I'm reading Steven Erikson's 'Malazan" series at the moment, and am enjoying it a lot. I think there are 10 books all told in the series. I
t fits the epic part of your description. For my money, it's better than Martin in that the story is just as epic, but the characters aren't as bland and it just has more grit to it in my opinion. There are also a lot of things going on in this series, wars, rebellions, conflicts between gods and humans and gods and other gods. But the world so far is very well done.
Joe Abercrombie's "First Law" series I also really liked, but it's darker than most standard fantasy. It's not your typical fantasy trilogy though, so if you like the standard high fantasy, good always triumphs, it might not be your thing. bad things happen to a lot of people in this series.
C.S. Friedmans "Magister" series is also one I enjoyed. Different take on magic altogether from what fantasy usually offers. Not to spoil it anymore than reading the back of the cover for you, but basically magic is powered by a persons own soul. Each time a person taps that power, they lose a bit of their life, ranging from second on up to days, weeks, etc for more powerful magic.
Brent Week's "Night Angel" trilogy is good I think. It has a couple of my favorite fantasy character from any series in it. The main protagonist is an assassin, and again, bad things happen to characters although it's not as rough a ride as Abercrombie is.
Chris Evans "Iron Elves" trilogy is also one I liked a lot. It breaks a bit from the standard fantasy by not relying as much on swords. The world there has progressed to muskets, so I guess Napoleonic era weapons with magic and monsters thrown in would be a good description.
Those are a few of my favorites off the top of my head anyway.
Lord of Lurkers
Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!