Originally Posted by AnemicOak
Because it is. It's half of the planned narrative while A Dance With Dragons
is the other. Martin elected to split the books by character & location instead of chronologically.
The split was done because the books manuscript was already larger than A Storm of Sword
which had caused the publisher problems with it's size (I think it was actually printed in two volumes some places) and I think it was also split so he could get something out since it had been five years.
That explains it, then. I don't think it was a good call, however (except for the bit about getting something out there). I already have issues with how these books are structured. But that's me; I feel curmudgeonly about them but I admit they keep me turning the pages. For all their length, the books are an easy read and go quickly.