A+++ for "A Game of Thrones" by George RR martin
The best gritty, low-magic, realistic fantasy work ever written.
There is comedy, there is tragedy, and there is drama, but at the core of it all are GRRM's complex characters that keep you coming back for more.
If you want gritty fantasy, do not start anywhere but here!
I have read this novel three times and counting, and every time I find new things that I missed before, and remember incredible scenes that I had totally forgotten. Worth every penny a hundred times over.