(because an actual review would just be scattershot and hard to follow)

10. It turns out I really like the actual kingdom of Westeros. One of my problems with this installment was that most of the action was set in the southron kingdoms, like Meereen and Bravos, and that I wasn’t all that invested in the outcomes there.

9. God I missed Sansa. Who would have thought, back in book 1 when she was just a whiny spoiled rich girl, that she would become one of my favorite characters?

8. And speaking of surprising favorite characters, I love Theon Greyjoy. Not since Jamie went from incestuous kingslayer to charming defender of the Maid of Tarth has my opinion of a character so completely flipflopped.

7. Although I liked the book, I think it suffered even more than Feast for Crows by only having half the story. I’m looking forward to having all the action back together in the next book, whenever that comes out.

6. It was nice having Tyrion back, but the entire book kind of felt like it had a “How Tyrion Got His Groove Back” vibe, after the decimation of everything that led to him pulling out that crossbow on Tywin.

5. Quentyn Martell. You break my heart. I love how this series manages to set up supposedly heroic moments, like Quentyn motivating the sell swords to help him capture the dragons, only to completely undercut them with death and destruction.

4. Speaking of which, you know nothing, Jon Snow. I don’t know what I’m going to do if my favorite bastard doesn’t show up again somehow in the next book. It’s hard to measure the effectiveness of death in the land of A Song of Ice and Fire when they have zombie Catelyn, the drowned men, and the Red God resurrecting people left and right. Still this is the book that let Ned get irreversibly beheaded, so I don’t really know.

3. I knew Varys was one of the major masterminds (and I liked seeing him take a more active role in the Epilogue). But I’m still wondering what role Littlefinger is going to play in the final roll out. He seems like he has some bigger plan going on, but maybe he really is just a creep still in love with Catelyn Tully.

2. Bran… not sure what to think of the whole Bran becomes a tree thing. I guess I’ll hold back judgment until I see this all play out.

1. When does The Winds of Winter come out again?