Really mild, almost-not-even-spoilers ahead, but going to hide it because people get very tetchy about ASOIF and possible spoilerage.In short, somewhat underwhelming. Here are my main points:1) Too long. Seems like GRRM's writing got a great deal more verbose than in the earlier books. Also, some of his writing is starting to grate on my nerves. He overuses some expressions, like 'nipples on a breastplate'. Can we stop with the damn nipples? 2) Daenerys chapters are the most boring and slow of all. If you thought it would be otherwise with her having the dragons and everything, you are mistaken. She just spends the entire novel sitting on a bench eating dates, it seems like.3) I think part of the problem is that most of the action in the Dance is happening outside Westeros in random places nobody cares about. This may be because the first couple of books came with somewhat crappy maps, and we didn't even have a map of the world outside Westeros until later in the series, but it's harder to care about anything happening across the sea. Oh look, we sacked some city X and moved on to city Y, and now we are at war with city X and we are hanging out with people whose names seem to consist solely of the letter Z. Now, that said, I am still giving this 4 stars. Mostly because it's still a good read. Also, I think in my mind 'things happening in ASOIF' became equal to 'people dying', so maybe the novel seemed slow because the rate of death of important characters was quite low (no, GRRM, you are not fooling me with THAT scene. Yeah, that one, you know of which I speak).