Honestly this book and its predecessor take place in same area of time. However this book focuses more on Jon Snow, Tyrion, Daenerys, and several names who are more secondary characters in this game of thrones. The secondary characters help move the plot forward, without obstructing the goals of the main characters. This is a welcome change of pace, (in my opinion) since reading the events that revolve around a small handful of time gets tiresome after a time.
Maybe about 2/3 of the way through the book, the plot lines connect. That makes the pace of the book slow some, as it brings in the rest of the characters. Given the length of this book, not to mention length of the other books that make up the series it is a long read. If your a fan of fantasy novels, this book would be a welcome addition to your shelf.