This was an excellent adventure and I fell in love with many of the characters (Bran!!) and developed a hate relationship with others (Cersei). I am a detailed person but I think that this story is sometimes a little more than my poor brain can take. I loved all the kingdoms and characters but I admit that I felt a little overwhelmed trying to tie the relationships together. The kingdoms have a rich history and it would be good to have more absorbed into my memory. I admire a writer who is clearly this talented and can develop such strong storylines and hopefully as I grow closer to the story, thrugh subsequent books I can remember all the players - and there are many!
I also think it is interesting that a number of people have fallen in love with the TV series and have not read the book. For me, the series is so much more satisfying after having read the book. Even though I know what will happen; it still feels like magic.
I'm also pleased that Martin chose to devote chapter titles to only a few of the major characters and it felt like just the right number. I also like that he is not afraid to destroy a main character. Does it suck, yes. But does it make the writing stronger, absolutely.
In the past I have not been a big fan of fantasy but this series has had me take a second look at this genre.