I just finished book one and it is amazing. I don't usually consider fantasy. I don't even peruse that section of the book store, Amazon (for my kindle of course) or library. Dragons, swords, kings and queens. Never really thought it was my thing.
I did read the Lord of the Rings but only after I got in to the movies. I enjoyed them, certainly. But Tolkien puts you to work with all the details (probably really helped Peter Jackson out with set design though). I tried to read these books when I was younger, maybe middle school, but couldn't do it. And that says a lot because I read everything, under the covers with a flashlight until all hours of the night. (Don't tell my parents) ;)
A Game of Thrones is fun. And although I live in the 21st century, somehow I can identify with the characters and the delicate balance of society that they contend with. Somehow I get the expectations that are put on all of them by archaic hierarchies and rules. There is something familiar about what is required and expected of allies (personally, politically).
I burned through book one and am starting on book two. As soon as I hit the "publish post" button.