This book had me laughing and swearing and wretched with suspense for pretty much every single page. George R.R. Martin has always been one of the staples for fantasy novels, and now I understand why.
At first I was turned off by the multiple viewpoints and the rapidly increasing amount of names to remember (in fact, I still probably don't know most of them. This is a huge cast of characters, after all), but the plot moved along so fluidly and the characters who were important were so striking that the book came alive in my hands.
Needless to say, I'm already digging around for the next book, because holy crap, am I relieved it doesn't end there. Suspense! Intrigue! Not a whiff of romance, but man even if that is usually the thing I look for first in a book, A Game of Thrones totally doesn't need it.