This is the last published book in the series. Obviously, it's hard to keep it spoiler-free. I'll try my best though. Most of it is taken up by characters that were not in the previous book. Therefore, the people who were in that book are not in this one, at least, the first half. Most notably, Sansa is not in it at all, and Brienne just makes a sudden appearance. Most importantly, Daenerys features a lot in the book.
The story moves along the usual pace, at the envy of a snail. I love the world, and I love reading about intrigue, but this is the book where you skip a lot. I don't care which four men went to the meet with Jon Snow. Nor do I care what men were at the party, unless they play a role later on. There is such a thing as too many details.
Since this is the end for now, until Martin finally delivers the next book, the ending was more important than before. It can be summed up in three letters. WTF???? Yep, seriously. The characters I most care for are all going towards doing something they have been preparing for. Will they get there? Most likely not. I still hope though. There were also some deaths, that made me sad. I forgot not to get attached.
Overall, the quality is the same as ever. If someone got this far, it's worth going on, because a lot happens, just really slowly. However, now I want to lock Martin up in a house with just salads to eat twice as much. Maybe he'll deliver on his promise to finish the next book this year. Then only about 4-6 more years until we find out the ending. Or more. Though we'll know the alternative ending when the TV series finishes.