This is the first pure fantasy series I’ve read since the Ring Trilogy in the 1970s (if you exclude The Hunger Games). Like the two predecessors in the series it’s raw, violent, bloody and explicit. If hearing about people being sliced and diced on every other page isn’t for you, don’t read this book.
If you like, however, complex and evolving characters of all shapes and sizes (literally), this might well be the book for you. Characters that seem like pure villains or totally irredeemable somehow evolve, after 500 pages or so, into understandable and not totally evil people.
I also love being able to watch the HBO series to give me faces to put to the characters in the book.
What I also like about the book is that the author, George R.T. Martin, throws in truly unexpected plot twists and turns that make me say “Oooh, now what?” He finds a way of making me connect with a character and then, in true Stephen King style, puts them through the meat grinder.
I guess the true indication of my interest is that, after finishing the 924 pages of A Storm of Swords, I’m ready to dive into book four: A Feast for Crows.
PS - Yes, I'm about six years behind everybody else.