Wow. Just wow. I’m stunned, turned into a blabbering idiot when it comes to describing these books. I’m just gonna say that George R. R. Martin’s series is as good as Tolkien’s.
Read the first three books. A Game of Thrones introduces us to these wonderful characters. A Clash of Kings goes farther, shows conflict, with five contenders battling it out for a single throne. Often with words instead of swords. A Storm of Swords goes even farther, I wouldn’t have believed it. You see betrayal and death, previously villainous characters turn sympathetic. Out heroes are scattered and clueless.
OK, I shouldn’t have tried to describe the first three books in a paragraph. Can’t be done.
A Feast for Crows is the next book: ’twas published last year. But the paperback’s only going to be out near September-end. Damn, I can’t wait. Must resist Googling for spoilers.
A Dance with Dragons is the fifth book, should be out February 2007.