A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
is my latest fantasy fiction novel and funny enough, it was recommended to me by one of my readers after she read the 1st knot where I reviewed the entire Prince of Nothing series by R. Scott Bakker. It is also the first of a
three seven book series called A Song of Ice and Fire of which only three books are out and a fourth is on its way (or so I believe)
The story is set in the Seven Kingdoms (a single kingdom that used to be seven). A place protected from attack by a giant wall much like the Great Wall of China. A wall guarded by the Night's Watch, an army of exiles, misfits, and outcasts. The kingdom also possesses a peculiar climate. One where seasons last years, decades, and sometimes, even centuries. Where summer is a season of good and plenty, and winter is one of evil and scarcity.
We follow the family of the Starks, wardens of the north and residents of castle Winterfell as they are overwhelmed by unfortunate circumstances. From attempted murder to political sabotage, the Starks are unwittingly drawn into a spiralling web of disaster that is prescient of their family motto: "Winter is coming."
Meanwhile beyond the wall, evil is brewing. The last descendants of the Targaryen household (ousted rulers of the Seven Kingdoms) Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen are making moves to regain the throne, and monsters about which only fairy tales remain are starting to appear closer to the wall.
This first book leaves you with a sense of foreboding as you wonder what will come next in A Clash of Kings
For a comprehensive review visit: this link
[Edit Mar 22 2011] Made a few edits to this after being contacted by an irate fan who felt there were some corrections to be made. I've changed a few things based on their observations and left a few things intact. Hopefully I don't get flamed by any more irate fans 😉