This is the start of the most fascinating, absorbing, inspirational and exceptional saga I have ever read, and I include Lord of the Rings in that claim.
The depth and scope of Martin's fantasy world is truly amazing. You can feel daunted at times with all the names of people and places rushing at you but this does very little to draw you away from the central storyline. You always know what is going on and the added bonuses of the rich lore and back-stories are just that; an excellent bonus for people who like their fantasy with a bit more meat on the bones.
The story is told in chapters and each chapter is told from the point-of-view of a single character. In all, I think the book is told from about 7 viewpoints. I love this style of writing and it continues throughout the saga (I'm up to Book 3 Part 2) and I imagine Martin will stick with it to the end.
I sometimes found myself starting a chapter thinking I wouldn't enjoy it so much because I didn't like the character as much as others but I will say one thing. Trust Mr Martin, he knows what he's doing. Almost every chapter has you glued to the pages, absolutely compelling. The vocabulary and style of writing can be quite tough at times so don't pick this up thinking it to be for teenagers or something, this is for confident readers only.
I am absolutely loving this series of books and I cannot recommend it highly enough for big fantasy fans, truly.