The best and many frustrating thing about the book is that the story is told from eight different perspectives, with each perspective held in just a chapter. Just as you begin concerning a character and they are wanting to see what are the results to him (or her), you find yourself thrown off for several chapters.
Yet Martin's character development is also the thing that makes the books so enjoyable to read. His strategy for creating three-dimensional characters having a lots of depth, feeling, and back story is what keeps the readers from getting bored.
The determination of the 13-year-old exiled princess and child-bride, Dany; the bleak coming-of-age story of the bastard, Jon Snow, on 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; as well as the sarcastic wit of the impish Tyrion Lannister are just some of 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 as well as 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 decided to only pinpoint the character a single part of the world, leaving the development of the rest of the characters before next book. But there was clearly hope! A lot of the chapters were already written. "Gosh! He must have the book out by Christmas 2007 for sure", I remember thinking in 2005.