Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
I love high fantasy and have the greatest respect for the author's great world buidling: the attention to detail, the depth of character development—all his characters are, in a realistic manner, a mixed brew of strengths and weakness.
I have to admit that I found myself lagging occasionally while reading the second book, Clash of Kings—however, from midway through Storm of Swords I couldn't wait to pick it up in my cherished time for reading. I had to know what happened to Jaime and Brienne (yes, I was guilty of skipping ahead to the Jaime chapters in my concern for them)...Arya...Jon and...well, you know. This book is the best so far and I'm looking forward to moving on to Feast of Crows.
I did crack a small smile on page 121 when Ser Jorah says to Dany, "You were made to be kissed, often and well."...I'm sure George R.R. was channeling Rhett Butler (probably unconsiously, as Rhett and Scarlett's characters are deeply embedded in our North American psyches).
So much has been said so well by all the fans of the Game of Thrones series, that almost everything is cliche...but these books have enriched my reading life.