I kept hearing about this series by a guy named Martin. The big push came once it became a series on HBO. Game of Thrones is the first book in a fantasy series that is on par with The Lord of the Rings. If fantasy really isn't your thing, you don't have to worry. At least in the first book, there aren't many aspects of the fantastic. If you aren't too interested in swords, honor, and family then you shouldn't ever read this book.
There are families all over the seven kingdoms and each family pledges loyalty to the others. The family of focus is the Stark family. They rule the northern lands of Winterfell. Much of the time is cold and hard.
When the king asks Lord Stark to become his "Hand", the answer cannot be no. Lord Stark leaves his home to become the Hand of the King. It is his responsibility to see the commands done. But there is a secret in the realm and Stark insists on uncovering it.
Treachery, romance, mystery; this book is great storytelling.
I was a little disappointed with the language and the sexual content, but I'm sure the diehard fans of fantasy and Martin will excuse it for being part of the world - that it helps maintain the reality.
And that is what kept me reading this huge tome. The characters and setting feel so real. Martin has done a great job in creating this world. There are so many characters to follow but by the time I had finished, I knew all of the main characters.
I need to satisfy my desire for the rest of this series as this first book ends with a number of twists I did not plan on happening.