Fire & Blood

Fire & Blood

300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History)

eBook - 2018
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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. 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. 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. 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.
Publisher: 2018
ISBN: 9781524796297
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Fire and blood

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shiroi_koibito
Oct 25, 2019

Interesting but reads like a history textbook.

Gr33nbird Feb 16, 2019

This book might help if you're jonsin' for some GoT, but it's not going to get you closer to finding out what's going to happen in The Song of Ice and Fire series. Fire & Blood is a history of the Targaryen line beginning around the time Aegon the Conqueror arrives in Westeros. It goes through the history of the first six Targaryen kings, but it doesn't even get close to the Ice and Fire timeline. The book is written like a scholarly evaluation of the dynasty, which honestly put me off at first, but Martin adds enough bawdy humor and scandal that I read it all the way through. True to Martin's style, Fire & Blood touts a ridiculously huge number of characters. I stopped trying to sort out lords and hedge knights about two-thirds of the way in.

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stilesfan
Feb 09, 2019

I've read the entire GOT series. I got 2 chapters in to this and gave up. I kept looking for character building or something (anything) to make it more captivating, but NOPE. It's just dry history. I'm really glad it's fascinating for some, I just couldn't do it.

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mexicanadiense
Jan 28, 2019

"Fuego y Sangre" from start to finish.
I had the pleasure to listen to about 3/4s via Simon Vance’s expertly narration before switching to the hardcover featuring Doug Wheatley’s gorgeous illustrations. A winning experience both ways!

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terrytag
Jan 23, 2019

Where's the hard copy???

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booksmile
Jan 15, 2019

Fascinating histories all told from the fun perspective of a rambling academic from Oldtown: about the conquering/unification of Westeros and there are dragons and a bit about Old Valyria and what happened to Harrenhal and how the Iron Throne was made and how a steward became a lord and all sorts of other stories...
There could have been more/better stories about women though.
I didn't get much of the huge book read during one library checkout period, but I am definitely going to pick it up again to finish it!

SPL_Shauna Jan 08, 2019

Nope! Couldn't do it.

I love the rest of Game of Thrones, mostly because I deeply adore the way Martin devotes each chapter to a deep dive on one character's perspective, and then weaves all those different perspectives into such epic proportions. I also love how strong the women are; Martin's 3rd-person omniscient narrator is empathic without being sappy, and can really showcase the grit and motives driving women in Westeros' patriarchal systems. I live for Arya, she is a tiny goddess.

None of these things are present here. If you mostly love the world, you'll still love this book, but the frame is very different than other Game of Thrones books. The narrator in this book is a single historian, piecing together events as researched by others who were there. For me, the it had effect of listening to an old man bang on about the glory days for too long at a family gathering. Woof. Also, this old man isn't nearly as intelligent about women as Martin's usual omniscient narrator. WOOF.

This problem is compounded by the art, provided by an artist who typically works in comics. The women, they are busty and statuesque. They are vampy. Or they are virtuous. Most don't seem to be able to close their mouths? Man, those Targaryen genes are something. Or, they are hideous, with no redeeming qualities, and plainly villains. One is smoking from her literal crotch. To reiterate: Nope.

Anyway, this isn't the thing to tide me over until *Winds of Winter,* but if you love the world-building in Westeros and the plotting more than the characters, and tend not to be attached to the chapter-per-character format of previous books, you may still find lots to love.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind for readers. First, this is a history book, written like a history book, intended for a more 'scholarly' audience, at least from the point of view of the fictitious writer Archmaester Gyldaen. Secondly, the book is focused entirely on House Targaryen, who from the point of view of the writer and his audience, are exotic immigrants with unique customs and features relative to the local peoples. Third, this book is only the first half of a two-volume set, covering roughly the origin of the house as Kings of Westeros, until roughly the halfway point of their dynasty.

That in mind, this is a FANTASTIC book. True fans of A Song of Ice and Fire will love this book and appreciate the time and patience Martin had while writing it. The book is a treasure trove of factoids, sprinkled with a few easter eggs of import that effect his other works. If you are a true fan and a constant consumer of all things involving A Song of Ice and Fire, you really MUST read this book. You will love it, if you give it a chance.

On the other hand, this book is not for everyone. If you dislike ponderous books relating the deeds of kings and what they did, you will have a rough time reading through this. Though much saucier and more pleasant to read than actual such works, Fire and Blood is still a lot to get through and people used to the chapter-by-chapter changes in perspective and place may grow frustrated with the much narrower scope and cast of characters. I'd do my best to convince them otherwise, but some people will just avoid this book on principle, and that is a shame.

Looking forward to Winds of Winter, and I hope everyone enjoys this engrossing book!

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ba_library
Dec 11, 2018

I thought this book was a bit of a mess. Martin gets to dropping names and places and it gets confusing, distracting, boring. The dragons of the Targaryens are explained and exploited and Martin intersects Game of Thrones (GOT) families; the Starks, the Lannisters, etc. but it reads as a rather mashed up mumble. People do get sent to the Wall, so I was interested more in the pre-history of Westeros—who built the wall? Why did they build it? There are plenty of ancient mysteries in GOT; the children of the forest and the Others/White Walkers, but that is not even mentioned in this book. Apparently there is a volume two of this saga, since we haven’t even got up to mad king Aeyrs Targaryen II (the king killed by Jamie Lannister) by the end of volume one. I am more interested in the conclusion of the GOT books. The Winds of Winter is the next volume there and the HBO series has far exceeded the print story so far, and we all know winter is coming . . . .

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MEnstone
Dec 10, 2018

Oooof. Well, I must admit, I'm :that: person that hasn't read any Martin before, but am hooked on the GOT TV series based on his books. I thought I'd read this while waiting for the final tv series. I'd have to say, this is a slog of a read, though I can't compare it to his other books. It's like medieval history coming at you in Ye Olde English thru a firehose, each sentence introducing a new doesn't-roll-of-the-tongue-naturally, name/place/character. I made it through 200 of the 600 pages, ... but then gave up. Those 20 0pages were fascinating in a slo-mo watching a car-wreck type way, can't quite enjoy it, can't quite quit reading. Ho hum, maybe I'll try it again later without the "pressure" of knowing I have to tear through it, knowing people are waiting on it, knowing I can't renew it, read it a bit more leisurely?

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JamesSloan
Feb 22, 2019

JamesSloan thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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