This is the 5th of seven novels in the Fire and Ice series by George Martin. There was six years in between this latest novel and the 4th book in the series so the question has to be whether it was worth the wait. It's hard for me to say because I came to the series late enough that there wasn't much of a delay between when I finished the 4th book and when the most recent book was released. Without giving much away, I think that there were both good thins and bad things. I really loved the battle scenes from the forth novel and missed those in this most recent installment. However I was also very pleased at how Mr. Martin developed quests in the most recent installment. I'm hopeful that the next book will combine the two in the ways that the first three books of the series did, since that was very effective.
That being said, Martin is a better writer than when he started the series all those years ago (and how in the heck did I not know about them, the prolific reader that I am?!). His prose is so much more than a guilty pleasure. I am not ashamed to say that I made excuses to read it - I hid in the bathroom, I read in bed, I read while watching the kids in the bathtub. Martin's prose was so rich and deft that once I started reading, it was almost as if yo were imposing on me when yo interrupted me. The way that he develops his plotlines is also priceless.