One of the main things about how many people reacted to AFFC is that it came in the middle of a decade-long wait. If it had come out two years after ASOS, and with a timely followup a few years alter, I don't think some people would have been as disappointed (the same factors apply to many parts of ADWD). As well, AFFC dumped two whole new sets of POVs into the story when people really wanted more information on preexisting main characters who were omitted. I read them at the same time, so that really didn't apply to me. AFFC is the superior book, to me; there's far less fat.
Nonetheless, this is one area where the TV show could actually improve it, because there's more than enough material there for a really strong season (with a bit of spillover into the preceding and succeeding years).