First half of the review here.
Second half of the review: I'm in a puzzle over what to make of this book exactly. I'm impressed with Martin's world-building skills. With a high fantasy like this one, world-building is crucial and Martin introduces ideas and setting effortlessly. And the characters are as vivid and real as the people I know in life, with all sorts of interesting strengths and weaknesses. There are some pretty disturbing plot elements that I really could have done without, and could have been modified to be less disgusting but still do the job it needed for the plot. There are three more books, and I'm unsure yet if I'll continue reading, mostly because these books take up so much time I feel I've lost reading a few books in my life because of how long it takes to read one of these. But, dang that Martin, he made me attached to a few characters that I want to see live and succeed.
Other information: As said before, there are three more books to this saga (with more forthcoming), and HBO has a series of it on TV. George R.R. Martin's website is here.