Well, here's an oddity. An American book published as one paperback volume in the US, yet split into 2 in the UK. It's usually the other way around.
It is perhaps a little unfair to have this split into two. It's one book, and designed to be read as such. After all, no one is going to pick up part one, being the third book in an ongoing series, without reading part two as well. Besides, all of the big, widescreen moments happen in the second half, and the first volume is left without even a partial resolution or cliffhanger.
That said, this is brilliant. Make sure that there is a clean spot on the carpet in front of you before you start reading this, because your jaw is going to be spending a lot of time on the floor. If you thought the first two books in this series were amazing (they were), then you ain't seen nothing yet.
Martin's biggest strength is his characters; no one is good, no one is evil, everyone is just shades of grey. His second strength is his plotting - just when you think you know what's about to happen, he pulls the rug out from under you, and the exact opposite occurs. Things that should happen don't. Things that shouldn't happen do. Bad things happen to good people, and there ain't no justice.
This book left me scratching my head wondering how on earth one man can conjure all this out of his imagination.
But perhaps the best thing I can say about this is that after 3 books and 3,000 pages, we start to get a glimpse that perhaps Martin is not telling us the story that we thought he was...
Let's hope we get more of Daenerys next time round.