This is the 4th book in the series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' which is based on a mythical fantasy land similar to that of Tolkien's Middle Earth. George R R Martin doubles the scale of Tolkien with a story so full of twists, blood and gold that you will be shocked, almost crying for characters you believed to become heroes, yet Martin is so far from cliche, no one and nowhere is safe.
The character development is cleverly interwoven into a central story of battle and glory for the seven kingdoms. Just when you think you can see where Martin is going with the story, it changes and at times dramatically with such literacy style that it brings intense emotion to read.
I cannot recommend this book enough. IMO this is better than The Lord Of The Rings. The scale, the characters, the twists and brilliant pace and style of writing.
George R R Martin is literary genius.
"Fear cuts deeper than the sword"