I had heard nothing but great things about this series (both the books & television show), but I was very hesitant to make such a literary commitment since my toddler keeps me from getting very much adult reading in. I quickly became addicted & have taken to getting the audiobook in conjunction with the paperback because I NEED to make progress with every waking moment that I don't have other commitments. Typically the first half of each book sets the stage, which can cause some readers to lose interest...but I would strongly suggest that you hold on. George R.R. Martin has consistently concocted an awesome tale in each volume. I have thoroughly enjoyed them and look forward to the 6th installment.
As the Seven Kingdoms face a generation-long winter, the royal Stark family confronts the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, the arrival of barbarian hordes, and other threats.