Rejoice, my mortal friends!!! Continuing the most ambitious and imaginative epic fantasy since The Lord of the Rings The action in Book Four of A Song of Ice and Fire begins the day after the end of A STORM OF SWORDS. While the remaining northern lords war endlessly with each other and the ironmen of the isles attack the Dreadfort, Sansa becomes a skilled player in the game of thrones with Littlefinger as her mentor, Arya a skilled assassin, and Bran a magician and shapeshifter of great power. All seek to gain revenge for the death of their parents and Robb Stark, whose head was cut off and replaced with the head of his direwolf. Valar morghulis. All men must die, and wolves, too. Danerys trains her growing dragons and learns from Barristan the secrets of her father, her brother Rhaegar, and other matters that will culminate at Starfell. And Jon Snow is the nine-hundredth-and-ninety-eighth lord commander of the Night's Watch. The Wall is his. The night is dark, and he has King Stannis to face. The cold wind is rising, and still there are inhuman powers gathering in the north. " Most striking? The mention of Bran becoming a powerful magician and shapeshifter, undoubtedly under the guidance of the Children of the Forest. I hasn't expected that journey and his transformation into a mage and shapeshifter so soon. Also, the Ironmen attacking the Dreadfort? New stuff there. Arya joins the Faceless men, no doubt. And what's that about matters culminating at Starfall? That's where the Daynes and the mighty blade Dawn reside.