A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Book One of a Song of Fire and Ice.
I have to admit that I was drawn to this book after viewing the first episode of the HBO miniseries Game of Thrones. After reading the first few chapters, I made an effort to read the entire book in two weeks, so that I could be ahead of the show.
This book is simply amazing. Martin's detailed character development is flawless, from the main character Lord Ned Stark of Winterfell's unflinching integrity and honor, to even the obscure Lord Walder Frey of the Crossings, who could never understand why no one wanted to marry his daughters.