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If the past is prologue, then George R. R. Martin’s masterwork—the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time—warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice and Fire. This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter riv If the past is prologue, then George R. R. Martin’s masterwork—the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time—warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice and Fire. This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site Westeros.org—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator. Collected here is all the accumulated knowledge, scholarly speculation, and inherited folk tales of maesters and septons, maegi and singers. It is a chronicle which stretches from the Dawn Age to the Age of Heroes; from the Coming of the First Men to the arrival of Aegon the Conqueror; from Aegon’s establishment of the Iron Throne to Robert’s Rebellion and the fall of the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, which has set into motion the “present-day” struggles of the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, and Targaryens. The definitive companion piece to George R. R. Martin’s dazzlingly conceived universe, The World of Ice and Fire is indeed proof that the pen is mightier than a storm of swords.


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If the past is prologue, then George R. R. Martin’s masterwork—the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time—warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice and Fire. This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter riv If the past is prologue, then George R. R. Martin’s masterwork—the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time—warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice and Fire. This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site Westeros.org—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator. Collected here is all the accumulated knowledge, scholarly speculation, and inherited folk tales of maesters and septons, maegi and singers. It is a chronicle which stretches from the Dawn Age to the Age of Heroes; from the Coming of the First Men to the arrival of Aegon the Conqueror; from Aegon’s establishment of the Iron Throne to Robert’s Rebellion and the fall of the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, which has set into motion the “present-day” struggles of the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, and Targaryens. The definitive companion piece to George R. R. Martin’s dazzlingly conceived universe, The World of Ice and Fire is indeed proof that the pen is mightier than a storm of swords.

30 review for The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jayson

    (B+) 77% | Good Notes: What energy there is in the latter two-thirds comes from illustrations, as narrative’s meted out rough and piecemeal.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    4/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “No man can say with certainty what the future may hold. But perhaps, in knowing what has already transpired, we can all do our part to avoid the mistakes of our forebears, to emulate their successes, and to create a world more harmonious for our children and their children, for generations to come.” This book was exceptional, magnificent, impactful. I never expected to have so much fun with a history book... this is the shit they should have taught us in school! I have never ha 4/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “No man can say with certainty what the future may hold. But perhaps, in knowing what has already transpired, we can all do our part to avoid the mistakes of our forebears, to emulate their successes, and to create a world more harmonious for our children and their children, for generations to come.” This book was exceptional, magnificent, impactful. I never expected to have so much fun with a history book... this is the shit they should have taught us in school! I have never had the pleasure of reading a book such as this... I never would have if not for my desire to start off with the ASOIAF book series. The Game of Thrones TV show was one of my favorite TV shows out there... and how they butchered the last season 8 made me want to start the books immediately to fill the void in my soul. So... due to the fact I'm a graphic designer, I HAD to have this illustrated marvel of a book! So here we are. To be completely honest with you, this was hard to read at times. Prior to buying it, I saw that this book had 320 pages so I was like "how hard can it be?" but this book was like a 700 PAGE BOOK IN DISGUISE. Honestly man, I was so tired at times that I wanted to give up. But I wouldn't, of course. Doesn't mean the thought didn't pass my mind. At some point, I thought I was reading real history. This book was so detailed, with rich stories and backgrounds of every place, every war, every King. I liked that the delivery wasn't one dimentional... it wasn't like "yes, this happened in 60 B.C. and this happened then this way", we got more than that. We got rumors and different interpretations of a certain event from different measters, we got quotes, we got stories only told by common folk and songs, we got stories buried in time with few details left for the reader, we got the whole package. The history of the Targaryens and its Kings was the most fascinating to me. I couldn't stop reading at this point, honestly. All the different Kings, all their different characters and tempers and how they all affected the Seven Kingdoms. This whole history makes me even more mad about the outcome of the show! FUCK D&D (I say it everywhere I go, I had to mention it here, too). After this huge passage, we got the history of each of the Seven Kingdoms. This is when it dragged a bit for me... but I wasn't disappointed. At the end... what bored me a bit to be true to you... was the last 70 pages of beyond the places we know of from the show history. Except from Volantis, Braavos, Pentos, Naath and some other places we have heard of from the show, the other ones I skimmed over. This fact doesn't diminish my enjoyment of the book, these stories had to also be said. Last but not least, I have to talk about something that bothered me due to the fact I'm a graphic designer. I won't be talking about the illustrations of course... don't get your tinsel in a tangle. So... I work in a magazine and I basically make the entirety of it in InDesign so I know how these books are made. MANY times I would see letters in a sentence being different sizes than the sentence above it... which can't happen. Furthermore the lines weren't equal... I would see a blank little space where text should have been and it irritated me and then the columns wouldn't be equal in size... and the letters had different justifications...ugh. I can't explain it here how I should have... graphic designers who build up magazines in InDesign will know. Just thought to mention it, no one else would notice it but me. Overall. I'm so glad this one my first fantasy history books. I'm off now to the ASOIAF series... wish me luck on that one! It will truly be an adventure to be remembered forever. So.. till the next one... k bye!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    This book is exceptional: the art work is beautiful and the history, of a fantasy universe, is well defined. There is much new material from Westeros to be found in here. I’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire four times, yes four times, and have still found this book to be incredibly informative yet at the same time wonderful. When I pre-ordered this, several months ago, the first thing that stuck me was that I was going to be reading the same material again: I presumed this book, would contain the This book is exceptional: the art work is beautiful and the history, of a fantasy universe, is well defined. There is much new material from Westeros to be found in here. I’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire four times, yes four times, and have still found this book to be incredibly informative yet at the same time wonderful. When I pre-ordered this, several months ago, the first thing that stuck me was that I was going to be reading the same material again: I presumed this book, would contain the myths and tales already mentioned in A Song of Ice and Fire, and was just another marginalised attempt at selling another Game of Thrones related book. I was wrong, thankfully. This book has capitalised on the historical characters and has gone into the depth of their origins. For example, Nymeria is mentioned in the series, but we know very little about her other than childish fancy; the book chronicles her origins and how she ended up as princess of Dorne. This book contains lots of new material from Westeros and is an excellent addition to anybody’s A Song of Ice and Fire book shelf, or case (in my case!) The descriptions of the children of the forest and how they became virtually extinct was also very insightful. This is a full history of Westeros: the book is divided into many parts; the first covers ancient history. It then goes on to give a detailed account of Aegon the Conqueror’s conquest along with his reign. This is followed by detailed accounting of each Targaryen King, ending in Robert’s rebellion. We then see how the historical events affected each major house and some of their major happenings. The book ends with a history of the lands beyond the sunset kingdom: the free cities and other lands. The book is over three hundred page long and is well worth the money. This history feels very authentic; it is written as if by a maester of the Citadel; it almost feels as if you are in Westeros and you have picked this up off some lording’s bookshelf. The pages are tarnished in a brown like colour with stains and patches appropriate to that type of parchment. The reference to other history books, of Westeros, also adds to this affect. Considering that very little of this was written by George R.R Martin, the quality is still there. I’m sure he would not have let this be published if it was lacking. Furthermore, the scholar who “wrote” this is bias in his opinions which is a product of the incestuous lie we all know so well. He believes the Baratheon’s, namely Robert, to be the saviours of the kingdoms. This is unsurprising considering that they broke the mad king’s tyranny. So, he pledges his support to Tommen Baratheon at the end of the book which is quite amusing really and emphasises the authentic feel of this book: how a scholar, a common man, can believe the lies of the ruling class. The artwork in this is gorgeous; the images of Dragons and Targaryen kings are fantastic. In here, are some of my favourite depictions of characters, races and kingdoms. My favourite, is the image of the King who knelt. The character images are better than those in the graphic novels and many are superior to those in the television show (I’m talking about in terms of armour and clothing not actual people from the books or TV show.) For example, how a typical knight is portrayed or how a castle looks. To those that say this should be published after the series has been written: read this and you will see you are mistaken. This book is a history of Westeros: the events in here happen before A Song of Ice and Fire; this book is a companion to the series; it goes into the depth of the history and helps the reader understand, completely, how the seven kingdoms came about. So, this book could have come out after A Storm of Swords and not affected anything. To the reviewers who have just posted a stupid comment on here telling George R.R Martin to hurry up: get a life! Have you actually read this: the book in question! The books will take as long as they need; I’m happy to wait until the author is happy with his work and wants it published. Would you rather him publish something incomplete and not of the same quality as the rest of the series? In the meantime, enjoy these side projects and read his other books. Or, another suggestion, you could just read something else rather than being all whinny, there is plenty out there! Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait for the next book but people who post stupid comments on here just look like morons. To conclude this review, this book is a companion to A Song of Ice and Fire: it delves into parts just mentioned in the series so consequently is worth both your time and money. Facebook| Twitter| Insta| Academia

  4. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    Intricate world-building on a global scale. The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is a companion book to A Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin’s collaboration with Elio Miguel García Jr. and Linda Maria Antonsson resulted in a comprehensive history behind the land of Westeros and beyond. Although I spent two weeks reading this book, do not think that I didn’t enjoy reading it. The World of Ice and Fire is an imaginary history book, and the prose certain Intricate world-building on a global scale. The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is a companion book to A Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin’s collaboration with Elio Miguel García Jr. and Linda Maria Antonsson resulted in a comprehensive history behind the land of Westeros and beyond. Although I spent two weeks reading this book, do not think that I didn’t enjoy reading it. The World of Ice and Fire is an imaginary history book, and the prose certainly felt like reading one. The book is written from the perspective of an in-world maester, and I read this book exactly the same way I read our real-world history book; bits by bits instead of my daily 150-300 pages reading pace. Upon finishing it, I truly believe that the fans of the main series will have to read this companion book. Picture: Aegon the Conqueror upon Balerion, the Black Dread by Jordi González Escamilla It would be ridiculously crazy for me to explain every single thing about the content of this book; there’s way too much information or events to analyze in a single review. The title speaks for itself, this book contained the history of Martin’s main series. Starting from the Ancient History, it then proceeds to Reign of the Dragons, the high and low of the Targaryen Kings, the Fall of the Dragons, the Seven Kingdoms, and then what’s beyond Westeros. Battles, rivalries, cultures, architecture, landscapes, or maps, they were all explored in detail. If you loved A Song of Ice and Fire, the knowledge you gain from reading this book will immensely enhance the world-building behind the main series. Picture: The Rhoynar facing the might of the Freehold by Chase Stone I would’ve given this a 5 stars rating if I were to rate it merely on the content of the first 2/3 of the book. My favorite section of the book was easily the history of the Targaryen Kings that started from Aegon the Conqueror and ended at Aerys II “The Mad King”. Despite the book being written in history textbook prose, I found myself completely immersed in the Targaryen Kings section. Finishing it actually made me incredibly excited to read Fire and Blood; I simply need a more detailed version of the Targaryen’s history. The other background story that I loved was Tywin Lannister’s. I didn’t know how close he was with Aerys II and how complex their relationship was. Plus, reading this book enriched their characterizations. Unfortunately, I found the text in the last third of the book to be uninteresting and way too factual. The content of the book, from beginning up to the Seven Kingdoms—with the exception of the Ironbore—section was also written in a factual way but it almost never stops being interesting. The last third of the book was utterly boring to read that even reading them bits by bits didn’t seem to diminish the boredom. “No man can say with certainty what the future may hold. But perhaps, in knowing what has already transpired, we can all do our part to avoid the mistakes of our forebears, to emulate their successes, and to create a world more harmonious for our children and their children, for generations to come.” Before I close my review, I would like to give massive praises to the hundreds of fully illustrated artworks within this book. In my opinion, the artworks deserve a 6 out of 5 stars rating. The World of Ice and Fire is insanely rich in production value; all the artwork are gorgeous, fully colored, and drawn by some of the best artists in the fantasy industry. In fact, I would actually recommend getting this book just for looking at the artworks alone. Picture: The Iron Throne by Marc Simonetti The World of Ice and Fire shows how exceptionally detailed fantasy world-building can be. Although the world-building may be a bit overkill sometimes, reading this book made me appreciate Martin’s talent even more than I already did. If Martin wants to, he can simply choose a story or character and make a full novel out of it, and believe me there are MANY options for him to choose from. However, as we all know from his progress on The Winds of Winter, that’s very unlikely to happen. That being said, let me emphasize once again that I strongly recommend this book to A Song of Ice and Fire fans. As long that you have finished A Storm of Swords, reading this will be a spoiler-free experience that makes the fully-realized world of Westeros even more real than before. Picture: Rhaegar Targaryen and Robert Baratheon meeting at Ruby Ford during the Battle of the Trident by Justin Sweet You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping) You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

  5. 5 out of 5

    Markus

    A Team Rocket Read! __________________________________________ "And so I set myself to work once more at my forge, to make new and notable matter around the masterworks of the long-dead maesters who came before me. What follows herein sprang from that desire: a history of deeds gallant and wicked, peoples familiar and strange, and lands near and far." What can be better for a fantasy fanatic who is also a history student than to read a history book from one of his favourite fantasy universes? Th A Team Rocket Read! __________________________________________ "And so I set myself to work once more at my forge, to make new and notable matter around the masterworks of the long-dead maesters who came before me. What follows herein sprang from that desire: a history of deeds gallant and wicked, peoples familiar and strange, and lands near and far." What can be better for a fantasy fanatic who is also a history student than to read a history book from one of his favourite fantasy universes? The world of Ice and Fire is a wonderful place, and the amount of detail that has now been put into it makes it one of the most intricate and advanced fictional worlds in literary history. There are so many places, people, cultures and religions that most fantasies pale by comparison. I think everyone on Goodreads have heard of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Most fantasy lovers here will also have read it. But the story behind the great epic; the tales of the Age of Heroes, of the grand empires of Ghis and Valyria; of all the great migrations into Westeros and all the kings who sat the Iron Throne prior to Robert’s Rebellion. Those tales are told in this book, alongside many, many others. And told in an absolutely wonderful way… There are two very interesting things to note about how this book is written. First, it reads like a history textbook, not a novel. And it is a history textbook. At least up until the point where it becomes a geography textbook instead. In any case, this is not a book you read to get excitement and suspense. It’s a book you read to learn more about the wonderful world in which George R.R. Martin’s books are set, and to bask in its awesomeness from beginning to end. Second, it’s written as an in-world book. The author is not George R.R. Martin, but rather Maester Yandel of the Citadel. We see the world and the stories in it from the perspective of a man who lives there. An academic, so to say. There are several interesting details in the book making this fact even more believable and immersive, like a very interesting dedication in the very beginning. Many people have called this GRRM’s version of the Silmarillion, and that’s not completely true. It’s similar in that this is also a collection of tales providing a captivating backstory for the world described in the main series, but it’s also a wholly different type of book. This doesn’t have the magical beauty and grace of Tolkien’s masterpiece, but it is absolutely incredible in its own way. I assume that anyone who’s interested in this are already ASoIaF fans who have read all five published books. But in case there are people reading this who are not and have not, let me say this: I would only recommend this book to those who fit into both those categories. If you haven’t read ASoIaF, you should read that first. If you have read one or more of the books and didn’t like them, there is absolutely no reason for you to read this. You’re definitely missing out if that last case is true, but that’s more because of the splendor of ASoIaF itself than this book. The writing is good, but it’s just there. This is not a book where you care about the writing. You only care about what is written about. The stories. The legends. And the artwork is even better, providing an excellent addition to a book that would have been amazing even without it. Some of my favourite fantasy artists are here, specifically Magali Villeneuve and Ted Nasmith. You can see some of their works, and those of the other greatly talented artists, in the bottom of this review, coupled with quotes from the different chapters. __________________________________________ The Age of Heroes lasted for thousands of years, in which kingdoms rose and fell, noble houses were founded and withered away, and greet deeds were accomplished. Yet what we truly know of those ancient days is hardly more than what we know of the Dawn Age. The tales we have now are the work of septons and maesters writing thousands of years after the fact—yet unlike the children of the forest and the giants, the First Men of this Age of Heroes left behind some ruins and ancient castles that can corroborate parts of the ancient legends, and there are stone monuments in the barrow fields and elsewhere marked with their runes. It is through these remnants that we can begin to ferret out the truth behind the tales. __________________________________________ Sheltered there, amidst the great volcanic mountains known as the Fourteen Flames, were the Valyrians, who learned to tame dragons and make them the most fearsome weapon of war that the world ever saw. The tales the Valyrians told of themselves claimed they were descended from dragons and were kin to the ones they now controlled. __________________________________________ Sweeping through the Vale with fire and sword, the Andals began their conquest of Westeros. __________________________________________ And the dragons came. Not three, as Prince Garin had faced at Volon Therys, but three hundred or more, if the tales that have come down to us can be believed. Against their fires, the Rhoynar could not stand. Tens of thousands burned whilst others rushed into the river, hoping that the embrace of Mother Rhoyne would offer them protection against dragonflame... only to drown in their mother’s embrace. __________________________________________ There upon the south bank of the Trident, he knelt, laid the ancient crown of the Kings of Winter at Aegon’s feet, and swore to be his man. He rose as Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, a king no more. From that day to this day, Torrhen Stark is remembered as the King Who Knelt... __________________________________________ Thus were the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros hammered into one great realm, by the will of Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters. __________________________________________ No war was ever bloodier or crueler than the Dance of the Dragons, as the singers and Munkun have chosen to name it. It was the worst kind of war — a war between siblings.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kaora

    There is always more to know, more to lean. The world is vast and wondrous strange, and there are more things beneath the stars than even the archmaesters of the Citadel can dream. White Walkers This book is highly recommended for anyone who loves the Game of Thrones books. We begin by learning about the First Men, the Giants and the Children of the Forest. The races that initially lived in what was Westeros, moving into the events that shaped Westeros as we know it, including the rise of the drago There is always more to know, more to lean. The world is vast and wondrous strange, and there are more things beneath the stars than even the archmaesters of the Citadel can dream. White Walkers This book is highly recommended for anyone who loves the Game of Thrones books. We begin by learning about the First Men, the Giants and the Children of the Forest. The races that initially lived in what was Westeros, moving into the events that shaped Westeros as we know it, including the rise of the dragons, and the coming of the Targaryens and Andals. I did enjoy learning about the Children of the Forest, and what it must have been like living at a time where dragons and their riders ruled. The book then moves to the reign of the Targaryens in Westeros, including the Dance of the Dragons, and finally the fall of the Targaryens where Robert Baratheon took the throne. There were many names here that I recognized from the books or the show, but didn't have a lot of details, and I enjoyed learning more about why Maegor was known as Maegor the Cruel, or Aerys as Aerys the Mad King. The book then delves into the histories of the Seven Kingdoms, and the families that lived there, the bloody battles for supremacy and the decisions that wiped out entire family lines. There were some familiar family lines traced down through the centuries. Tarth, Tully, Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, Tarly, Martell are all present. Harrenhal is destroyed. However my favorite parts in this book were on the places not in Westeros at all, such as the Free Cities, or delving into the wilds of Sothoryos, Asshai and Yi Ti. Places that were barely touched on in the books, but fully captured my interest with their stunning descriptions and tales of wild people, dangerous creatures and strange magic. Asshai While occasionally the sheer number of names caused my eyes to glaze over, seeing some familiar faces, as well as the stunning drawings and incredible writing brought me back. It is a great backstory to the families we know and love (or hate), as well as the places they've taken us or have yet to take us. Lorath Cross posted at Kaora's Corner.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Slumpy

    This book is utter garbage. The writing is just awful and reads like something written by a verbose teenager. it's also completely useless as a reference guide since much of the "information" is purposefully incorrect since it is "written from the PoV of a Maester and what a maester would believe is correct". What this really means: it's basically them writing in mistakes because the series is incomplete and the information within subject to change. This is why most reference material for fantas This book is utter garbage. The writing is just awful and reads like something written by a verbose teenager. it's also completely useless as a reference guide since much of the "information" is purposefully incorrect since it is "written from the PoV of a Maester and what a maester would believe is correct". What this really means: it's basically them writing in mistakes because the series is incomplete and the information within subject to change. This is why most reference material for fantasy literature doesn't come out until the completion of the story. This appears to be a substandard book released as a cash grab to capitalize on Game of Throne's (TV show) popularity. I would avoid it. Even as a massive ASOIAF and GRRM fan myself... It's probably also worth noting for the uninitiated, this was not written by GRRM, but two "super fans" of dubious reputation. Neither of whom is a professional writer.

  8. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    this was a really fun and interesting look at all of the "history" and myths and legends behind A Song of Ice and Fire. it is written in the style of one of that series' maesters so it is amusingly pedantic in tone, slanted against magic, and often quite obsequious towards then-king Robert Baratheon. I loved that faux-author's voice; the actual authors did a great job in capturing the feeling of a professor condescendingly lecturing his students while developing and expanding on Westeros and the this was a really fun and interesting look at all of the "history" and myths and legends behind A Song of Ice and Fire. it is written in the style of one of that series' maesters so it is amusingly pedantic in tone, slanted against magic, and often quite obsequious towards then-king Robert Baratheon. I loved that faux-author's voice; the actual authors did a great job in capturing the feeling of a professor condescendingly lecturing his students while developing and expanding on Westeros and the Known World. it was all so drily amusing. and the art is fantastic! the book itself is nicely thick and weighty, with high quality paper and covers. a perfect coffee table book for a family of nerds. or hey, even a nerd bachelor like myself. the volume is divided into roughly three parts: a history of Westeros including the arrival of the First Men, the Andals, and a king-by-king chronicle of each of the Targaryens; an overview of each of the 7 kingdoms (although 8 are actually described - those poor riverlands don't even count as a kingdom); and descriptions of various cities and lands outside of Westeros. things I particularly enjoyed: - the in-depth details of the various Targaryen reigns. - maze-makers in Lorath! - a poisonous city in Sothoros! - Asshai-by-the-Shadow! - a city called Carcosa all the way behind the Shadow! and other surprising Weird Fiction and Cthulhu-isms, including a couple references to "Deep Ones". - particularly loved the illustrations of each of the 7 kingdoms' capital city. The Eyrie, Casterly Rock, and Highgarden were awesome. ok if I had to live anywhere in Westeros, it would have to be The Reach. - lots of details of two underrated kingdoms: The Iron Islands and Dorne. - quite a lot about Tywin Lannister, which was particularly great to read since he lacks a POV in the books. - and I didn't realize that the Starks were the only royal family to rule or dominate their realm from the beginning. apparently the Baratheons replaced the Durrandons, the Martells replaced the Yronwoods, the Arryns replaced the Royces, the Lannisters replaced the Casterlys, the Greyjoys replaced the Hoars, the Tyrells replaced the Gardeners. I imagine all of that info is in ASOIF but it really stood out to me when reading this. ok enough nerding out on this. if you love the series as much as I do, you should probably just invest the bucks and buy this. and don't buy it on kindle for chrissakes. (view spoiler)[I suppose the less said the better about all of the negative comments and the 1 star reviews that appeared before the book even came out. or that have appeared since. ugh, whiny and entitled people just drive me up the wall. boo hoo hoo, I've been waiting so so long for the next book that I've soiled my diapers because this isn't that next book so I'm going to be a bitter little baby about it. waaaa! FUCK OFF, IDIOTS. (hide spoiler)]

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Arabey

    A huge size tome -not many pages though- Yet it's very elegant.. An in-Depth look into the World that created the Worldwide Phenomenon , A Song of Ice and Fire. مجلد ضخم, أنيق يحوي التاريخ الرسمي الكامل للعالم الخيالي الذي خرج منه الظاهرة العالمية "أغنية الجليد والنار" الأسطورية الملحمية , مصحوبا بصور جذابة لذلك التاريخ وجغرافيا هذا العالم,عالم الجليد والنار I loved how the Preface started ,and why this History book made, it's best way to get into the feeling that you're reading the History of an A huge size tome -not many pages though- Yet it's very elegant.. An in-Depth look into the World that created the Worldwide Phenomenon , A Song of Ice and Fire. مجلد ضخم, أنيق يحوي التاريخ الرسمي الكامل للعالم الخيالي الذي خرج منه الظاهرة العالمية "أغنية الجليد والنار" الأسطورية الملحمية , مصحوبا بصور جذابة لذلك التاريخ وجغرافيا هذا العالم,عالم الجليد والنار I loved how the Preface started ,and why this History book made, it's best way to get into the feeling that you're reading the History of an actual World.. بدأت لتوي قراءته جنبا إلي جنب مع بدايتي للجزء الثالث من الكتب ,الموسم الخامس من المسلسل .وأعجبني كيف بدأه المؤلف بأسلوب أن من كتب الكتاب هو أحد أشخاص هذا العالم, وسبب تقديمه لهذا المجلد الذي يحوي تاريخ العالم ذكرني بتجربة جي كي رولينج في Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them I bought the US and UK editions -I'm not rich, just a sickness or Book Collecting disorder that I'm infected with- one edition got advantages that's not at the other and versa vice ,but that's just the design of the cover...and the paper material, but otherwise both the same Elegant books.. I've just start reading it, along A Storm of Swords ,book Three, and "Game of Thrones" Season Five.. So, till a full review Mohammed Arabey 20 April 2015

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Smartarse

    The World of Ice and Fire is hands down the prettiest book that I own. I can see myself taking it down occasionally, flipping through it lovingly, possibly even referencing it now and then. Heck, I'm even considering buying a fancy little coffee table, just so I could use it as a support for the book. When it comes to its (written) content however, I was a bit disappointed, though that's not necessarily the book's fault. For all that I don't see myself as this big ASIAF fan, I do enjoy watching v The World of Ice and Fire is hands down the prettiest book that I own. I can see myself taking it down occasionally, flipping through it lovingly, possibly even referencing it now and then. Heck, I'm even considering buying a fancy little coffee table, just so I could use it as a support for the book. When it comes to its (written) content however, I was a bit disappointed, though that's not necessarily the book's fault. For all that I don't see myself as this big ASIAF fan, I do enjoy watching videos on some of the craziest fan theories. My favorite is about a rather grizzly secret of Winterfell and the Starks. With that in mind, I was looking forward to finding out more about Bran the Builder and the Night King. Unfortunately, such information would've been found in a book about myths and legends, rather than a history treatise. Names such as Brandon the Builder, Garth Greenhand, Lann the Clever, and Durran Godsgrief are names to conjure with, but it is likely that their legends hold less truth than fancy. Still, there was some interesting stuff to be had here, such as: Aegon the Conquerror not being a particularly good ruler. Although he was an excellent war lord, it was his nephew, Jahaeris I, who had consolidated the conquered lands. Other random tidbits I enjoyed were the stories about the mistresses of Aegon IVth, the weird mazes left behind in Lorath, or the mysterious abandoned cities from the continent of Sothoryos. For the most part however, the reading experience was a rather boring one. If I often found the main books tedious to get through, a history treatise didn't have a remote chance with me. First, I could never seem to remember the various petty kings from before the conquest. Even though they later got rehashed, in a more thorough historical account of each of the seven kingdoms. Then, there was the lengthy saga of the Dance of Dragons, which in my mind lasted hundreds of years, instead of just three... which is probably why I remember mostly nothing aside from people and dragons dying left, right and center. Suffice to say, that I didn't technically read the entire book, skipping the parts about the Reach, the Stormlands, and Dorne... as well as those about Yi Ti and Asshai. Then again, I watched enough Youtube videos on the latter two, so I probably didn't miss anything. Score: 3/5 stars This book's biggest asset is the gorgeous art it features. Its second biggest asset is making me look forward to books 6 and 7 (and possibly 8?) in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Oh, and it also made me realize how much I didn't need to read The Tales of Dunk and Egg or A Targaryen History.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Argona

    This book is a great companion to the ASOIAF series and contains very interesting information. I got goose bumps reading this book. It’s like a treasure of rubies, emeralds and sapphires for fans of ASOIAF. So much valuable information…from The Pact between the Children of the Forest and First Men to The Pact of Ice and Fire between Houses Stark and Targaryen. You get to learn a lot about the origin of your favorite characters, their ancient houses and how these houses have been affected by famo This book is a great companion to the ASOIAF series and contains very interesting information. I got goose bumps reading this book. It’s like a treasure of rubies, emeralds and sapphires for fans of ASOIAF. So much valuable information…from The Pact between the Children of the Forest and First Men to The Pact of Ice and Fire between Houses Stark and Targaryen. You get to learn a lot about the origin of your favorite characters, their ancient houses and how these houses have been affected by famous historical wars or events. The information is not limited to the Seven Kingdoms and the book covers all the lands known to Maesters of the Citadel, from the great empire of Valyria to Free Cities and even Asshai and Yi Ti. Keep in mind that this book is written like a history textbook because it is a history book, written by Maester Yandel of the Citadel. He is quite biased and obviously very skeptical of magic. Maester Yandel has actually written this book as a gift to, and I quote, good King Robert and his fair son and heir Joffrey!*Snorts* So yeah, not a very reliable narrator! Sometimes he is so biased, it's actually hilarious! Don’t start this book expecting to find answers for all the big and important mysteries. Sometimes the book actually raises more questions than it answers. You are going to get a lot of “not worth repeating here" or “But that tale is too well-known to warrant repeating here” instead of information that is vital to fans and the main storyline! Several times I wanted to tear out my hair in frustration but let’s face it, all the big revelations are reserved for the main books and that actually makes sense. Of course I am being this understanding about it because I gave myself time to cool down!*Coughs and looks at the destroyed surrounding* But the book does give you many important facts and details. I perfectly remember how I wanted to scream when Old Nan left her tale of last hero unfinished. Guess what? The rest of the tale is here! Obviously, not in details and it’s quite vague but there is at least some sort of closure. When I accepted that the big answers are not here and stopped looking for them, the book became like a very fun puzzle. For example, some of the things mentioned in Aegon’s conquest, complement the history of Dorne and if placed together, contribute to theories that could solve parts of big mysteries like what really happened to Queen Rhaenys or why Aenys I was such a sickly child and his half-brother, Maegor I had problem producing children. Natural causes? Curse? BloodMagic? You also get to learn the many legends and myths of WOIAF that lead to even more questions and theories. For example, there are so many different versions of Azor Ahai’s story. It looks like he has been to many different parts of the world and there are many different tales that somehow complement each other. Is he even one person? Maybe multiple people? Or maybe a title that passes from one to another? Am I reading too much into things? Most likely. Am I going insane with all these theories? Probably. Am I going to need therapy after this series is finished and the massacre is over? Most certainly. You find out a lot about characters like Daenerys I, Daemon or Bloodraven but some characters like Jenny of Oldstones are only vaguely mentioned and have mysterious backgrounds that are only hinted at. You also get to learn very interesting facts about characters that you are more familiar with, such as The Mad King Aerys or Tywin Lannister. This book helps to better understand the circumstances and complications that led to Robert's rebellion. Reading that part was actually painful for me, considering all the precious lives that were destroyed. Before reading this book, with a few exceptions like Daenerys or Rhaegar, I actually disliked the Targaryens, not liking their sense of entitlement or their traditions. But after learning the complete history of their house, my opinion changed and although they can never replace Starks in my heart, I really like them now. Very interesting historic figures are introduced as well. You get to learn the full story and adventures of Queen Nymeria while you are also introduced to fascinating new figures like The Garth Greenhand. He alone hints at so many possibilities, considering he is supposed to have fathered many children including Brandon of the Bloody Blade who in return has fathered...Guess who! The illustrations are amazing. There are pictures that depict children of the forest, giants and first men! There is a freaking picture of OTHERS! You get to see the real Iron Throne and castles like Winterfell and Casterly Rock in all their glory, as envisioned by GRRM when writing the books. Look at the real Irone Throne! Needless to say, no TV show has enough funds to create this stunning world so these illustrations really help the imagination. This one is the real Dragonstone! The last artwork left me with a very heavy heart since it actually depicts Rhaegar Targaryen and Robert Baratheon meeting at the Ruby Ford during the Battle of the Trident and I am very fond of Rhaegar. I really enjoyed WOIAF and I took my sweet time reading it. I don't think it's a book for everyone. This is the kind of book that only the diehard fans enjoy, the ones that have come to live in this fantasy world and are always thirsty for extra information. So I recommend this book to those fans of ASOIAF that will have to join me in therapy when this series is finally over.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jareed

    Too excited for this book especially now that an excerpt has been revealed accompanied by an astounding illustration which accurately represents Martin's vision of what's in it for fans of the Realm. =D Aegon atop his dragon Balerion the Black Dread Too excited for this book especially now that an excerpt has been revealed accompanied by an astounding illustration which accurately represents Martin's vision of what's in it for fans of the Realm. =D Aegon atop his dragon Balerion the Black Dread

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Oh. My. God. I finished it. This book has been on my shelf since the long night september 2017 and I’ve put it on hold before that too. Yet at last, I’m finally done and I only want to know more about the lands beyond Westeros and their people. It was very much worth it. Full review to come.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Petra

    My current state ( before publishing the book) After: Update:(Spoilers all over the place) Done waiting, didn't get much sleep though until I finished reading. First of all, I think we can all agree that we would rather read The Winds of Winter than this But since there's nothing to be done about that, let all of us collectively (including me) stop hating on George and enjoy this great book. The world in which the Song of Ice and Fire takes place is HUGE and very very old!! As I said: HUGE!!!! So publ My current state ( before publishing the book) After: Update:(Spoilers all over the place) Done waiting, didn't get much sleep though until I finished reading. First of all, I think we can all agree that we would rather read The Winds of Winter than this But since there's nothing to be done about that, let all of us collectively (including me) stop hating on George and enjoy this great book. The world in which the Song of Ice and Fire takes place is HUGE and very very old!! As I said: HUGE!!!! So publishing a companion book is inevitable because there is no way that our favorite author can cover all the history and geography involved in his books. The book is written by a maester of the citadel, so naturally we don't get answers for everything, and sometimes the book even raises more questions than it answers (view spoiler)[ like the hints that a third race inhabited Westeros before the first men, the other two being the children of the forest and giants (hide spoiler)] However he did expand on many things, such as Asshai, Yi Ti, we even get insight into the history of the Free Cities. And there were some timeline clarifications, and as a result some fan theories went up in flames (view spoiler)[ like the theory that Jaime and Cersei are Aerys's children, he was nowhere near Johanna Lannister when they were conceived (hide spoiler)] , but it did fan the flames of another fan theory (view spoiler)[ Aerys was at Casterly rock in 272 and Tyrion was born in 273,while I'm not a fan of this theory at all, I have to admit that the dates make it possible (hide spoiler)] As for Westeros, we get a very detailed history, starting with the Dawn Age and ending with Robert's reign. Plus the artwork is amazing, especially since it's how George envisions the world. I mean the Iron Throne on the show is cool and all BUT can it compete with this??????: Plus there are illustrations of all the great castles of Westeros, How cool is Dragonstone?! of some of the great battles, and of the faraway lands of Essos, my personal favorite: the mysterious Asshai Oh and did I mention DRAGONS!! The most important thing in this book might be the detailed listing of every Targaryen king. So whether you decide to read it cover to cover, or chapter by chapter according to your level of interest, The World of Ice and Fire is a must read for every fan of the original series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bookwraiths

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews Does George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy masterpiece A Song of Ice and Fire even need an introduction? Hell, no! If you aren’t a devoted lover of the book series, then, no doubt, you are a follower of Game of Throne on television. (And if you aren’t, what have you been doing the last decade and a half, huh?) So this guide to Martin’s Westeros will, most likely, be a book that you have been eagerly awaiting or, at least, one you've been a little interested i Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews Does George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy masterpiece A Song of Ice and Fire even need an introduction? Hell, no! If you aren’t a devoted lover of the book series, then, no doubt, you are a follower of Game of Throne on television. (And if you aren’t, what have you been doing the last decade and a half, huh?) So this guide to Martin’s Westeros will, most likely, be a book that you have been eagerly awaiting or, at least, one you've been a little interested in, and you’d probably like to know if it is worth picking up, right? Yeah, this is a bit awkward, because, even though I'm a great lover of SoIF, the simple fact is I didn’t love this book. It was exactly what I’d always wanted to know about Westeros’ history, but I suppose, it was a case of “Be careful what you ask for because you might get it.” Or, to put it another way, The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is a true-to-life history book; an especially boring history book at times, which is painful for me to write since I am actually a history lover. Okay, now before anyone gets the pitchforks out and starts to light the torches, I want to say that there were some amazing things in this book. The pictures, maps, and illustrations throughout were stunning, capturing the essence of this amazing series beyond my wildest expectations. There really were not any that did not impress, as illustrated below by the stunning image of the Battle of the Trident. There were even some sections of The World of Ice and Fire that were good, though not great. The beginning of the book from “Ancient History” through the “Glorious Reign” were as interesting as most well written real world history books that I’ve read, though the chapters became a bit repetitive and dry at times. I also found “Beyond the Sunset Kingdom” a decent overview of the world, just not as much as the beginning chapters of the book. Did I mention that the illustrations were great! Unfortunately, though, there were some rather boring, or bad, sections of the book; at least, sections that I personally did not find very compelling or moving. The worst culprits to me were the chapters on each of the Seven Kingdoms. These were brutal to read, reminding me of nights in college when I sat up into the depths of the night trying to force myself to finish some dusty history book for class the next day. And I honestly had to do that with the Seven Kingdom chapters. It got so bad that I found myself skimming much of it, which is a pity since these sections were detailed, filled with historical facts and descriptive details that could have been very moving, but quickly, they turned into walls of text for me with similar names and similar stories that were just brain numbing. Does all this mean I’m recommending people not pick up this book? Not at all, I still believe that many Martin fans will adore it, but anyone diving in should merely be warned that this reads more like a history tome than the forthcoming (We hope!) The Winds of Winter.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    This could be considered The Silmarillion of the Ice and Fire series and to some extent there are many similarities between Tolkien’s massively ambitious backstory and this. Both provide depth and further explanation and development of an impressive, awe inspiring world building by their creator. But whereas Tolkien’s work is more lyric and fable like in its approach, reveling in the mythic and legendary, Martin’s history is just that, a history of his creation of the civilizations and peoples o This could be considered The Silmarillion of the Ice and Fire series and to some extent there are many similarities between Tolkien’s massively ambitious backstory and this. Both provide depth and further explanation and development of an impressive, awe inspiring world building by their creator. But whereas Tolkien’s work is more lyric and fable like in its approach, reveling in the mythic and legendary, Martin’s history is just that, a history of his creation of the civilizations and peoples of Westeros and Essos, and then to chronicle all the known world of Martin’s Ice and Fire imagination. Told as by a well learned Maester of Oldtown and thoroughly researched using all of the available past histories in the libraries there, this treatise on how Westeros came to be what it is demonstrating another example of Martin’s phenomenal powers of creation and narrative ability. We learn about how the First Men came to Westeros as well as the Andal invasions centuries later and how the great houses came to power. Martin also traces the origins of the peoples from Essos and examines in minute detail to histories of the Free Cities and then goes on to explore details and histories of peoples only passingly introduced in the main storyline. Evident is Marin’s inspiration and fantastic interpretation of the expansion and migrations of people from mainland Europe into the British Isles. The First Men are the Celts and the Andals a conglomerate of Saxons and Normans. The ancient Valyrian Freehold empire could be analogous to either Rome or a realization of lost Atlantis, with the Old Empire of Ghis perhaps corresponding with a Mesopotamian or Egyptian society. I also noticed an apparent homage to Lovecraft in the origins of the Iron Islands (though the people are certainly patterned after Viking cultures). An observant reader will also notice references to Edgar Rice Burroughs in Martin’s descriptions of the mysterious southern continent. In his portrayals of the Ibanese and Southern peoples, Martin seems to be suggesting a scenario where related but distinct branches of humanity have grown up alongside and contemporaneous with humanity as if Neanderthals had continued to exist and develop with us. Most compelling, though, was my thoughts concerning the progress of this story and series. Published in 2014, this is Martin’s sole contribution to the literary series since the HBO series began. Having read the five earlier books and observed the storylines of the TV series, it seems obvious that the two have diverged paths and Martin now has two distinct narratives. There is no way Martin can get from the end of A Dance with Dragons to where the show is now. Will books 6 and 7 form a separate series, distinct from the canonical theatrical version? Will he finish the book series at all? Or will he continue to rather explore a backstory that can be entertaining without being contradictory to the popular show? All good questions and ones fans would like to see answered sooner rather than later.

  17. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    EDIT: Strap in yo seatbelts because Fire and Blood is coming out this month, and ya gurl is fucking shooketh! HOLY GUACAMOLE, THIS BOOK SNATCHED MY WIG! I never thought it would take me over two months to read this illustrated encyclopedia on Westeros and the lands beyond the Sunset Kingdom but hot damn, this book is thorough. Just FYI: I'd only recommend it to people who are absolutely trash for the book series. This is nothing for the occasional reader, this is for hardcore fans who would immedi EDIT: Strap in yo seatbelts because Fire and Blood is coming out this month, and ya gurl is fucking shooketh! HOLY GUACAMOLE, THIS BOOK SNATCHED MY WIG! I never thought it would take me over two months to read this illustrated encyclopedia on Westeros and the lands beyond the Sunset Kingdom but hot damn, this book is thorough. Just FYI: I'd only recommend it to people who are absolutely trash for the book series. This is nothing for the occasional reader, this is for hardcore fans who would immediately exchange their lives to spend a few minutes in the world of ice and fire. From the Age of Heroes to the coming of the First Men; from the arrival of Aegon the Conqueror with his dragons to the fall of the Mad King, this is the dramatic backdrop to the struggle for power in a game of thrones. This book truly is a book nerd's dream. The writing is wonderfully fitting for a book that is essentially written like a history book. The illustrations are FUCKING SUBLIME. I could literally cry whenever I look at Justin Sweet's depiction of Rhaegar and Robert meeting at the Ruby Ford. I MEAN LOOK AT MY TRASH CHILDREN DESTROYING EACH OTHER'S LIVES. Good times. There's nothing like a little bloodshed between second cousins, amirite? (I'm not crying, you're crying. *starts hysterically sobbing*) It was fantastic to learn the untold stories from so many people whose names are dropped in the main series. Additionally, I loved reading between the lines and finding hints to the fates of the characters we're already familiar with. Ya gurl was highkey shook whilst reading this! My favorite discovery was definitely Nymeria's tale. She was the Princess of the Rhoynar and the biggest badass of them all. When the Valyrian Freehold conquered the Rhoyne with their dragons, Nymeria led the surviving Rhoynar into exile from Essos. That woman single-handedly led a fleet of thousands of ships across the Narrow Sea to Dorne, where she took Lord Mors Martell as her husband, and ensured that House Martell would rule Dorne ever since. NOTHING BUT RESPECT FOR MY PRESIDENT! (Arya's direwolf is named after her btw!) All in all, this book was everything I could have hoped for and more. I will definitely peruse it time and time again to revisit my favorite tales (especially the chapter on Braavos), look up useful information for my crackpot series and marvel at the stunning art work. 10/10

  18. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    Man, there is a reason why George Martin is doing this. Leave him be, if you want the books to be good then stop harassing the poor man! He's got enough on his plate already, and us hating and commenting harsh stuff to him isn't gonna help. At least give some appreciation as to what he has done for us fans. Stop complaining and just wait. PS: I pre-ordered this book. I'm looking forward to more of Westeros. Thank you very much, George Martin. =_=||| Man, there is a reason why George Martin is doing this. Leave him be, if you want the books to be good then stop harassing the poor man! He's got enough on his plate already, and us hating and commenting harsh stuff to him isn't gonna help. At least give some appreciation as to what he has done for us fans. Stop complaining and just wait. PS: I pre-ordered this book. I'm looking forward to more of Westeros. Thank you very much, George Martin. =_=|||

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    To his most esteemed and gracious lord, Robert Tommen the first of his name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men... Thus begins a nifty in-universe history book about the World of Westeros (and beyond). But just who are the Andals, and Rhoynar, and First Men? Those of you who have paid attention while reading the Song of Ice and Fire books will know a bit about them. The First Men were the first humans to enter Westeros. Thousands of years later another wave of immigration brough To his most esteemed and gracious lord, Robert Tommen the first of his name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men... Thus begins a nifty in-universe history book about the World of Westeros (and beyond). But just who are the Andals, and Rhoynar, and First Men? Those of you who have paid attention while reading the Song of Ice and Fire books will know a bit about them. The First Men were the first humans to enter Westeros. Thousands of years later another wave of immigration brought the iron toting Andals to Westeros as conquerors. The Rhoynar, on the other hand, were some group of much later immigrants that settled in Dorne. Beyond this not too much is related. This is where The World of Ice and Fire fills in the stupendous history of Westeros, Essos, and beyond. Written in the format of a history provided by an in-universe Maester Yandel, Martin et. al. does a wonderful job giving the book a voice instead of just being a dry data dump. Yandel follows some excellent historical methodology referencing in-universe primary and secondary sources, like Archmaester Haereg's History of the Ironborn, while also cautioning the reader about the reliability of some sources he references. This writing style works extremely well and was a joy to read. Plus, because he is writing for a king with Baratheon and Lannister blood (view spoiler)[(ok, just Lannister, but he didn't know that) (hide spoiler)] , he is overly fawning of both those Houses' histories. A nice touch in my mind. The structure of this book also works quite well. It starts with ancient times and works its way forward chronologically. It then takes a deeper historical dive into each of the seven kingdoms and their notable personalities. It finishes up with looking at Essos and other lands, really imbuing these rarely touched upon regions with a sense of depth and history. While there is a lot to be said about this compendium, I want to highlight a few of the parts I enjoyed the most: Iron Islands/Ironborn: While we get a fair amount of page time with Theon and his sister Asha, we never really got much of a feel for the Ironbown. We know they value reaving and paying the "iron price", they rebelled against Robert and then got curbstomped, but little else. Thanks to this book, we know that the Ironborn have always been the assholes of the sea. Since the beginning of recorded history they have been raping, killing, and stealing everything that wasn't bolted down (which they would just burn if they couldn't take it). It was interesting to see how their culture developed and changed, especially in reaction to the coming of the Dragonlords. The Targaryan Dynasty: Sure everyone knows about Mad King Aerys and a bit about Aegon the Conquerer and Balor the Blessed, but we don't get much depth about the other rulers and family members (of which there are waaaaaaaay too many Aegons). This book fills in all those empty spaces in history with a very fascinating development of the Targaryons and the uniting of Westeros. Plus we get a really good description of the Dance of Dragons, the Targaryon Civil War. Apart from needing an English History Degree to be able to follow the convoluted family tree (where siblings marry), it was quite informative. Mysteries of the World: Since this was written as an in-universe document, there is much that Yandel doesn't know about. Mysterious buildings that predate the First Men in Westeros, just what happened in Valyria (though Yandel does list some interesting theories), what exists in the far east of Essos, forgotten and vanished races that left strange structures behind. While I am sure Martin knows the answers to these question, it is nice that e is holding somethings back to possibly drop into the books. Plus it kept the framing device realistic. The World at Large: Essos is awesome. The Free Cities (especially Braavos) have fascinating cultures and histories. Yen Ti, what little we are told, leaves me wanting so much more. And I must know more about Asshai-by-the-Shadow. There is so much potential for amazing stories and characters. In an ideal world, once Martin finishes the series, he will open the universe up to other writers in a manner similar to the Star Wars expanded universe to explore all these fascinating lands and cultures. The Art: This book has some stunning artwork that really blew my mind. I mean, just look at this gorgeous art: The Iron Throne as Martin envisioned it, quite a bit fancier than the show's Robert Baratheon/Rhaegar throwdown Aegon the Conquerer Casterly Rock The book is chock full of gorgeous art that really enhances the world of Westeros. This book, however, we not without flaws. My biggest issue was the lack of maps. There was a general map of the known world (with no labels for cities, bodies of water, or regions) and a collection of maps for each of the seven kingdoms of Westeros. There was no comprehensive map of Westeros to fit all the pieces together. I would have found it much better if "Yandel" had provided some maps outlining the Targaryan expansion into Westeros. Finally, given how little we see of Essos in the books, a bunch of maps showing where all these newly introduced areas were would have greatly enhanced the history. I can think of no good reason these were excluded and strikes me as a horrid oversight. All in all this book hit both my fantasy and history weak spots. I adored revisiting Westeros and learning more about this fascinating world. I know we all want Martin to finish the next book series, but this book really did an excellent job giving the books more depth and weight. This is an excellent read for anyone who has enjoyed the series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    S.E.

    Having read all the excerpts that were released before the official publication of this book, I had been fervently anticipating this "encyclopedia" for months. Before I dive into the review of this book, I would like to address some of the comments I saw on this page. Now, while I understand the frustration of fans who'd rather see Martin finish off the main series, I vehemently disagree that this book is nothing more than "garbage" "filler". (I had been a fan of this series since 1999, when most Having read all the excerpts that were released before the official publication of this book, I had been fervently anticipating this "encyclopedia" for months. Before I dive into the review of this book, I would like to address some of the comments I saw on this page. Now, while I understand the frustration of fans who'd rather see Martin finish off the main series, I vehemently disagree that this book is nothing more than "garbage" "filler". (I had been a fan of this series since 1999, when most people are still ignorant of its awesomeness, so don't presume to lecture me about patience.) I also disagree with comments unjustly criticizing co-writers Elio and Linda's knowledge of the series and authenticity--FYI, they proof-read Martin's work before it is sent in to the publisher, help Martin look out for inconsistencies (usually spotted by fans like us who would complain to no end upon discovering it), and they certainly know more about the universe and series than the likes of you and me. This book, I feel, did an exceedingly great job at painting the complex universe that Martin has created. This book is no Silmarillion but it was good. It is a wonderful book that casually dispels some existing fan theories, while creating new ones. It answers a lot of existing questions, while creating two more in its place. In a way, I found it both intriguing and frustrating. That said, I could only recommend this to devoted (by that I mean hardcore) fans of A Song of Ice and Fire. This is a book for fans who love re-reads, analysis and discussions; it isn't for the casual fans or for those only interested in knowing "what happens next". I found myself constantly entertained by Mushroom’s theories. In more ways than one, he is like us—the gossipers of Westeros. (view spoiler)[Some friends and myself actually discussed the possibility of Aegon I being impotent and that none of the current Targaryens were of his seed per say. (hide spoiler)] I find myself agreeing with a good majority of what Barth writes and admiring the neutrality of the author for most parts of the book…well, at least until I read these: (view spoiler)[ “The crowning of the Stark girl, who was by all reports a wild and boyish young thing with none of the Princess Elia’s delicate beauty, could only have been meant to win the allegiance of Winterfell to Prince Rhaegar’s cause, Symond Staunton suggested to the king.” (hide spoiler)] And, this. (view spoiler)[ “As his first act, the unwed king took to wife the most beautiful woman in the realm, Cersei of House Lannister—thereby granting to House Lannister all the honors that Aerys had denied it.” (hide spoiler)] AND, this. (view spoiler)[ “I first set the framework for this history during the peaceful years at the height of good King Robert’s reign, intending to dedicate the volume to Robert and his heirs as a history of the land and the world that they had inherited. But such was not to be. The death of the noble Hand, Jon Arryn, has unleashed a madness on the land, a madness of pride and violence. The madness has robbed the realm of Robert, and of his fair son and heir Joffrey. Pretenders strive to steal the Iron Throne, and disturbing rumors of dragons reborn trickle in from the east. In such times of trouble, we must all pray that good King Tommen shall see a long reign, and a just one, to usher us again out of the darkness and into the light.” (hide spoiler)] I mean...come on! Perhaps I am being too harsh on Maester Yandel, as he was writing this book as a gift for the King of Westeros but it is fairly obvious that the subject on the Lannisters is the one thing he is unable to be objective on. Anyway, here are some quick points and questions I have formed while reading TWoIaF: (view spoiler)[1. The assertion that the Long Night is only felt in the north of Westeros is wrong. The Long Night is proven to be felt all over the known world, even at the far eastern most edges of Essos, with each culture/society creating its own heroes and version of events. However, curiously, there are no mention of the Others anywhere else other than the North—and we know for a fact they are real. (Also, ice dragons are real.) 2. House Tully are the muppets, with names like Elmo and Kermit. 3. There is an unfulfilled “Pact of Ice and Fire” made by Lord Cregan Stark and the Targaryens, which promises to marry a Targaryen princess into the Stark family. Will we ever see this fulfilled in the main series, I wonder? 4. Aegon the Unlikely reminded me a lot about Dany. She, too, was raised amongst peasants and does various reforms to better the lives of the commoners. Like her ancestor, she, too, was met with strong resistance from the ruling nobles. Will she succeed where Egg had failed? 5. Speaking of Egg, SEVEN HELLS IT WAS EGG THAT IMPRISONED BLOODRAVEN! I’ve always thought that Maekar had Bloodraven imprisoned during his term as King but they apparently sorted out their differences as Bloodraven was still Maekar’s Hand during his reign. 6. I am a huge fan of Nymeria, Bloodraven and Visenya (the sister of Aegon I). I hate Aegon IV with a passion. I used to think that he was Robert Baratheon in blonde hair but, no, he is a lot worse. 7. My guess is that there is some form of ancient civilisation (I’m not sure if it’s still there) west over the Sunset Sea. The hint lies in the Seastone Chair and architecture of Hightower in Oldtown. 8. Aerys I and Tywin were best buds in youth! Truthfully, I did not see that coming but it makes sense. 9. Aerys I and Joanna Lannister did have an affair (whether consensual or coerced) before she was sent away by Rhaella and wed her cousin, Tywin. The timeline of events make A+J=C+J improbable but makes it possible for Joanna to be in King’s Landing for Tyrion’s conception. Still, I doubt Joanna would sleep with Aerys after he humiliated her in front of the entire court. 10. Could the forging and reforging of Valyrian steel involve a blood sacrifice, as rumoured in the books? 11. Emphasis on Daemon Blackfyre's line ending on the male side. (hide spoiler)] I would recommend going for the physical hardcover book, instead of the e-book as the artwork and maps turn out much better in hardcopy. It is a monster to carry around for reading, though, and there's where the e-book version carries an edge.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    4.5 stars. This was better than expected, even with the hype. At first I hesitated to buy it. I mean, why do I want to sink this kind of money into one of GRRM's distractions? All that does is encourage him to work on stuff that isn't The Winds of Winter. Right? That, and I'm not even sure how much of this he wrote. He has endorsed it heavily, and I know that he's very protective of his material. So that kind of won me over, and I added it to my Christmas list. At least it isn't a snoozefest of a 4.5 stars. This was better than expected, even with the hype. At first I hesitated to buy it. I mean, why do I want to sink this kind of money into one of GRRM's distractions? All that does is encourage him to work on stuff that isn't The Winds of Winter. Right? That, and I'm not even sure how much of this he wrote. He has endorsed it heavily, and I know that he's very protective of his material. So that kind of won me over, and I added it to my Christmas list. At least it isn't a snoozefest of an anthology, right? Right. This book is brilliant. I wouldn't even call it something to tide me over while I wait on TWOW. It's a great work on its own. This is a history textbook that is way more interesting than anything I had in school. And the artwork is breathtaking - it's worth picking up this book just for the pictures, even if you never read a word of it. That said, the "story" here is wonderful. We go all the way back to the Dawn Age and it comes full circle back to the time just after Robert's Rebellion. (There are a few spoilers of the "present" narrative of the series, but not many). All those places and peoples and old events that get quick mention in the series, they're here. And in the context that brings it all to life. It made me want to read the series again. Now. And it's only been a little more than a year since the last time I read it. But I want to go find all those Easter eggs and see how they relate to the main story. Armed with the knowledge of old history, this could be fun. I will say that my rating dropped slightly by then end as the last few chapters were pretty dry. It was still interesting, but lost a lot of the richness that made the first 2/3 of the book so great. Favorite parts? The histories of the Targaryen kings. By far the best section of the book, it was worth the read all by itself. What's missing? Well, I would have liked a few more maps. I loved the maps that depicted the indiviual Westeros "kingdoms", but would have liked to see more of the areas of Essos and a world view. There were also a few sections of the history with noticeable gaps: the Tragedy of Summerhall, the final story of Rhaenys Targaryen, and the cities of Slaver's Bay. I did feel that these were intentional, maybe a clue that GRRM doesn't want those stories told just yet. That makes sense with Summerhall, as I could see that being told at the end of the Dunk & Egg stories. But we'll see. I'm sure there's a reason for it.....

  22. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Monroe

    George R.R. Martin is a freaking genius. You get hints and glimpses of the world beyond Westeros and Slaver's Bay in the A Song of Ice & Fire series, but only after you've read this volume do you truly understand the staggering weight of it. There're are so many countries (Skagos, Butterfly Isles, Asshai), each with their own history and culture, it's a wonder George can remember it all. It also provides a comprehensive history of the lay of the land pre-Targaryen rule, ranging from the children o George R.R. Martin is a freaking genius. You get hints and glimpses of the world beyond Westeros and Slaver's Bay in the A Song of Ice & Fire series, but only after you've read this volume do you truly understand the staggering weight of it. There're are so many countries (Skagos, Butterfly Isles, Asshai), each with their own history and culture, it's a wonder George can remember it all. It also provides a comprehensive history of the lay of the land pre-Targaryen rule, ranging from the children of the forest to the battle between the Andals and the First Men to everyone who died when Aegon the Conqueror came. Notable Houses get their history listed out too, so we get a full blow-by-blow of the bloody Targaryen Civil War and the subsequent Blackfyre rebellions. (view spoiler)[Young Griff is definitely not a Targaryen. The whole ploy stinks of Blackfyre schemes. (hide spoiler)] If you're like me and praying to the old gods and the new for George to finish wrap up the series, this'll tide you over for now. A bit dry (it's technically a history textbook), but a must-read for ASOIAF fans.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Geri Reads

    Loved it. But I'll be holding off rating and reviewing until my hard copy arrives because this book, while great on audio, needs to be seen and grasp with your hands to fully appreciate it. Apart from that, this was a treasure. I'm so in love and obsessed with this world and this book fueled my love for it even more. Informative and sprawling in its coverage...I wish I read the hardback version first before the audio. It would have been even more magical. Loved it. But I'll be holding off rating and reviewing until my hard copy arrives because this book, while great on audio, needs to be seen and grasp with your hands to fully appreciate it. Apart from that, this was a treasure. I'm so in love and obsessed with this world and this book fueled my love for it even more. Informative and sprawling in its coverage...I wish I read the hardback version first before the audio. It would have been even more magical.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    So, I spent almost six months reading this book. That length of time would seem to indicate that I was trudging through it without finding any enjoyment. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I had been told by a reliable source (Petrik) that this was a book to be savored in slow, small bites, so that’s what I did. I read ten or twenty pages a week, treating it more like a textbook than a work of fiction. That was exactly the right approach for me. “It is said with truth that every buildin So, I spent almost six months reading this book. That length of time would seem to indicate that I was trudging through it without finding any enjoyment. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I had been told by a reliable source (Petrik) that this was a book to be savored in slow, small bites, so that’s what I did. I read ten or twenty pages a week, treating it more like a textbook than a work of fiction. That was exactly the right approach for me. “It is said with truth that every building is constructed stone by stone, and the same may be said of knowledge, extracted and compiled by many learned men, each of whom builds upon the works of those who preceded him. What one of them does not know is known to another, and little remains truly unknown if one seeks far enough.” The lands of Westeros and beyond have a bloody history, while still retaining quite a lot of mystery. Martin did a wonderful job presenting its stories in ways both academic and skeptical, the perfect mingling to believably portray a Maester’s voice. I loved his footnote-like inserts, giving a bit of extra information on topics the fictional author found particularly interesting. Through this book, Martin and his coauthors demonstrate how much vaster Westeros and the other lands in this world truly are, and how much is still left to explore. “There is always more to know, more to see, more to learn. The world is vast and wondrous strange, and there are more things beneath the stars than even the archmaesters of the Citadel can dream.” A World of Ice and Fire is rich in lore and history, and even richer in gorgeous artwork. The maps and illustrations were absolutely what made this book so special. It’s one of the most beautiful books I own (thanks again, Haïfa!), and it’s something that I’ll treasure. But the art, while stunning, would not have been nearly as impactful if Martin had not crafted so remarkable a history. I can think of no other author outside of Tolkien and Pratchett who has crafted a world so well developed and imbued with such a depth of lore. It’s honestly super impressive, and I heartily recommend that anyone who loves ASoIaF find themselves a copy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    First off, all these 1 star reviews before the book even came out (and even after) are just people upset with the fact that Martin has once again published something that is not Book 6. To them I say... well lets just put it kindly, shut up! Anyone who is a fan of Martin and the ASoIaF Series should know before hand that this does not progress the story of the actual novels and your beloved characters are not going to make appearances. Read this book for what it is and you will not be disappointed First off, all these 1 star reviews before the book even came out (and even after) are just people upset with the fact that Martin has once again published something that is not Book 6. To them I say... well lets just put it kindly, shut up! Anyone who is a fan of Martin and the ASoIaF Series should know before hand that this does not progress the story of the actual novels and your beloved characters are not going to make appearances. Read this book for what it is and you will not be disappointed. The book is beautifully done as George promised. A lot of new artwork and some I've seen before (mostlty of the castles from the Calenders). I'd say 85% of it is knew. Lots of portrait and battle depictions, and dragons, many pictures of dragons! VERY BEAUTIFUL ART! For the art alone I feel this is worth picking up. Now onto the actual text. As a long time fan, I have read all 5 of the main books, all the Dunk and Egg stuff, Dangerous woman and Rogues. If you are familiar with the latter to works it reads much like those. There are no POV's. It reads like a historical text written from the perspective of a Maester. That being said it is still very entertaining. I have only read the first 50 pages or so, so my review may be a little early and may modify it if needed. Yes George did NOT write all of this, its obvious by the fact that there are two other authors listed. However you can tell that he has his hand in all of it. Also there are still all the wonderful words like six-and-ten, mayhap, jape, lobstered steel, etc... (so you should feel right at home). I do find it interesting to read about all the history of the realm, how the wall was created, the Dawn Age, the Free Cities, Valyria, as well as all the kingdoms. It does 'skip' over a lot of the Dunk and Egg time period (i imagine George will fill us in with that) though it does talk about the Tragedy at Summerhall. It also "ends" with Robert as King more or less. Overall highly satisfied and if your a true fan you will not be disappointed as long as you go into reading this book accepting the fact that its not Book 6. Highly recommend for any GoT fans.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Terence

    The World of Ice and Fire is quite the interesting book that tells the history of Westeros as well as other parts of the world. Since the book is listed as on going history rather than a novel I'll list out what I think was the good and the bad. The Good - The first and foremost thing that is good about this book is the artwork. The artists did a truly phenomenal job. - Aegon's Conquest. Aegon's Conquest is told in the same styling as the novella The Princess and The Queen which gets into some The World of Ice and Fire is quite the interesting book that tells the history of Westeros as well as other parts of the world. Since the book is listed as on going history rather than a novel I'll list out what I think was the good and the bad. The Good - The first and foremost thing that is good about this book is the artwork. The artists did a truly phenomenal job. - Aegon's Conquest. Aegon's Conquest is told in the same styling as the novella The Princess and The Queen which gets into some interesting details although it's still mainly summarized. - Tywin Lannister. I don't know if anyone else ever wondered exactly how and why Tywin decided to exterminate the Reynes and the Tarbecks, but that information is in the book. Also we get to see that Tywin was basically always a competent, determined, and if need be a violent man. - The history of the Kings. I liked the history of the kings because it went through what could easily have been novels and novels of information rather quickly and succinctly. Although I do prefer the styling of Aegon's Conquest to the other summaries in the book. - The book is supposed to be a compilation that was to be presented to King Robert by Maester Yandel (which are Martin's co-authors made into a maester). Unfortunately Robert and Joffrey died before the book could be finished so the book was instead passed to King Tommen. I thought it was an easy yet nice touch to tie the book into the main storyline. The Bad - George R.R. Martin's choice to have co-authors who summarized his summaries. It took away from the richer details by Maester Gyldayn (Martin's maester persona) by continually editing down his information to generally not much more than the facts. Martin seems determined to capitalize on this editing by eventually releasing his full summaries of the lives of the Targaryen kings in a book I believe he intends to title Fire and Blood. Unfortunately we don't get that in this book. - One silly thing I couldn't overlook was that fact that two Lord's of Riverrun were named Elmo and Kermit. They are father and son so it's impossible to ignore the likelihood the names were chosen from Muppet counterparts. - After the lives of the various Targaryen Kings we go into history of each of the 7 Kingdoms which starts to feel a bit tedious particularly in the Kingdoms we know well from the main story line. - The histories of the other countries are so fact based with little story telling that it gets more than a bit dull at moments. I would've preferred stories told in major events as was done with Aegon's Conquest. The Intriguing - While this likely doesn't mean anything to anyone else, I noticed that the only currently living characters who happen to have artwork in the book are Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. This may not mean anything or perhaps it's a further hint to the believed incredible importance of Dany and Jon in the remainder of the series. In the End - I enjoyed The World of Ice and Fire and although I doubt I'll ever read the entire book again, I'm certain I'll go back to it from time to time because some of the histories are astonishing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    Some cool stuff in here, and it really gives an idea of the scope of GRRM's research and world-building. Not sure I want to tackle the Targaryen history right away. Give me a history of the Starks, damn it! Some cool stuff in here, and it really gives an idea of the scope of GRRM's research and world-building. Not sure I want to tackle the Targaryen history right away. Give me a history of the Starks, damn it!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wee Lassie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. An excellent and surprising read for any game of thrones fan. I don't want to give anything too big away so I'll just say this...centaurs are real in the game of thrones universe. I know, I know the book says that they aren't, but it also says that about the Others and we all know those exist. An excellent and surprising read for any game of thrones fan. I don't want to give anything too big away so I'll just say this...centaurs are real in the game of thrones universe. I know, I know the book says that they aren't, but it also says that about the Others and we all know those exist.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shivam Chaturvedi

    Let's face it, this is a history book. So essentially there are only two reasons you'd want to skim through these pages - One, you are a freaking Song of Ice and Fire maniac, and are willing to gorge up any and everything that George RR Martin has to offer. Which in this case is the complete history of the land of Westeros, with some insights on Essos and Sothoryos as well. Or - the surreal artwork. Littered across these 326 pages are some of the most beautiful Ice and Fire illustrations I have Let's face it, this is a history book. So essentially there are only two reasons you'd want to skim through these pages - One, you are a freaking Song of Ice and Fire maniac, and are willing to gorge up any and everything that George RR Martin has to offer. Which in this case is the complete history of the land of Westeros, with some insights on Essos and Sothoryos as well. Or - the surreal artwork. Littered across these 326 pages are some of the most beautiful Ice and Fire illustrations I have seen. Needless to say, there is nothing like a pictorial guide to a fantasy series and this book does a brilliant job at bringing Westeros alive So if you are enthused by point #1, here's a brief summary of what you're looking at - Eight thousand years of history. Well it's not that bad, but you get the sense. It literally is the mother of all back stories, spanning the legends and history associated with all the seven kingdoms. However the real fun (or the real drab if one hates history) begins with the arrival of the Targaryens. The book covers Aegon Targaryen's conquest in some detail, and then follows it up an astonishing amount of detail being given to the three hundred year reign of Targaryen dynasty. The book is written as a first hand account by a maester during the reign of Robert Baratheon, so this is where the histories end, a little prior to the events covered in the main book. Suffice to say that Jaime hasn't pushed Bran out of the window yet when this book ends. And if you're enthused by point #2, here's some of them: Castles Winterfell Casterly Rock Castle Black Dragonstone Eyrie HighGarden Red Keep Riverrun Storm's End The Twins Cities and Landmarks Hightower in Oldtown Iron Bank of Braavos Pentos Sept of Baelor Titan of Braavos Valyria before the Doom Asshai by the Shadow People and Events Aegon Targaryen riding Balerion the Black Dread Torrhen Stark kneels before Aegon Targaryen Arrival of Andals in the Stormlands [image error] Daemon Blackfyre, leading the first Blackfyre Rebellion First Great Tourney, 98 AC Rhaegar and Robert clash at the Ruby Ford The Others While the 'history' can get boring sometimes (and this is coming from someone who loves history), The World of Ice & Fire is still a delightful companion for us Song of Ice and Fire readers and highly recommended.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alina

    Wow! This was such a complex work, with magnificent illustrations and a history so complex that it could easily pass for reality. I'm really impressed and I was very glad to be able to return to ASoIaF's world :) Wow! This was such a complex work, with magnificent illustrations and a history so complex that it could easily pass for reality. I'm really impressed and I was very glad to be able to return to ASoIaF's world :)

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