Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counter-plots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
My Thoughts: I'll try to keep this short and sweet. This book was completely awesome! I can't believe I put off reading it for so long. The characters and world building were amazing. The writing was fantastic. Honestly, I am just blown away by how epic this book was. I can't even imagine how long it took Martin to create all of these characters and the well developed world they lived in. There are a TON of characters (at times it was hard to keep track of them all) and each chapter is told from a different character's view point. Some are lovable and some are just the most evil group of people ever. There are even some that you want to like but are not sure you should.
The story sucked me in quick and made want to keep reading. There was so much going on that I am not even going to try to do it justice in this review. I never got bored and even though the book was long, I was able to read it in about 5 days. I normally don't even like the fantasy genre and yet, this book still managed to grab my attention. There were major cliffhangers at the end of the book so I can't imagine not rushing out to read the second book in the series. I can't wait to see what happens in the next installment! 5 stars.