I’d read this some time ago, well before I even knew what Game of Thrones was, and it was pretty good then. Now, it offers a great look at some of the series’ past, woven into an engaging tale. At times it got a bit laborious, explaining lineages and the details of horse barding and tournament rules, but it’s loaded with the twists and unexpected outcomes Martin utilizes so expertly.
After watching the Red Wedding, I expect all other Fire and Ice stories to have similar moments where plot supposition is avoided. The first Hedge Knight had several plot thickeners but this volume was runny. Still another entertaining tale, but it felt more like one of those expository chapters I would’ve more skimmed than read had it been in a novel.