With over a 1000 pages per book of A Song of Ice and Fire, and here, I just finished my 5th, I can honestly say that I've loved and hated, enjoyed and loathed, admired and ridiculed, gasped and yawned, at parts of the series at one time or another. It has dragged me over a wall and through the snow. I've writhed inside the characters' skins, tasted their food and searched my mouth for missing teeth. George R.R. Martin is an excellent writer, but he can also be bad. The whole work is messy, but I see scaffolding and threads holding it together, encouraging me forward. Several surprises await in this one, not as frequent as the others, but fascinating just the same. One more book, I say. Just one more.