I started reading this before I watched the show, then I put it down after the first two chapters and watched the show. I picked the book back up after watching season 2 and even though I know what happens in this book because of the show it was much easier to read because I picture the actors from the show.
My favorite characters have to be Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Arya Stark. The characters worlds are so detailed and weaved so tightly that it is hard to find anything amiss with the story. Like the watching the series I feel like I could read the book over and over. This is just a story filled with awesomeness and I have just started it. I am both excited and fearful what is to come to these characters. I have read many people find the book has too many characters to follow that is why I say too seriously watch season 1 at least. I have the second book Clash of Kings but may not get to it for a while.