The best and most frustrating thing regarding the book is the story is told from eight different perspectives, with each perspective held within a chapter. Just as you start in relation to a character and so are needing to see what goes on to him (or her), you're thrown off for a number of chapters.
Yet Martin's character development is also what makes the books so enjoyable to learn. His means of creating three-dimensional characters using a good deal of depth, feeling, and back story is exactly what keeps your readers from becoming bored.
The determination in the 13-year-old exiled princess and child-bride, Dany; the bleak coming-of-age story in the bastard, Jon Snow, in the northern Wall; the raw emotions of young, tomboyish Arya at King's Landing; the noble intentions of Eddard Stark amidst a court of mummers; and also the sarcastic wit in the impish Tyrion Lannister are just a few in the assorted cast of players you can find yourself rooting for with this bloody game of thrones.
When he did release that book, he left us with hope. That book and also the sequel were to be essentially one large book spread into two parts. With a huge cast of characters spread allover the land, Mr. Martin made a decision to only target the character a single part in the world, leaving the development in the rest in the characters until the next book. But there were hope! A lot in the chapters were already written. "Gosh! He must have the novel out by Christmas 2007 for sure", I remember thinking in 2005.