I thought this was an interesting counterpoint article, arguing that Dany didn't go mad at all; rather, she's the only rational one of her advisers: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/game-of-thrones-the-bells
The first book was good (although it does a complete 180 halfway through). I thought the show was pretty good. And my wife, who hates anything sci-fi, actually sat through it. So it's got that going for it.