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Fire and Blood

300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) (A Song of Ice and Fire)
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 26 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Set 300 years before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is the definitive history of the Targaryens in Westeros as told by Archmaester Gyldayn, and chronicles the conquest that united the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule through to the Dance of the Dragons: the Targaryen civil war that nearly ended their dynasty forever.

The thrilling history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work by the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO's Game of Thrones.

With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally best-selling author George R.R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen, the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria, took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel’s worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel. Listeners have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbons' The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving listeners a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody and always fascinating history of Westeros.

©2018 George R.R. Martin (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A treasure trove for any lore fans

I've come to understand that this book has become divisive among fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, or should I rather say, fans of George R. R. Martin. Many are outraged that the man is working on, or indeed doing anything other than writing The Winds of Winter. The few reviews I've read of Fire and Blood thus far has said as much, and finding the style and prose of this work dry, dull and ponderous.

I was intrigued from the first when I heard Martin was writing a history of the Targaryen dynasty in the manner of non-fiction history, and as I relished the accounts he had already put forth concerning the Dance of the Dragons, I wished for more of the same. And that's exactly what has been laid before us.

It's not high fantasy, apart from being set in a high fantasy setting and containing dragons. Don't expect any elucidation on the higher mysteries from this book. However, you can expect massive amounts of intrigue, scandal and much and more sundry information about the Targaryen dynasty and their courts and associates, from the time of Aegon I until Aegon III, almost 150 years of Westerosi dynastic history with many tangents and tons of lore.

All of which the narrator presents sublimely. In my head, just spent a lot of hours with Archmaester Gyldayn himself. The narrator's voice, presentation and inflection were supremely well suited for a work like this, and I applaud the producer that made this happen. Indeed, he may in large part be the reason I found this book as engrossing as I did. Kudos to you all for this happy match.

If you're passionate about the world of Ice and Fire and share the author's enthusiasm with fleshing out the world and constructing a living, breathing fantastical universe, I heartily recommend this book. If you're a fan of the television show and you're looking for something cool with dragons, you'll probably agree with the detractors within a few pages (or in this case, a few minutes).

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A wonderful production.

George RR Martin as always brings the world of Westeros to life. The depth of this fictional history and the acknowledgment of the faults of the in world sources used along with references to other in world histories as adds an engaging flavour

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

More of a History Lesson than a Novel

For diehard fans only. Drones on and on about who begat whom, reminiscent of the old testament.

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Loved it

Well written and well read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Looking forward to the next instalment.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but not much to get excited about

I did enjoy the trip back to Westeros but a lot of the material about the dance of the dragons had already been covered previously and ultimately it wasn't as satisfying as a new story would be.

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there better be a second ...

good story. flushes out some of the history but stops at agon the unworthy. shout have wrote the testimony of mushroom.

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  • Paula
  • 09-12-2018

It's like listening to a Discovery documentary!

The book is very good, but it's a lot of information condensed into parts ... It's 300 years of history about the Targaryen family narrated in a spectacular way. Listening to this book is like accompanying a Discovery Channel documentary, where historians are presenting known facts and other deductive facts based on the discoveries made.
It is marvelous how the author recounts the story of Targaryen family, narrating at various times various narratives about the same fact, which makes the story a little nebulous but with surprising results.
The search for power, betrayals, alliances permeate the narrative at all times, which ends up being a characteristic feature of the series.

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  • wootton
  • 04-12-2018

Why this book?

Not so much a novel more a shopping list. It’s a pity the author did not use the creativity expended on this creation to finish Ice and Fire.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • michael Billington
  • 29-11-2018

The epic story of house Targaryen

This is not a novel so it might not be for everyone but I loved it. It covers the House Targaryen from Aegon the Conqueror to the end of the regency of Aegon iii it shows both sides of the Targaryen coin the greatness and the madness. from the hideous tyranny of maegor to the genius of Jaehaerys I found myself really caring about the characters and being moved by the tragedy that was the dance of the dragons. excellent narration by Simon Vance also made this an enjoyable listen I would highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • D. J. Mole
  • 27-11-2018

History in George RR Martins own style

I know a number of people have not enjoyed this. It is true that it lays out the family history. I am not one who generally likes being given historical facts whether they be real or fiction. But this has the same sense and feel that was given to The Game of Throne series and each individual has been given his or her own personality. I like the 'evidence' or 'non evidence' for how things came to be, giving the book it's own sense of reality. I loved listening to Roy Dotrice telling the Game of Thrones and Simon Vance is also an excellent narrator. Would like the other books to be finally published and narrated!! Come on George! Love the TV series but there is so much more colour in the books and would love for those who can't see to be able to hear it all!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-11-2018

Excellent excellent excellent

Excellent!!!! If you are familiar with GRRM Novellus such as The Princess and the Queen, The Rouge Prince and The Book of Swords then you will be able to dive into this books utter brilliance and complete detail without looking back. If you are only familiar with the works of Game of Thrones rather than the whole ASOIAF world then I would 100% recommend you read the “World Book” before you read this or at least have it to hand so you can reference maps, family tree and facts as it can get rather confusing
(I have been a complete geek and I have the beautiful hard copy with the maps, illustrations and family tree and I have downloaded it on Audible as Roy Dotrice and Nicholas Smith do a wonderful job of narrating)
In fact having the Targaryen family tree to hand is incredibly useful while reading this regardless to how familiar you are of any of GRRM works because it’s just so damned confusing which makes for all the better reading! Thank you so much Mr Martin this was completely amazing!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • BenCrowther
  • 04-12-2018

Truly Excellent

Although I was initially disappointed to hear about the announcement of Fire and Blood, wanting George R.R. Martin to focus on the Winds of Winter, I could not be more satisfied with this release. This is an excellent account of the history of the Targaryen reign, that isn't just a plain recounting of events. Told through the perspective of a maester and the use of different and often unreliable sources makes that world feel far more alive and engrossing. Introducing new favourite characters to me, from King Jaehaerys and Corlys Velaryon, I can't wait for the next book to come out!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • The Fool
  • 27-11-2018

Only Simon Vance makes this worth listening to

Well, it is what it says, a history. You'd be better off listening to Heroditus or Simon Schama.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave & Jenny
  • 20-11-2018

Not a story, not what I was expecting.

I feel very disappointed. I was expecting a proper story, not just a reported account.

25 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert O Marc
  • 21-11-2018

All of it is part of Ice and Fire: histories.

this are few chapters from the histories of westeros book. avoid! get the histories instead

16 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Raine
  • 20-11-2018

Struggling

Struggling to listen. I do hope it improves.
Plenty of potential and time to get better.
Finally after over 9 hours of listening it got a whole lot better. Enjoying it now.

12 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-11-2018

Was hoping for a story, not this

Was bored after about 5 minutes. Nothing compelling or engaging. I like the concept of bringing the imaginary to life, expanding and exploring the back story giving extra layers and depths to the families and the lands. However this isn't it.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin H.
  • 18-12-2018

A struggle

Struggling with this one. Thought it would be a ripping yarn like GoT - NO