Number of pages: 625
This book is noticeably shorter than the previous instalment in the Song of Ice and Fire series, not surprisingly as really it's only half a book. I can imagine reading the entire book in one volume would be quite ominous, which is probably why it was split into two parts.
The fact that it is only half a book meant that the ending seemed a bit abrupt, sort of like reaching the end of the movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.
I was able to recognise most of events in the book, which were dramatized mostly in the show's third season. Since the show doesn't show things in the same order as the books, and changes some things completely I was able to notice some differences. I'm guessing that many of the changes made were so that some of the actors got something to do. For example, the show's third season had Theon Greyjoy being tortured in almost every episode, but he is barely mentioned in this book.
This book is noticeably talky, with more politics than before, and a large amount of the plot involves weddings. Most significantly, Robb Stark has reneged on a promise to marry Walder Frey's daughter by marrying another woman, an action that is seen as highly disrespectful. From watching the DVD special features, I realised that this sets off the chain of events that culminates in one of the show's most famous scenes (I think people who never saw the show have heard of it), the Red Wedding.
I was expecting the Red Wedding to form the climax of this book, because of its placement close to the end of the show's third season, but it does not appear - thus I'm expecting it to be in second part, Blood and Gold.
Other favourite plotlines of mine include Jon Snow and Ygritte (although the depiction of the ascent up the black wall was nothing like as epic as it was shown on the TV), and Danaerys Targaerean's further travels with her dragons and how she decides to purchase an army of 8,000 robotic eunuchs (the depiction of how they have been brainwashed so they don't react to pain makes me flinch). The latter story ended in one of the most satisfying moments ever in the whole series.
Surprisingly, despite how talky this was, this book got me enjoying the books even more and I hope to read part two soon.
Next book: The Horse and His Boy (C.S. Lewis)