I read the 3 books in a row and by the time I got to Book 3 I was ready to take a break! Fortunately I haven't received the 4th one yet. I get a little break to read a lighthearted romance. It is a great bit of storytelling but I find all the killing and intrigue a bit wearying.
Still a good continuation of the story, but getting darker as it moves along. I have to say, I'd like someone to survive to the end - it seems that the characters that are most likable are the ones most likely to be killed.
THE GOOD: Interesting and unexpected plot twists, fun cliffhangers, and oodles of juicy & delicious treachery. THE BAD: Somewhat weak character development (a criticism I've had throughout this marathon series) and the frequent feeling of plodding through an actual (literary) marathon. THE UGLY: Weighing in at over 1,110 pages(!) this behemoth was definitely in need of editing...and if I hadn't made it through the first two tomes, I might have suspected the author of getting paid by the word. However, it's probably more of a case that he's conjured up such a rich world in his mind, he's faithfully attempting to transcribe every little detail for his fans - of which, judging by the sheer number of elaborate Wikipedia pages dedicated to this Ice & Fire series, there are legions.