I waited about a year after I read book 1 to start book 2, which took me four tries, and now I remember why I was dragging my feet. I’d forgotten that the series is a medievalesque soap opera/war epic with very little in the way of fantasy to recommend it as such. I got about halfway through this one and quit.
There were four things that contributed to my annoyance with the book. First, it starts by using the shopworn device of a prophecy. Sigh. Is anyone honestly captivated by that cliché anymore? Second, it reads like a telephone book on page after page; I chose a typical paragraph and counted the number of people Martin names: twenty within seven sentences. Third, he bandies the names of medieval armor and clothing about just as freely as he does people’s names. In just a few chapters, the reader has a near-encyclopedic knowledge of them, like it or not. And it continues unabated. Fourth, Martin uses the crudest term there is for female genitalia, which I won’t repeat here because children use this site. That continues unabated also.
I may eventually finish the book, but only because I hate to quit reading a series.