George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has been on my to-read list for a while, but I haven't gotten to it yet, primarily for two reasons:
1) There's so much else on my to-read list that the thought of tackling a series makes my slow-reading self huddle in the corner and beg for mercy.
2) In feedback I've gotten on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel (and even on Son of My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel, which I had written a significant chunk of before deciding to make some major changes to the first one), a few people have mentioned that it has a George R.R. Martin feel to it. Thankfully, they all appeared to be saying that in a this-is-a-good-thing way and not an oh-my-god-you-derivative-hack kind of way. So ideally, I'd like to finish rewriting My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel before tackling A Song of Ice and Fire so that I can read the series for the enjoyment factor and not spend the whole time in analytical writer mode wondering how my stuff (woefully) compares.
Anyway, to get a feel for the books without tackling the whole series, someone recommended that I read Martin's "The Hedge Knight," a novella set in the same world as A Song of Ice and Fire. So over the weekend I went to the library and checked out the Legends anthology in which it originally appeared. I'm not done reading the story yet, but my reaction so far can be summed up as follows:
1) GRRM is made of awesome.
2) I'm not worthy! I'm scum! I suck!