Throne, others for freedom from it. Young King Joffrey struggles to keep his hold on the throne at the design of his mother, Cersei Lannister, amid attacks from all angles. Meanwhile, to the far north, the watchers on the Wall strive to protect Westeros from an incursion of the supernatural Others and enemy human tribes. War reigns in Westeros, while across the sea in Essos, Daenerys Targaryen rises to power as the Mother of Dragons.
✔ Already a successful sci-fi and fantasy author, George R. R. Martin brought years of experience to the first Song of Ice and Fire novel. He has said that he gleans inspiration in all his writing from the authors of his childhood, including H. P. Lovecraft, Andre Norton, and Isaac Asimov. For the Song of Ice and Fire series in particular, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams was a big influence, while the harsh winter setting came from his memories of such winters in Dubuque, Iowa.
✔ A Song of Ice and Fire has been described as “groundbreaking” by Science Fiction Weekly and “a major force for evolution in fantasy” by Time magazine. All five volumes in print at the time found a spot among 2011 and 2012’s top 100 best-selling books in the US. Each individual title in the series has been nominated for the Locus Award, with four winning, and different volumes have been nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards, among other accolades. The series has sold more than 45 million copies in the US alone.
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