This story really lags in places and introduces a TON of new characters while completely igoring some of the most interesting characters from the previous books. The author crushes all hope whenever possible and gives the reader nothing, and no one, to cling to. I find myself having no reason to continue to follow the plot. Expect all respectable characters to die a brutal death and all evil or deeply flawed characters to succeed, if only for a short time. All of the characters are severely injured whether it be physical pain or emotional pain, no one is safe! This book is filled with pain, sadness, injustice and detailed descriptions of each.
Martin could allow a decent character to achieve a goal once in a while. Readers like to relate to the characters and he brutalizes every one of them which makes the reader feel brutalized, hopeless and ultimately DEPRESSED!
I enjoyed several characters until Martin savaged them and then killed them off. He really knows how to detach his audience...brutalize or murder their favorite characters. It's easy to let go of the plot when that happens.
This book inspired me to search for a different author.
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