Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 counterplots, 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.
For the first two hundred pages or so I flipped back and forth from absorbed to only mildly interested. Then suddenly I was swept away into Martin’s epic fantasy world and the pages flew by. I was so engrossed with each character’s story and Martin kept building and building the pace as the novel switched from character to character.
I felt such strong emotions for each character, from love and loathing to sympathy and righteous fury. Martin’s characters seep into your heart and burrow in. And then there are the characters you despise with everything in your being. Martin creates such opposing characters and still makes you want to know everything that happens. He is as ruthless as he is brilliant as his characters play out their game of thrones.
Martin creates an epic fantasy world filled with summers that last ten years, dragons, sword fighting, monstrous wolves, magic, eunuchs, poison, murder and betrayal but at the heart of the plot is the game of thrones – deception and treachery as the characters and those that follow them play the deadly game to win or take the throne.
Bottom line, I was swept away by Martin’s epic fantasy. Before I was done reading A Game of Thrones, I ordered the next book in the series, A Clash of Kings. I know I’m a lot late to the game, but I can’t wait to continue reading this series and find out where Martin takes us next.