I have read more epic, huge fantasy series than I can remember and, this is by far the best I have every read. My definition of a good book is that I forget I am turning pages. And this book meets that definition. Not only did I forget that I was turning pages, I forgot to sleep, eat and interact with others. The characters are dense, interesting, complicated, and engaging. Their relationships are deep, complicated, joyous and tragic. My only complaint is the George R R Martin is an extremely slow writer. It takes him a huge amount of time between releases. I had to reread the series just to be able to know what was going on. I enjoyed rereading them almost as much as the first time
The words that best describe this novel are sprawling and epic. This story is HUGE. When I got to the end of its 700+ pages I realized that this was just a scratch in the surface of the world that the author had created. The story is broken up into multiple points of view, something I usually do not like, but for this story it is impossible to tell it any other way. I was often reminded of a huge centipede, legs moving in all different directions, but moving the body of the narrative forward. Mr. Martin has done an excellent job of creating a compelling story and dynamic characters. This story is addicting, and a definite read for any fan of the genera.
This may be a fantasy, but the book presents a realistic world, where characters are often cold, dirty, hungry and in distress, and the violence and language are often graphic and disturbing. But don't be put off, because these are compelling and complex characters, and Martin is adept in involving the reader in the sweep of events.
This is one of the best fantasy books I have ever read. I could not put this book down. I don't think 800 pages have ever flown by as fast as they did while reading this. One thing I really like about it is that the chapters are fairly short. Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is the portrayal of the "evil" characters. The "bad guys" weren't magical, evil overlords or dark wizards, who were inherently evil, they were people who acted evil because of normal human fallacies. Evil deeds are done in this book because of greed, lust, jealousy, fear, and desire for power. The characters are well developed and things aren't always black and white. If you like fantasy, read this book!
Excellent, intricate, and spell-binding. Don't get too attached to any character, you never know who is going to die. Vivid scenes of battle and political intrigue. Set in an fantasy world resembling medievel times.