A Game of Thrones, the first book of the "Song of Ice and Fire" Series by George R. R. Martin is set in a world, where seasons are lasting for years or even decades and a huge wall protects against peoples and sinnister animals and monsters from the north.
There are seven kingdoms, reigned by king Robert, the wall - where the night's watch take care that no one comes through the wall who is not permitted, and there is the east, where the last 2 Targaryens wait more or less patiently for a possibility to return to their true home - the iron throne in Kings Landing.
To retell the story is a bit hard! So to make it short, Eddard Stark is asked to be the Hand of the king - as the last Hand died unexpectantly. He goes south, finds out that the kingdom is more or less bankrupt and finds out, that the last Hand died through clever arranged murder. His son Robb stays in Winterfell - home of the Starks - and is forced to start a war. Eddards Bastard Jon Snow takes the Black, which means he is on duty at the Wall, where he sees dead rising and finds true friends. Arya and Sansa - Eddards daughters - are joining Eddard on his way to Kings Landing, Arya gets a fighting education, whereas Sansa hopes to marry the Prince Joffrey - who is not as likeable as he may seem (during the first 3 sentences one reads about him).
The Lannisters are the bad ones in this volume. Cersei is married to the king, but is in a sexual relationship with her brother Jaime. Tyrion, the black sheep of the Lannisters, a dwarf and very cynic is getting caught by Catelyn - Eddards wife - and hold captive for a while.
Daenerys Targaryen sits in the East and is to marry a Dothraki - Khal Drogo, who is at first rude but gets very friendly with her. Her brother Viserys is - to be honest - an asshole and finds a nice nice end. Daenerys gets pregnant with the stallion who mounts the world... and, well, it is hard to retell without revealing to much...
The story is told from the view of various characters, using a third person view, but telling the thoughts as well as what is happening around the "current" character. Sometimes it is hard, because most of the time the telling from one character ends with a cliffhanger, and one has to read pages and pages to know what happens next, and this makes it really hard to stop reading at all.
I am really looking forward to reading the second book, but as I borrowed "Gone West" by Carola Dunn, I started reading that one :-)
I award 9 out of 10 for "A Game of Throne" for excellent story telling and a real cool setting.