To say that this series is rich with detail is a laughable understatement, so I figure that having things fresh in mind would be a good thing. I completely enjoy Martin’s writing style. His world building, his action, and his character development – all wonderful. He’s great at presenting complicated political maneuvering in a way that’s easy to follow. His prose doesn’t make me want leap out of my seat, but it’s smoothly fades into the background, which is exactly what you want when you’ve got a story this compelling.

Of the six major events that I remembered happening in this book, one actually happens in the next book, one I knew happened at the end, and the other four all happened within the first 25% of the book. And to make my point, the book doesn’t feel front loaded at all. The pace keeps going strong throughout – clearly so much stuff happens that my memory  couldn’t hold it all.

And what does happen? Is of the no-holds-barred-style of story telling. This book is casually brutal. Martin’s not shy about doing horrible things to his characters, and having them do horrible things to each other, and no one is safe… and yet I let myself get attached to them anyways. even though I knew (more or less) what was coming.

It’s impossible not to get attached to the characters. They’re all complex, and well-drawn that even the bad guys are still interesting, and still at least somewhat sympathetic (except Joffrey. Gods, I just want to punch Joffrey in his smug little face, even though it’s not his fault he was raised to be like that). On the flip side,even the good guys I occasionally want to slap and yell at them to stop being dumb/blind/proud/annoyingly obsessed with their own honour. And the best part is that so many of the characters are neither good guys or bad guys, but somewhere wonderfully meaty and fascinating in between. I remembered all that in principle.

Honestly, even better than I remembered it being. Not for everyone, but if complex historical or epic fantasy is your thing, it’s a series well worth diving into.