I’m not really a great fan of Fantasy novels, my escapist reading is SF (and has been since I was a teenager ). I started reading this series (written by George R.R. Martin) after seeing lots of favourable reviews. I have now just finished reading the 4th book in the series, A Feast For Crows, and I still can’t make up my mind about the series. When it is good, it is very good; for example in AFFC, the developement of Cersei’s character is excellent for three-quarters of the book, creating an image of a powerful and scheming woman. Then at the end it flips over, and her downfall is very simplistically handled. I also sometimes wonder if the author has overstretched himself with the complexity. characters disappear for long periods, and then suddenly reappear without adding anything to the plot. It also makes it difficult for a reader to keep track of who’s who, despite a 79 page list of characters. One of the attractions for me is that it does not rely on magic or other mystical powers to drive the story (but there are dragons unfortunately).
Despite all my reservations about the series, I’m still interested enough to have just bought the 5th volume of the series, but I’ll give it a few months break before I start reading it. Also, because of my feelings about film versions of books, I doubt I will be watching the TV series based on the books.