I love this series. Snapped this book up and part two as soon as I finished A Clash of Kings. There are some really cool editions of the series as well, including some beastly hardback versions with large (well larger) print and full-colour maps. Daenerys is totally my favourite character. She's just awesome and really kick-ass. Her story is separate from all the other characters/stories who are all linked to each other. Sadly, according to my Internet-trawling, her story doesn't link up until A Dance with Dragons, but I really wanna see what she does. I wanted to give this 5 stars, but I've started part 2 and it is so juicy it truly deserved the 5 stars. Stay tuned!
(trying to be brief, because to do it in-depth would be really long)
Jaime is taken to exchange for Sansa and Arya, but instead manages to get his sword hand chopped off (haha poor guy has no other talents). Jon continues to assimilate with the wildlings and breaks his vows with a wildling girl (oooh) but then manages to break free and tries to warn the Night's Watch. Catelyn is kept captive with her dying father. Tyrion and Sansa are forced to marry - but its yet to be consummated.... Arya is captured by outlaws who want to ransom her. Bran gets weird visions and continues to the Wall with Meera and Jojen. Sam kidnaps one of Craster's pregnant wives and gets her to the Wall only to wake surrounded by wights. Davos is captured and loses his lucky fingerbones - he is also creeped out by Melisandre and tries to advise Stannis. The coolest character ever, Daenerys, buys hundreds of the Unsullied (highly trained eunuch soldiers) and casually frees a couple of slave cities.