I finally finished the trilogy and I must say they are intense. The poor Stark family along with the Lannister's have had a their numbers decimated with treachery, parenticide, homelessness, and all in the name of loyalty to the crown.
In the end the Stark children are orphans, Sansa, Arye, Brandon, and Rickon are scattered in hiding throughout Westeros. Jon Snow, bastard brother of the Stark children has his own difficulties as a Brother of the Night's Watch.
The King is dead and Tyrion is accused of his murder along with his wife. Jaime Lannister is a captive of the Northerners but due to betrayal becomes a prisoner that is to be exchanged for the Stark girls. Cersei is the Queen regent to the King and is struggling to keep her position from being taken away by her father, Tywin Lannister who is the Hand to the King.
Two marriages are performed at King's Landing but none see the consummation of the wedding night. One of the groom's dies a horrible death at his wedding reception and the other is too kind to his wife to force her into his bed.
As I alluded to earlier there are many deaths in this book. The war has many causalities of the battlefield and due to betrayal over the family honor, as well over status positioning, and just for the power. There are many bit part players in the book who share in the problems of the main characters. Try not to get too confused if your watching the HBO version of the books, because there are differences between the show and the book.
I recommend this trilogy for anyone who likes reading intense but engaging novels.