Originally Posted by Hawk
For those who have not read the books but want to, I found it MUCH more enjoyable reading books 4 and 5 together rather than reading book 4 first and book 5 second. The story and timeline just flows better that way, and it is more enjoyable not to have three of my favorite characters be missing for a big chunk since they were not in Book 4. It's also just weird because Book 5 picks up immediately after the end of Book 3 for those characters, which is just confusing after having read all of book 4 and being further along in the timeline for the rest of the characters. Not sure why GRRM did it that way, but I didn't really like it.
There are chapter lists out there (i.e. on Tower of the Hand website) that give you a chapter order for reading books 4 and 5 together. My wife did this when she read them (and I did my re-read of the books that way), and it works better IMO. And of course the show will have to do it that way and combine books 4 and 5. In fact i am pretty sure we'll get a little bit of book 5 at the end of next season even though most of next season will be the second half of book 3. Love GRRM, but that split characters approach to books 4 and 5 was not the best idea.
Here is the link for those that want to read them together.
That's a pretty great link. Bookmarked for later.