^if you like dystopian future novels then Hunger Games #3 will tickle you pink. While it does it's own thing and I really liked it, it's a pretty good homage to 1984 in ways.
Ok so I'm about 1/2way through Clash of Kings and I just read:
The part where Renly was killed by Shadow Link. I'm not sure if I like this direction since so far (yeah I'm only on the 2nd book) this series has been about the political side of things and that's what I was expecting. Yeah sure the one chick hatched some dragons but I didn't think they'd introduce some sort of magic in this way. Please no spoilers that explain what happened!
i think that by the end of the first book it sorta implies magic is coming back slowly and i think this the first hard evidence aside from the dragons hatching. i'm not sure when or who says it (so i'm sorry if this is too spoilery) but someone says that when the dragons are reborn magic comes with them whether that is truth or opinion of a character they sorta leave it for you to decide.
I think that we the readers know as much about magic as the inhabitants of the book. It's something of a mystery (because it's been absent/suppressed from the world for so long) so when we're scratching our heads about magic, so are the people in the book (many of whom fear the arcane that they don't know about.) Maybe it's like how the Mayan calendar says that in X year magic will somehow return to Earth, but it's all speculation how magic truly works in that world.
In other words, Song of Ice and Fire doesn't have a fleshed out magic system like, say, Mistborn.