This is my 2000s book for my By the Decade Challenge.
This book is also part of my TBR Challenge
The Good:This book is the fourth in the series 'A Song of Ice an Fire' and it's more of a sword than a sorcery book though it does contatin snippets of what you could call magic. As always, George has a great wealth of characters to draw upon but unlike Robert Jordan I can keep everyone straight. I think the reason being that there isn't a verbal diarrhea of description to wade through.
Something else I've also found refreshing with Martin's books is that every chapter is told from the perspective of a different character. This takes you all over the Seven Kingdoms and beyond and gives you a different voice to read in. As well, there's no protagonist, giving each reader a chance to pick their favourite. Not only that but you can view various events from different perspectives and find out who's lying and who saw what.
The Bad:Martin explained why this book took so long to come out. It was originally twice as long as it is now. He said he found the book straying in a direction he didn't like. So he did a lot of rewriting and split the story in two, one part being Book 4 and one part being Book 5. As the book is now, it feels incomplete with several characters never getting a chapter and stories being left off abruptly. The only reason for this though is that this is really only part one.
The Ugly: The only thing ugly about this book is how long I'm going to have to wait for the next one. This is by far my favourite fantasy series currently being written. If you're a fan of fantasy or not, I suggest picking up book one "A Game of Thrones" and giving it a read.