I have long had the habit of latching on to a particular author and reading everything I can by that person. Unfortunately many of my long-time favorite have had the bad grace to die, to move on to other characters or they just plain write too slowly. I like series books, and the Jake Grafton (Stephen Coonts), Swagger family (Stephen Hunter), Sharpe (Bernard Cornwell), Aubrey/Maturin (Patrick O'Brian), The Brotherhood of War and The Corps (WEB Griffin) are among my favorites. I have read most of these various books and series multiple times.
In the past few weeks I have started reading the Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin. I never read fantasy, and these are not fantasy novels in the classic SciFi sense. I am almost done with the third book in the series. You get your money's worth of entertainment from this series. All of the books are 700 pages plus. I have stayed up too late at night, read at lunch and even in the morning before work. I have read almost 2,000 pages in just a few weeks. That is not a lot for some of you, but I do not read as fast as I once did.
Martin knows how to build a story. Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of a different character and there are multiple plot lines and stories intertwining the chaos. Just when you think you have a clue where the story is going, Martin shakes things up and goes in another direction entirely. he has no qualms letting the bad guys win and often the good guys are not as good as you think and the bad people can do good. The characters come across as human with all of our faults. bad tings happen to good people and evil is sometimes rewarded, just as in life.
There is blood and lust and greed and backstabbing enough to satisfy a soap opera. Think of the series as a bloodier, sexier "Dallas" or Dynasty" set on the middle ages as opposed to the greedy 1980's. Except JR diddles his sister and Blake Carrington gets a knife in the eye and burnt alive.