Rating: 5/5 (all)
A Game of Thrones (1996)
A Clash of Kings (1998)
A Storm of Swords (2000)
A Feast for Crows (2005)
Read again? HELL yes.
George R. R. Martin has firmly established himself as my second-favorite author, period (Roger Zelazny being Number One), with this series. Each of the books is freaking huge, and Martin uses every inch of every page to tell a big (and perhaps disorienting at first) story.
He changes point-of-view characters at need (25 by the end of the 4th book)--but don't get too attached to them, because once the fighting starts people start dying. That said, how the hell do I summarize it?
I'll try, but I can't do it justice. This is a Quickie, after all.
Everything starts on the continent of Westeros, with its Seven Kingdoms. The Seven were brought together under the rule of King Robert. When Robert dies, the Kingdom is rent asunder and the seven families go to war to claim the Iron Throne.
At the same time, to the north, there's a great Wall that stretches 300 miles, from the west to the east of the continent. It stands 700 feet high, built of ice and rock, and is a barrier between the Kingdoms and a fearsome enemy known as The Others. The Others are something akin to ice-zombies: once a man is killed by one of these creatures, he may very well rise against you.
And then there's the third main plotline, far to the east on the desert continent of Essos. We follow Daenerys Targaryen, the last of the original family that ruled in Westeros, as she comes into her own power and moves toward taking the Iron Throne for herself.
This is pretty sketchy, yeah, but it's going to be several months before I'm ready to read these four brutes, mostly because I'm right in the beginnings of Mercedes Lackey's "Valdemar" series. Assuming one week per book (considering work and other stuff I want to do), that's another 22 weeks (at most!) after the one I'm reading now--it's February 26, 2009, so that puts it in the last week of June, 2009. I doubt it'll take that long--maybe 3 or 4 days per book is more realistic.
It's been all too long since I waited impatiently for the next book in a series. The last time it was for the second half of Roger Zelazny's "Amber" series in the late 1980's and early 1990's.
I highly, HIGHLY!! recommend this series.