Fantastic, and it doesn't look like he's finished yet!
'a game of thrones' was the best opening to a fantasy series that i have read in ages - 'a clash of kings' somehow manages to surpass it. this is historical, epic fantasy at its very best, and martin deserves all the praise it is possible to give, for being prepared to take risks which others shy away from. he employs an innovative method of structuring his chapters, is not afraid to kill off his main characters in the early stages of the series, and steers clear of the temptation to make everything happen too quickly, instead giving his world, and it's characters, depth and meaning. unfortunately, this last trait has ensured that 'a song of ice and fire' won't be finished anytime soon, but at least it gives us fantasy fans something to look forward to. roll on book 3!