George R. R. Martin has created compelling and varied characters in an interesting medieval world (featuring just the slightest touch of magic). You'll meet egotistical knights, a drunken king and numerous power hungry nobles. I was shocked at the twists and turns in this novel and loved hearing the variety of voices Roy Dotrice has at his disposal. Excellent writing and top-notch narration have come together to in a perfect package.
Definitely read this series. Don't be intimidated by the length of the books. You will get sucked in and finish them faster that you think. Read them before you watch the TV show. This is one of the best fantasy stories I've read.
I've read reviews on NPR of these books and their critic calls George R.R. Martin the Tolkien of our times. I agree wholeheartedly with this assessment. Fantasy books can be drool, because there are only so many ways that you can tell the same story. Martin's books, on the other hand, are exciting and complex with a cast of characters that one becomes attached to very quickly. The narrator isn't the best, but you get used to him. The hold weight is kind of long for this book right now, but it's totally worth the wait if you like a good story.