I have to thank (and curse) my friend Zantor for letting me know about George R.R. Martin's wonderful series, A Song of Ice and Fire.In anticipation of the next book in the series coming out... sometime... I'm re-reading the series to refresh my memory of events and characters. Additionally, since I've been reading info on some wonderful fan sites such as Tower of the Hand and others speculating as to how certain plot points will resolve, my re-read is letting me explore some of the theories that have been put out and see if they have a solid basis. This whole series is engaging enough - and I am frustrated while trying to wait patiently for the next book - that I am scouring the internet for tidbits of the future book in the series, such as a Prologue from the POV of Varamyr.
The first book sets the stage for the rest of the series in detailing a conflict that spans a continent and dribbles out to the rest of this fantasy world of Westeros as well; the basic plot line is that while kings and highborn lords scheme over the kingdom's leadership, a far greater threat than any of them pose to one another is rising in the icelands to the North. Oblivious, they scheme against one another in a massive waste of resources and lives, typical of war. While the kingdom fragments, a young woman comes of age and into her destiny as the daughter of a deposed king, eager to return to the land of her birth and claim the throne for herself.
I'm off to read A Clash of Kings next.