I finally finished the 5th book, A Dance with Dragons (or as I always call them, dar-gones). I understand now why everyone always talks about how boring the feast and war meeting portions are. It took me ages to get through those parts, simply because there is so much to try to keep up with.
Throughout the series, I found myself actually wanting some of the major players in the war of the five kings to get killed off, if only to reduce the amount of names to keep up with. It felt at times like I was back in high school trying to memorize all the general's names before a big test in history class.
That being said, I still absolutely love these books and I'm glad I read them, although fair warning, you will be ridiculously angry at the end of book 5 if you grew as close to some of the characters as I did. Worst cliffhanger ever considering it's usually 3-5 years between each of the books in the series. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT THAT LONG! Sorry, had to get that out of my system.
Even if you've seen the show, read the books, because there are parts which aren't included in the show, different timelines than the show has, and much more in depth thoughts of the characters. If you don't feel like really trying to keep up with all the "war" aspects of the book, I do recommend watching the show first. It's what I did, and it helped me understand the first 3 books way better.
Series Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars