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Fire & Blood
Cover of Fire & Blood
Fire & Blood
A Song of Ice and Fire Series, Book 0
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work, the inspiration for HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon

“The thrill of Fire & Blood is the thrill of all Martin’s fantasy work: familiar myths debunked, the whole trope table flipped.”—Entertainment Weekly
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.
Praise for Fire & Blood
“A masterpiece of popular historical fiction.” —The Sunday Times
“The saga is a rich and dark one, full of both the title’s promised elements. . . . It’s hard not to thrill to the descriptions of dragons engaging in airborne combat, or the dilemma of whether defeated rulers should ‘bend the knee,’ ‘take the black’ and join the Night’s Watch, or simply meet an inventive and horrible end.”The Guardian
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work, the inspiration for HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon

“The thrill of Fire & Blood is the thrill of all Martin’s fantasy work: familiar myths debunked, the whole trope table flipped.”—Entertainment Weekly
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.
Praise for Fire & Blood
“A masterpiece of popular historical fiction.” —The Sunday Times
“The saga is a rich and dark one, full of both the title’s promised elements. . . . It’s hard not to thrill to the descriptions of dragons engaging in airborne combat, or the dilemma of whether defeated rulers should ‘bend the knee,’ ‘take the black’ and join the Night’s Watch, or simply meet an inventive and horrible end.”The Guardian
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  • From the book Several years had passed since the king had last made a progress, so plans were laid in 58 AC for Jaehaerys and Alysanne to make their first visit to Winterfell and the North. Their dragons would be with them, of course, but beyond the Neck the distances were great and the roads poor, and the king had grown tired of flying ahead and waiting for his escort to catch up. This time, he decreed, his Kingsguard, servants, and retainers would go ahead of him, to make things ready for his arrival. And thus it was that three ships set sail from King's Landing for White Harbor, where he and the queen were to make their first stop.

    The gods and the Free Cities had other plans, however. Even as the king's ships were beating their way north, envoys from Pentos and Tyrosh called upon His Grace in the Red Keep. The two cities had been at war for three years and were now desirous of making peace, but could not agree on where they might meet to discuss terms. The conflict had caused serious disruption to trade upon the narrow sea, to the extent that King Jaehaerys had offered both cities his help in ending their hostilities. After long discussion, the Archon of Tyrosh and the Prince of Pentos had agreed to meet in King's Landing to settle their differences, provided that Jaehaerys would act as an intermediary between them, and guarantee the terms of any resulting treaty.

    It was a proposal that neither the king nor his council felt he could refuse, but it would mean postponing His Grace's planned progress to the North, and there was concern that the notoriously prickly Lord of Winterfell might take that for a slight. Queen Alysanne provided the solution. She would go ahead as planned, alone, whilst the king played host to the Prince and Archon. Jaehaerys could join her at Winterfell as soon as the peace had been concluded. And so it was agreed.

    Queen Alysanne's travels began in the city of White Harbor, where tens of thousands of northerners turned out to cheer her and gape at Silverwing with awe, and a bit of terror. It was the first time any of them had seen a dragon. The size of the crowds surprised even their lord. "I had not known there were so many smallfolk in the city," Theomore Manderly is reported to have said. "Where did they all come from?"

    The Manderlys were unique amongst the great houses of the North. Having originated in the Reach centuries before, they had found refuge near the mouth of the White Knife when rivals drove them from their rich lands along the Mander. Though fiercely loyal to the Starks of Winterfell, they had brought their own gods with them from the south, and still worshipped the Seven and kept the traditions of knighthood. Alysanne Targaryen, ever desirous of binding the Seven Kingdoms closer together, saw an opportunity in Lord Theomore's famously large family, and promptly set about arranging marriages. By the time she took her leave, two of her ladies-in-waiting had been betrothed to his lordship's younger sons and a third to a nephew; his eldest daughter and three nieces, meanwhile, had been added to the queen's own party, with the understanding that they would travel south with her and there be pledged to suitable lords and knights of the king's court.

    Lord Manderly entertained the queen lavishly. At the welcoming feast an entire aurochs was roasted, and his lordship's daughter Jessamyn acted as the queen's cupbearer, filling her tankard with a strong northern ale that Her Grace pronounced finer than any wine she had ever tasted. Manderly also staged a small tourney in the queen's honor, to show the prowess of his knights. One of the fighters (though no knight) was revealed to be a woman, a wildling girl who had been...
About the Author-
  • George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including those of the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons—as well as Tuf Voyaging, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle), and Dreamsongs Volumes I and II. He is also the creator of The Lands of Ice and Fire, a collection of maps featuring original artwork from illustrator and cartographer Jonathan Roberts, and The World of Ice & Fire, with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson. As a writer-producer, he has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with the lovely Parris in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Doug Wheatley is a comic book artist, concept designer, and illustrator who has worked on such properties and characters as Star Wars, Aliens, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, and Conan the Barbarian to name just a few. Wheatley was the artist on the comic book adaptation of the film Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and contributed illustrations to The World of Ice & Fire.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2019
    Fantasy master Martin (The Ice Dragon, 2014, etc.) provides backstory for the world of Westeros, extending the story of the Targaryens centuries into the past.Martin aficionados are used to eldritch epochal terms such as the Doom of Valyria and the Dance of the Dragons, here evoked as defining points in the emergence of his Targaryen dynasty of effective if often very unpleasant rulers. Over the span of 700-odd pages, he recounts the deeds of King Aegon and his two same-named successors, dragonmasters and occupiers of the Iron Throne, neither of them jobs to be taken lightly. As in his Song of Ice and Fire series, Martin's characters are somewhat larger than life but with the foibles and misgivings of humans: Aegon the first, for instance, "was counted amongst the greatest warriors of his age, yet he took no pleasure in feats of arms, and never rode in tourney or melee"--and this despite wielding the "Valyrian steel blade Blackfyre" and riding "Balerion the Black Dread." It doesn't take more than a couple of dozen pages before Aegon is the lord of "all of Westeros south of the Wall" save for the thorn-in-the-side lands of Dorne, leading to a series of Dornish Wars that ends on something of a whimper, more of a skirmish against "the minor son of a minor house with a few hundred followers who shared his taste for robbery and rape." Alas, those tastes are widely shared indeed, and there aren't many role models in Martin's pages--the third Aegon is pretty creepy on some scores, in fact, muttering that if the "smallfolk" don't love him for the food and peace he provides, then he'll serve up other diversions: "Someone once told me that the commons love nothing half so much as dancing bears." Dancing bears aside, there are plenty of fierce dragons, impaled bodies, and betrayals to keep the storyline moving along briskly.A splendid exercise in worldbuilding and a treat for Martin's legions of fans.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Entertainment Weekly "I love it so much. Fire & Blood is Martin Unbound . . . and I couldn't put it down. . . . There's an addictive quality to the prose that's outright gossipy. . . . The obvious comparison here is J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. . . . Writing centuries after the events he's describing, the Gyldayn voice complicates this game of thrones with a clash of perspectives and a storm of debatable facts. . . . Heavy stuff, but Fire & Blood flies."
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Fire & Blood
Fire & Blood
A Song of Ice and Fire Series, Book 0
George R. R. Martin
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