There is Sansa, stuck with the Lannisters at the Castle; there is Arya who is making her way back to her family endlessly. There is Caitlyn and Robb, who are fighting a battle... there is Bran and Rickon and their deathly adventure... and of course, Jon Snow, the bastard of Winterfell making his way among the wall.
Then, of course, there are the Lannisters... damn that Tyrion. Why do I like him? I know I shouldn't like him, should I? But I do. He's got a charm to him and he's not entirely as tainted as the rest of his family. He's a great character because he blurs the line of of good and evil so very much.
And there is this strange sympathy that emerges for some of the Lannisters in this book, mainly, I suppose the male Lannister siblings, Tyrion and Jamie. Jamie's fate becomes a bit cruel. What is an evil character without his defining qualities, right? And by this point I was nearly rooting for him, which I found strange!! Brienne of Tarth--great character, let's just say that. She's a great one, and her relationship with Jamie is really endearing.
There is always Dany Targaryen, who is on a very decided path; she doesn't do anything too crazy in the book, but more, rather, of what we have come to expect of her. She doesn't disappoint, either, I should say.
So, like I was saying, you are reading the book. And you are going along, you are getting the story. About 75% of the way through the book, everything turns on it's ear. It's all changed and suddenly you are gripped like no other. You knew it was coming. It has all been building to this and yet, I was sucking in my breath and I was saying "Oh my god!" soooo loud that my husband thought something was wrong.
WOW. Just wow. Nothing at the end of this book will come out the way you thought it would. Great twists and turns keep you hanging on until they very last page. Even the epilogue is gripping. GRIPPING.
I hate to spoil anything, so just can't give away too much. But the people you think will live or die, don't. And you find yourself cheering on the most unlikely characters. By the end of the book, I was on the edge of my seat, and I was loving every moment of it.
Fourth book? Downloaded!