There isn’t THAT much I can really say that isn’t already known — it’s got incest, murder, action, romance, and dragons. Martin uses a lot of vivid descriptions and writes a tale that is very easy to get lost in. Immediately the reader is thrown into this different world, and you either have to decide if it’s worth the ride or give up from the start.
Before reading the first book, however, I was already caught up on the TV series. So unfortunately this was a pretty anticlimactic story for me since I already knew exactly what was going to happen to who, where/when it would happen, and why. I also discovered the Appendix in the back listing which house the characters belonged to with a brief history of each a bit too late (a bit being after I finished the whole damn book).
Basically reading this has provided a bit more clarity for me on the relationships of various characters that the show either glazed over or was just completely lost on me. There were multiple times where I found myself thinking, “Oh, he’s related to her?! THAT makes sense now!” Or something along those lines. Plus, the descriptions of violence are amazing in the most disgusting way possible, where many times I had to stare away from the book and imagine adorable puppies to make myself feel better. (I’m also a huge wimp when it comes to gory stuff, though, so this might be a minor overreaction.)
By the time I catch up in the books, the TV series will probably be complete. But I’ll power through anyway. It’s still pretty exciting to read how my favorite scenes were originally depicted in words.