George R. R. Martin novel, A Game of Thrones. Wow. It's the first book in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
A friend of ours told me about this series in December and made a very convincing argument that I should read it. He warned me there was some graphic content, so I went in knowing that I might not like it. I loved it. Graphic content aside (It was milder than I originally expected, but there is quite a bit of violence and sex), this book was fabulous.
It's also an HBO series. I would have already known this if I were hip and rich enough for cable. Alas, I haven't watched it, and from what I hear, the graphic content is heavier in the series.
It's the story of a fantasy kingdom, much like I'd imagine medieval England to have been. Several families rule different parts of the country, having overthrown a previous king. Peace that's lasted nearly a decade is coming to an end. No one can be trusted within the kingdom. Mythical creatures lurk in the north, and heirs of an overthrown king plan their return from a country across the sea.
Martin's characters are real. They're exactly as you would expect people to be in a harsh world like this. They change and grow and make real decisions. The web of relationships is extensive, as it is in real life.
Martin wrote published this novel in 1997, but it's just now gaining popularity with the tv show.
Martin weaves an incredibly complex plot that had me glued from the start. By the time I reached the last chapter, I was already forming a plan to acquire the second book.
I recommend it to adults, especially if you like Lord of the Rings-type literature. It's a little raw for younger readers, but I suspect young people have read it. It's not an easy read, like my fun YA fiction novels. This book is heavy and full of histories and genealogies. It took me two weeks to read it, and I'm a fast reader.
Forewarned of the somewhat graphic content, go and read this great novel.