Well where to begin eh? lets try the official intro bit…: (caveat – from wikipedia so obviously totally correct and nothing to do with me..)
The story of A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in a fictional world wherein seasons last for years on end. Centuries before the events of the first novel (see backstory), the Seven Kingdoms on the continent Westeros were united under the Targaryen dynasty, whereof the last king was killed by feudal lords led by Robert Baratheon, who became king. The story chronicles a power struggle for the “Iron Throne” after King Robert’s death in the first book, A Game of Thrones. King Robert’s son Joffrey immediately claims the throne with the support of his mother’s family. When Lord Eddard Stark, King Robert’s “Hand” (chief advisor) discovers that Joffrey and his siblings are the offspring of incest by siblings Jaime and Cersei Lannister, Eddard is executed for treason and Robert’s brothers Stannis and Renly lay separate claims to the throne. Several regions of Westeros attempt self-rule: Eddard Stark’s eldest son Robb is proclaimed King in the North, while Balon Greyjoy re-establishes an independent Kingdom in his region, the Iron Islands.
So yes look being a mostly Sci-fi sort of chap and having too many bloomin books on the go at once (darn you kindle) I have eventually got round to reading this and to be fair the word EPIC is an apt description throughout this book – its a wide ranging, no-holds bar medieval thrusting beast of a book, descriptive and shocking (this aint no tinsle-town-happy-ending-kind-of-a-book-with-too-many-hyphenated-comments) Its a guts with lots of blood, sex, war, and many other dark things, – reading it you feel like you have just been dragged through a dark pit of mud and blood splattered something or another but in a good way (is that possible?) the scene s massive but with the inter-winding stories and heated disputes between the two main families, its an absorbing read. Its probably because its unlike anything you previously had read.
Now im not a fantasy sort of chap as already stated but i am a fan of good writing and this is thus (sorry going all medieval again) and also does shy away form the standards of fantasy such as wizards and dragons,erm well actually it dosnt – but its done in a good way, one thats believable within the plot.
So I really enjoyed it, I think tough it was more enjoyable reading it with something else, ie it IS dark and a full sess might get you a bit morbid, so i’m sure I read it alongside a couple of other books (as you do).
So the round up:
Positives: Keeps you turning the pages, good characters which are believable and different form the norm TL step up etc
Negatives: Pretty frank when it come s to death, blood andsex but then i guess thats part of the appeal of the book