It has taken me much longer to read this book than the others in the series. He had too much material for two books, so he told the stories of half the characters in this one and the other half in A Dance with Dragons. I think this was probably a good idea, but none of my favourite characters were in this book - which is possibly why it took me so long. The plot focuses on events in King's Landing and the Iron Islands. This book is also the first in the series to debut at number one on The New York Times Best Seller List (which has only ever been achieved by two other fantasy writers.)
Of course I recommend this book, I really do love this series. I am sure I will adore A Dance with Dragons when I get to hear from all my beloved characters again. As you should know, the series has its own TV show. It takes them a season to get through one book. The first episode on the third season is going to be aired in Australia on March 31st on HBO. Check out the trailer!
Cersei is trying to get rid of Queen Margaery, and manages to prove she is no longer a maiden only to find herself imprisoned instead. Jamie and Cersei are estranged, and Jamie is still learning to cope without his right hand. Brienne continues to search for Sansa Stark but is brutally attacked and captured. Sansa Stark has become Alayne Stone, the bastard daughter of Petyr Baelish and has to look after his sickly step-son Robert, the Lord of the Vale. Petyr Baelish has killed his new wife, Lysa Arryn - who was Robert's mother. Arya works selling seafood and returns to a sept each week to tell the septa what she has learnt. Sam journeys across the sea with Gilly, the baby and Aemon. Aemon dies, and Gilly goes to his parents home. Sam tells an archmaester about Aemon's beliefs about Daenerys and the prophecy. There is much debate about the new reign on the Iron Islands. The Sand Snakes of Dorne conspire to queen Myrcella, but are caught and imprisoned by their uncle.