On the Wall, Jon Snow has been elected Lord Commander of the Night Watch, but he is having trouble holding his own against his enemies. He is aided by the only one of the battling kings to come to the Night Watch’s assistance, Stannis. Jon is considering allowing the wildings through the Wall, as they are fleeing from Winter. This idea is not at all popular with the Watch, as they have spent many years fighting the wildings to try to keep them north of the Wall.
Far north of the Wall, Bran Stark and his friends have traveled to a secret cave in search of the three-eyed crow. Bran’s intention is to learn to be a greenseer, and he has traveled there for instruction. He is learning that a greenseer communicates through the weirwoods, the ancient trees worshipped by the oldest religion in the Seven Kingdoms.
Across the Narrow Sea and east at Slaver’s Bay, Daenyrys is ruling the city of Meereen but does not want to lose sight of her goal to return to the Seven Kingdoms with an army. Tyrion Lannister, on the run, is on his way to join her. Also on that side of the Narrow Sea, in Braavos, young Arya Stark is training to be an assassin.
The rapacious Cersei Lannister looks like she is down for the count, as her plot to remove her daughter-in-law has resulted in she herself being imprisoned by the Faith of the Seven. But it is always a mistake to underestimate Cersei.
Jaime Lannister is still traveling the Riverlands and has besieged Raventree Hall, the home of the Blackwoods, the last family supporting Robb Stark that has not surrendered. Brienne is on her way to find him to tell him about Sansa Stark’s peril, as they both promised her mother to keep her safe.
The series continues to be very exciting. The characters are thoroughly developed and it is easy to become engrossed in their fates. The complexity of this imagined world is impressive. I am waiting for the next book to come out, but I understand that won’t be for about another two years.