General rambles and ravings.One of the things I love about this series as a whole is how often I get to be an active participant. There are so many things that are left open for interpretation (characters, back-story, prophesies, and such) and some will probably never have an overt and certain conclusion. But as a reader I always have enough information to guess and wonder and follow. The details are almost always important, and by almost I mean mostly because food porn (one example) isn't really necessary (most of the time) but I think they add a little something to the world building. And those details and descriptions never turn into infodumping for pages and pages on end as the exposition is scattered throughout, you know, proper like.I won’t go into the plot, I think it’s best to go in with the littlest amount of information possible. Though, I will say, the plot is deftly handled. There are so many little bits and pieces that go into making things move and happen. Everything happens for a reason. Martin loves to show you where he’s going and still has surprises up his sleeve and those surprises aren’t just pulled out of his ass. I wouldn’t love this book half as much as I do if I weren’t attached to the characters. The characters are the most compelling, engaging, and entertaining part of Game of Thrones. I love them and I hate them. I root for them and against them. I love them now and hate them later, or even hate them now and love them later. When they're exhausted and done and scared and angry and dejected and heartbroken, so am I. They truly feel human. Each character is so distinct and natural in their own way. They have some truly amazing and believable characters arcs. Their motivations and actions and revelations consequences make this book (this series) what it is. It’s all so engaging and mesmerizing that it always makes me feel empty when I’m finished reading, like a little piece of my heart is being ripped away from me. What a sad and pathetic little reader I am. But I love it all the same and despite the series not being finished I hold a great amount of hope that the ending will be satisfying. I must admit I can’t say I would recommend this series in general sort of way. It really comes down the individual that is asking. So, with that in mind I suppose some of the more objective things to keep in mind are: multiple POVs told in the third person limited, an extremely large cast of characters, this is not a fun little fantasy—things are grim, male gaze issues, simplistic prose, magic is not at the forefront.