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Fire & blood
2018
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * 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 . <br> <br> 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 & 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.<br> <br> 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 and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers 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.<br> <br> With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire & Blood is the the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.
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  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Martin has done it again. Delving even deeper into the already deeply explored world of the Song of Fire and Ice series (which began with A Game of Thrones , 1996), he has composed a broad, sweeping exploration of the Targaryens, one of the most prominent families of the Seven Kingdoms. Fire and Blood is a history of the only dragonriders to escape The Doom of Valyria, beginning with King Aegon I and extending to the coming-of-age of Aegon III, some 130 years later. Presented as the transcription of an archmaester's writings, this first volume of the History of House Targaryen of Westeros reads a lot like Thomas B. Costain's Plantagenet histories. Rather than a dry recitation of dates and names, the dragonriders' history is brought to life with carefully chosen facts alongside brief descriptions of conflicting sources and stories where those facts are in dispute. This leads to a beautiful weaving of the wars, marriages, deaths, dragons, and politics that shape the world Martin has created, leaving the reader feeling like this is a true history rather than a piece of fantasy. This is a masterpiece of world-building, with much attention given to intricate details about the colors of the dragons, the clothing people wore on certain memorable occasions, and how the battles they fought played out. The tangled web of intrigues is laid out clearly, noting how each succeeding generation navigated the turbulent political landscape. While not structured like a conventional novel, the book tells a coherent story, and it does not require that the reader have a familiarity with previous books in the Song of Fire and Ice series; on the other hand, the maps found in Martin's nonfiction The World of Ice and Fire (2014) are very helpful when trying to picture where events occurred. Beyond Martin's legions of fans, anyone with a taste for richly, even obsessively detailed historical fiction or fantasy about royalty will enjoy this extraordinary work. HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY : It's not the long-awaited sequel to A Dance with Dragons (2011), but Martin fans who can get over their disappointment will be rewarded with a richer, deeper exploration of the world of Westeros and this is just volume one.--Rebecca Gerber Copyright 2018 Booklist
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