George R.R. Martin. First book in a fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, for which I’ve seen raves on several websites. A good, engrossing book, although not a smooth‐flowing narrative. It leaves you in the lurch concerning several characters, but that just makes me want the next one. There’s lots of blood and suffering. Very ambiguous and textured characters, flawed good characters, multi‐dimensional evil characters (or are they?); lots of blood and violence; the hint of magic and ancient powers. As I say, looking forward to the next volume.