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V ybir guvf bar, ohg V nz fnq jr'ir ernpurq vg.
For what it is worth, I think the two books *do* hold up a lot better when read as a single massive volume; there are some very interesting thematic parallels at play (Dany and Cersei chapters in immediate succession, comparing how each handles ruling a city, for a start) and a few interesting little hints towards the future which are easier to put together when the evidence is collected together.
There's a few rival versions of the collected reading order, as people have been left to work things out based on context clues and so forth, but this one is my preferred version (link goes to a list of chapters):
Summarising the book as best as possible without giving spoilers, but ROT13 in case you don't want even that:
WORLD - qvfphffrf gur ceruvfgbel bs Cynargbf, gura napvrag uvfgbel, gura gur Gnetnelra pbadhrfg, gura fhzznevfrf gur ervta bs rnpu Gnetnelra zbanepu, gura tvirf qrgnvyrq vasbezngvba ba rnpu ertvba bs Jrfgrebf naq gura zber inthr vasbezngvba ba gur jvqre jbeyq.
326 pages in total.
F&B - tvirf qrgnvyrq nppbhagf bs gur Gnetnelra pbadhrfg naq gur svefg rvtug Gnetnelra zbanepuf.
736 pages in total.
To be fair, there IS a single chapter of World which *is* repeated verbatim in F&B (pbirevat gur Pbadhrfg) but to give you an idea of what percentage this is, the Audible audiobook lasts 26 hours and this repeated segment covers 45 minutes of this.
In other words, I suggest you read both :)
It's worth noting that you might want to hold off on reading these two novellas if you have any intention whatsoever of ever reading the newly-published Fire and Blood, as both are abridged extracts from this book. As such, if you read the novellas and subsequently the new volume, you would find portions of text you'll have already read.
Ur vf, va snpg, Oelaqra Eviref nxn Oybbqenira - abgr gur zragvba bs "gubhfnaq rlrf naq bar" naq n erq oybgpu ba uvf snpr.
Your point about the Dollhouse technology is spot on, but regarding the above - this has already been seen to some extent, as far back as The Trouble With Tribbles in TOS.