Okay I think these books are beginning to turn me into a bigger insomniac than I already am, judging by the amount of nights himself finishes reading and rolls over to sleep while I'm hanging on for "just one more chapter...".
I'm a bit sorry that I wasn't reading the all-in-one US version because the last few chapters of this book really ramp up the suspense and action and I found myself turning the pages faster and faster. Then suddenly, I turned over only to be confronted by the Appendices, which take up a rather hefty 50 pages or so. Although I really enjoyed the story, hitting this situation invoked an even bigger feeling of anti-climax than is usual when reading a good book. That said I'm sure my poor little wrists are probably quite thankful not to be holding on to a huge book every night, particularly considering my fall last week and the bone in my left wrist is now jutting out even more than it already was.
Tyrion Lannister remains a favourite of mine for his quick wit and self-deprecating humour. It also seems as the books move on more and more characters find things to blame him for, no doubt by the end of the series Tyrion will be held to blame for all the world's woes if it keeps up. I'm always wary of saying that I like a character because Martin seems to have no qualm about killing off anybody and I do think the books would lose something if Tyrion were to die.
Sansa Stark become almost likable in this book also. She grows up and hones her wits. She has learned to trust nobody and knows that nothing is ever as it seems. While she will never be a patch on Arya and in no way could she survive the way the younger Stark girl has, she certainly is managing to survive the lion's den though she does make her foolish girl mistakes every now and then (I don't entirely trust Ser Dontos, I don't know why. I think she should have left with The Hound).
The shock to me in this book is that I'm also starting to like Jamie Lannister, granted he's as power hungry and obnoxious as the rest of them but the addition of chapters from his point of view lend him some humanity. I was going to say that he lacked some of Cersai's ruthlessness but then I remembered how he chucked Bran Stark out the window in the first book. In other words you could probably enjoy a pint with Jamie provided you never turn your back on him.