It’s a terrible and long series of books. Don’t start reading it. This is what the new HBO show Game of Thrones is based upon. The author is still writing, and unfortunately I’ve read too much to stop.
Basically the book is full of horrible people. They do horrible things to each other. Occasionally Murphy’s Law comes into play, and the world does terrible things to some of the few nice people.
Even for those of you watching the series on HBO, you should take the hint from the end of the 1st season when they behead Eddard Stark (SPOILER and I don’t care). It only gets worse.
As my father said about the series, "It better end with Jon and his direwolf riding a dragon and a lot of blond people dead."