For those of you looking for a new fantasy and curious about George R. R. Martin, I’m here to lay it out for you. I won’t go into a point by point plot summary, because you can read that elsewhere, and done better than me, but suffice it to say there is a large cast of characters a la Robert Jordan and in Martin’s case lots of houses vying for power. His books are harsh, and certainly for adults; there are a lot of bad things that happen to the characters, and Martin doesn’t shy away from things like incest, rape, or brutality. So, you’ve got to be able to handle that sort of thing. But, if you can, the political intrigue is top notch, and the fact that magic is only hinted at here and there gives it a gritty realism. The most notable thing about his books, however, is that they can be quite unpredictable, and Martin isn’t afraid to have really horrible things happen to a character, or even kill them off, if he wants to,which leaves a feeling that any character could be next; no one is safe. It’s a level of tension that many authors don’t achieve, and I give him credit for it. On the other hand some people find this frustrating- and add in the fact that the books for this have been coming out very-very-very slowly so it may be a long while before it reaches a satisfying conclusion. Still, a great read for a unique fantasy intrigue series.