Enjoyable for many, but I've given up.
After A Game of Thrones, I was expecting the greatest fantasy series I had ever read. After A Feast for Crows I wanted to write GRRM a strongly worded letter. That'd teach him.
For a while I had agreed with the hype that this was an incredible and realistic series that defied convention and cliche. In truth it has the plodding pace and shallow melodrama of a soap opera set in a fantasy version of medieval Europe. Kings rise and fall, people get stabbed, ladies are courted, people get set on fire, allegiances change, people get shot, castles are taken, people get decapitated, and the plot advances with the speed of quadriplegic turtle.
That may be fine for many, but I wanted a resolution one book, eight hundred lemon cakes, twelve slashed velvet doublets, and thirty-seven nipples ago. I couldn't even bring myself to read A Dance With Dragons. I'd rather not spend another 10 million pages being jerked around, especially since that one focuses on my least favorite characters.
The critics, on the other hand, find it hard to shut up about this series. The most ridiculous praise I have seen for it is "'Reminiscent of T.H. White's The Once And Future King'." I suspect the goon who penned that absurd comment had only read a summary of the Arthurian classic, remembering that it dealt with kings and knights. In no way does Martin's blood-soaked, cynical cash-cow of a series resemble the humanist anti-war story that has been called (justifiably) the greatest fantasy novel of all time.
I apologize for my vitriol, as I have nothing against fans of the series, but I cannot abide opinions that are completely fucking ridiculous, especially when they come from someone who is paid to review books. I mean, Jesus shit! How do these kinds of individuals even get a job like that? It probably involves rim-jobs, since that's basically what they do for GRRM as critics.
That reminds me: the sex scenes are just pure unmitigated horribleness, especially with Daenerys. She's like fourteen. I'm sure even fans can acknowledge that that is fucking nasty.
I'd better calm down. The series is certainly appealing to many people, but it isn't my cup of tea. By all means enjoy the books— after all, I'm just some curmudgeon on the interwebs going through a case of Hype Backlash. I've simply decided that the series is not for me and moved on now.