GRRM finally, almost grudgingly, earns four stars from me.
Things I liked: Jon's story in the second half of the book, SAM, Jaime's story because it was entertaining, Joffrey's big day
, Hodor Hodor-ing, Davos, some of the Daenerys stuff (surprisingly, given she's been one of my least favourite characters until now).
Things I didn't like so much: Catelyn (STOP MEDDLING IT NEVER TURNS OUT WELL), Sansa (I DON'T CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU ANYMORE), how Arya seemed to keep just getting shifted about all over the place and nothing of any real value happened in her storyline because I love her, the Red Wedding (which was good but telegraphed completely), Jaime's story because it did feel a bit like GRRM was just going SURPRISE HE WAS GOOD ALL ALONG for no real reason except that he felt like it, Robb's continuing lack of personality, everything with Jon and the Wildlings (but that was mostly because doublecross stories always make me feel uncomfortable and sad).
I DID like more than I disliked, despite the list. These books are hugely flawed, and there's a lot not to like, but I did enjoy them. However, I'm stopping here, at least until the last two are published. I've been well enough warned that this is a good time to get out, and frankly, given that there's every chance we'd be waiting another six years or so just to see Winds of Winter, I don't want to get to invested in something that, in the opinions of anyone I trust about books, declines pretty badly over books four and five. I have too many other things to read.