I finally finished A Dance With Dragons two or three weeks ago. I'll start by saying that you can find better and more comprehensive reviews and discussions of the book all over the place. My recommendation for the best is at Topless Robot and you should check it out. It's spoilery, as will be what I say below.
A few things I would like to say:
- Really, G.R.R.? Did you really have to do that to us right at the end? I don't believe that Jon Snow is a goner, me.
- I am fascinated and surprised by the directions a few pivotal female characters were taken in the addition to the story: Dani has been a bit muted, and with the addition of Aegon things are totally up in the air now regarding her agency; Arya is just in a weird space - man what is going to happen with her now? My guess: she'll become the assassin she prays for each night and take out her list; Cersei: humbled? Um, not likely.
- The scariest character in a long time in fiction: Ramsay Bolton. The shit he does to people, specifically Theon, is so horrible. The only one scarier than him is his dear old dad Roose. Skin-crawley.
- Even if we have to wait until 2016 for more, I loved it.