If you are expecting a hardcore fantasy epic, there is an Game of Thrones book sadly lacking. There is nothing Westeros and it is Seven Kingdoms are offering that you simply cannot get in another medieval setting, save for seasons that last a few years the mysterious beings known as the 'Others' lurking under the great Wall inside north. Instead, Martin provides a different kind of fantasy, the one that focuses read more about a person's aspect with the story. Take away the dragons along with the magic and you may find that the gritty human instinct continues, driving the primary plot of political intrigue, conflicts, and ambition that compel you to commit acts of murder, rape, or worse.
Still, they have enough fantastical elements inside form of knights, dragons, kings and queens, princes and princesses, along with the whispers of magic working behind the scenes. It is War with the Roses inside a fantasy world. For someone who enjoys reading both fantasy and historical fiction, Martin's masterpiece is really a godsend.
I admit that close to 800 pages is really a lot of eat, even for probably the most avid of readers. Thankfully, Martin's talent is in producing words that offer enough information, but stops short of being tedious. While Martin will not likely win awards for beautiful prose, his writing keeps people engaged. The book never feels dragging and I appreciate more a writer who are able to keep my attention prior to the end as opposed to individual who waxes lyrical.