George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series until all the books are published. But I broke down and read A Game of Thrones. Now I'm stuck with everyone else, waiting for the 6th and 7th (reportedly the last two) to be published. According to rumor and based on what Martin has said, the last two could be huge, and may (based on publishing history) be broken into two or more volumes each. Then again, Martin may find that he just can't get it all jammed in there, and have to write some more. sigh
After the dryness of the few most recent books I've read,* I really needed a fun, page-turner, and I got it with A Game of Thrones. Thrones is written from a wandering POV of the many different characters that drive the plot. This story has a richness in the subtle sub-plots, intrigues, politics, wars, history and vague fantastic hints, but is at its base, a character driven narrative.
And the characters are abundant! Each chapter is named for a character and they move the story forward from their unique view of what is happening around them. Innocent, high-minded, sneaking, noble, craven, honorable, infighting, self-aggrandizing, naive, damaged, driven,and just plain nuts are some of the points of view we're treated to as readers, and Martin holds it together very tightly. This was a very fast read for a long(ish) book.**
I haven't seen the HBO series, but I hear tell that it follows along with the book pretty well. There are obviously other books in the saga, and I'm not sure if the television show incorporates storylines from the other books or not.
This story was fun, well written, engaging, lush with detail, with a tangy funk that reminds me that I'm definitely not reading Tolkien. So yeah, I'll go out and get the others, but maybe not right away, and maybe, just maybe, Martin will catch up to me before I find myself going crazy, waiting for the next installment like so many others.
Read this book.
* Really! Scroll down if you haven't checked in in a while. The last bunch of books has been a dryyyy run, baby.
** 808 pages, and another dozen or so pages of appendix listing the various family trees that spawned the many characters in the story.