Whew...that was a monster of a book. This one took me awhile longer to get through than the first and I believe it's because of all the war. Most of this book was fighting and there's only so much beheading I can read in one sitting.
However, Martin is amazing in creating characters. The Starks remain ever loyal and honest while everyone around them is anything but. Arya, Robb, Jon, Bran - I adore them each. Also, I can honestly say that I never thought I would hate anyone as much as I hate Joffrey, but I was proven wrong.
And I'm still glad that I watched the show before reading. It's so much easier keeping up when you have faces to put with people. I am, probably like most people, a little scared to see the outcome. I cannot possibly imagine how this series will end. All I know, it will not end happy.