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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 (292 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

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

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars

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).

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Hamish
  • Rock Valley
  • 02-01-2019

Bearable at first, unbearable after a few hrs

Yeah. I just sat and listened to a man recite the Westerosi phonebook for 5 hours. Name after name after name after name. Couldn't take it anymore. There's no dialogue, no plot, just a writer who has decided, for reasons best known to himself, to kill stone dead his fabulous earlier work with a lot of tedious and totally unnecessary history. Bearable at the beginning, unbearable after a few hours of it. The reader is good, but if anyone thinks I'm going to listen to TWENTY SIX HOURS of that...
scuse me a sec...
chik chik BOOOOM!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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One hour in and the names are killing me

This isn’t a narrative. It’s a list of names with a few sequenced events. So boring. Not another 24 of this !

9 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

not great quality audio

Seems to speed up and skip bits, not sure why. The story is great though.

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It’s good if you’re after a list of names.

Bring a pen and notebook to keep track of the names that you might want to add to the family trees of Westeros but don’t come to this boon expecting the intrigue and storytelling of GOT.

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  • BC
  • 25-03-2019

Great read

Awesome. highly recommend this book. Fans will love it. Go go go go go go.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful, just extremely long

it was a great story. Just very very very very long. When something is that long, it gets repeditive, and names get re-used and one gets confused. In saying that I loved it, especially to listen to while I was at work.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Textbook

Written from a Maesters perspective as a history. Extremely dry but narrator worked hard to breath life into it.
Should have been left as background notes.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon
  • Swan Hill
  • 21-01-2019

Good, but confusing.

The first half kept me entertained, the second left me confused. Many many names and a mirrored of connections. While a good story I needed a Targaryen family tree and a Westeros map to avoid complete bewilderment.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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It's just so bad!

Gave up after 2 hours save your money. It's not a story it's a fantasy history lesson.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-01-2019

More of a chore than a pleasure!

I'm a big fan of George R R Martin, but found this book heavy going. Despite the excellent narration, I was left feeling I needed a pen and paper in order to take notes in an effort to track character, dates and events!

I was relieved when the book finished and hope I never hear Mushroom quoted again!

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-03-2019

Very good , well read and detailed

Its written very well and positioned from the perspective of a narrator - historian . Nice fresh approach that makes you wonder how much is true. It puts a lot of perspective to the original Ice and fire saga.
Very amusing and never dull.

One downside : it ends closely after the civil war: Dance of Dragons events. Thus its a bit misleading because you expect the whole story until Aerys II.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lana
  • 16-01-2019

OK for pseudo-history buffs ...

... but not so good if you were wanting a story like the GoT series. No one can fault Mr Martin when it comes to the depth and scale of his universe, but I really prefer his story-telling prowse. Nevertheless, it's well narrated and structured.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Vusi
  • 28-05-2019

Absolutely Brilliant!!!

I always enjoy the complexity with which George R. R Martin writes his novels, you understand why it takes as long as it takes.
For anyone who’s a fan of “A Song of Ice and Fire” this is a great add to your knowledge and for anyone who’s a fan of well written stories and likes to imagine, this here is your gem.
I can’t wait for the next one.

While you might wish for Mr Martin to finish his books quicker what you do not want if for him to have compromised in anything that he did in this book and any of his other books.

I love the narration by Simon Vance, “Well done Ser” in the voice of Ser Maynard Plumm

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  • markb82
  • 12-05-2019

A long and boring cencus.

Too long and boring. Was disappointed through the whole and was glad when it finished.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-04-2019

Fun to listen to

This was a good book, very informative.

It is a little dificult to always keep the family tree straight with all the names being very similar.

Bit all in all it was worth the time.

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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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  • C. Cole
  • 15-01-2019

Waffle of the worst kind

Terrible love story with the same crap regurgitated again and again with the same names used in different lines of succession. Don't waste your time or credits. If only you'd put so much effort in making a real story instead of being so clever to go over the same story again and again and again just seen from a different view..... BORING!

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Orlando Gilbourne
  • 29-12-2018

a wonderful history of the targeryens

it was a wonderful tale only wish it had continued to the mad king aerys

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 15 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.

15 of 15 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!

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-05-2019

disappointing and dull as dishwater

Honestly dont bother. It's not a story but a list of endless names and events. Only useful to put me to sleep. One of the worst books I have ever read and I only stuck to it because of authoris previous books and the hope it would get better. it didnt

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • martin
  • 03-04-2019

Not a Novel

This recounts a potted fictional "history". It flits from item to item almost listing rather than weaving a story.As a GOT fan this was a tremendous disappointment & a book I doubt I will finish. I am bored & have better books to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Edwin Brown
  • 21-01-2019

Hard Work compared to the game of thrones

Found this to be confusing and hard work compared to the game of thrones and can't really say it adds to the books. He should have spent the time finishing the Game of Thrones first!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • C.L.Bower
  • 12-01-2019

Just Awful - avoid

I'm a huge fan of all the Game of Thrones books which I read cover to cover and could not wait to listen to this prequel. I always finish a book, but this one is so boring, I've given up, it's like listening to someone reading a telephone directory. Lots of meaningless 1 dimensional characters are introduced in a banal, procession of drudgery that goes on for hours even the narrator sounds like he has a more pressing appointment watching paint dry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma
  • 25-04-2019

Like listening to paint dry

Bit like the start of the Bible with a list of who begat who etc etc as nausium. The most tedious boringly read drivel my ears have been subjected to for years...blah blah blah and then we all went home. The End.. but actually couldn't put myself through the torture so never got there. The rest of the series is great though and Roy Detrice reads it superbly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jamesg
  • 07-04-2019

pretty bad actually

Needlessly complicated, lazy and thoroughly unentertaining.
I loved a song of Ice and fire, so this book was a bit of a disappointment unfortunately.
I really didn't enjoy the third person style of writing, I found that it took away all immersion.
it almost seems like the author was being paid per character that he creates to then kill off three paragraphs later, in this book characters died before you even fully comprehend who they are.
please don't get this book thinking that you will get anywhere near the same amount of entertainment value that you may have got out of a song of Ice and fire.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful