I’ve read the “Song of Ice and Fire” series, with the exception of the most recent book, and loved it. The review linked to in the OP was a tl;dr but I skimmed some of the complaints about the characters. Yes, Sansa Stark is vapid and insipid. That’s the point. The things that happen because of her and to her later in the series could not happen if she were not a feckless child. She’s also meant to be contrasted against her younger sister, Arya. Sansa is everything her society expects of a girl. Arya is the opposite, but Arya ends up being the more likable character. I view it as salient commentary on society.
Yes, Tyrion Lannister has daddy issues. So would anyone else with a father like his. Yes, Daenerys is effectively sold by her brother to a man he views as a savage. That’s where that reviewer missed the boat and I got bored.
No, Daenerys was NOT raped. Sorry for the spoilers here, but Khal Drogo treats Dany with such kindness and gentleness on their wedding night that she falls in love with him. Again, that is the whole point - the “barbarian” turns out to be more civilized and compassionate than the fancy courtiers. The fact that the reviewer missed that point just tells me he or she didn’t really understand the book. After that, the rest of the review becomes irrelevant.
Portions of ASoIaF are loosely based on England’s War of the Roses. There are a lot of political machinations, especially in the first couple of books, and not so much traditional high fantasy. That changes later as the story builds, but Martin does have a tendency to focus on the military maneuvering, which can grow tedious if it’s not your cup of tea.
If you like lots of political intrigue in your novels and have the patience for complex plots stretched out over multiple books, you’ll probably enjoy “A Game of Thrones” and the rest of the series. If not, stick with watching HBO and call it good.
I feel like a cheater for watching the TV show before reading the books, and I was going to keep just… not reading them because I didn’t want any spoilers, but I just checked it out on Goodreads and this book has like, a TON of really awful reviews. I mean awful reviews. And I just don’t get…