Well here it is, the newest published tome in the "A song of ice and fire" saga. Some folks have been waiting something like six years to read this. I've come to this a bit late so I didn't have to wait that long, but now after finishing it I fear how long I'll dangling on the cliff hangers at the end of this book.
Is it worth it? I think so. They series is strong, and I wouldn't care so much about the cliff hangers if I didn't care about the characters so. Still this is a frustrating book in many ways. It was orginally part of the last book published, but the tale grew so big in the telling that Mr. Martin thought it would be a good idea to split it in half. It's an awkward split and it shows. There's a distinct shift in tone about midway through the novel as the author finally finishes with "old business," and gets on with the main show.
That's not to say things aren't jumping in Westeros and beyond. Jon Snow is trying to get the Wildlings and his Night Watch to work together before the Others attack. He also has to balance his vows with grasping demanding nature of King Stannis who is clearly trying to use Jon. Meanwhile, half the world away everyone is out trying to either capture or kill dragons. Tyrion, is on the run. Arya is learning to be an assassin. And who is the poor Gollum pathetic like Reek? The novel is full of intrigues and wars.
The only problem is I want more.