New threats emerge to endanger the future of the Seven Kingdoms, as Daenerys Targaryen, ruling in the East, fights off a multitude of enemies, while Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, faces his foes both in the Watch and beyond the great Wall of ice and stone.New threats emerge to endanger the future of the Seven Kingdoms, as Daenerys Targaryen, ruling in the East, fights off a multitude of enemies, while Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, faces his foes both in the Watch and beyond the great Wall of ice and stone.Read Less
Can't put this down, any more than the preceding four. Can't wait for number six. Brilliant, "living" characterizations.
Oct 13, 2011
End it already!
HBO's amazing production of Game of Thrones fired my desire to read George R. R. Martin's opus magnus "The Song of Fire and Ice," purchased through Alibis, of course. So, when the fifth book "Dances with Dragons" became available, I jumped on it--and found it to be an unsatisfactory ride.
All of Marti's impressive literary skills of narration, character development and dramatic effects are present, but the plot lines have become so twisted that it is obvious that Martin has lost his way.
He's faced with a Gordian Knot of plots within plots within plots. He must take a sword to his creation and hack through the tangled mess, bringing the story to an end instead of dragging himself and the rest of us through the inconclusive, murky mess as it currently exists.
It is a rare author--Patrick O'Brian comes to mind--who can sustain the level of cohesion needed to carry a story past a trilogy. Martin is no O'Brian, but with his latest offering, is obviously at sea with his plot.
Aug 7, 2011
Back to intrigue
I would say this volume is more satisfying than Feast for Crows, but that may simply be because it finally catches us up on the lives of Dany Targaryen, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and Bran Stark. The tone is fairly similar to Feast. There are few game-changing events here. Instead we see Dany learning to rule the city she's taken despite a treacherous populace, Jon learning to command despite an unhappy Night's Watch, Bran learning to access his gifts, and Tyrion just trying to stay alive. As always, Martin's prose is eloquent and rich in detail. Most of the joy of this novel is not in the forward progression of the events we're all beginning to anticipate, but in the realistic interactions of characters who behave in recognizably flawed, human ways. A Dance With Dragons, like A Feast for Crows, returns to the sense of intrigue with which A Game of Thrones started.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-05-30 A few images recur in the enormously complex fifth installment of Martin's massively multicharacter epic: the chess-like game cyvasse, small rivers flowing into larger ones, ships and armies battered by terrible storms. These themes suggest that readers should think strategically, be patient as the story grows, and brace for a beating. Martin's fans, however, are hungry for more action and purpose, their appetites whetted by a six-year wait and the recent HBO adaptation of A Game of Thrones. Dance was originally the second half of 2005's A Feast for Crows, sometimes criticized for shifting from battles and intrigue to slow trudges through war-torn, corpse-littered Westeros. The new volume has a similar feel to Feast and takes place over a similar time frame; Martin keeps it fresh by focusing on popular characters Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and Jon Snow, all notably absent from the previous book. These three are generally thought the most plausible riders of the titular dragons, but plots within plots abound, and two strong new candidates for those scaly saddles emerge as a powerful enemy threatens Daenerys's captured city of Meereen, Tyrion is kidnapped by slavers, and treachery undermines Jon's command of the undead-battling Night's Watch. More characters are revived than killed off and more peace accords signed than wars declared, but the heart-hammering conclusion hints that the next installment will see a return to the fiery battles and icy terror that earned the series its fanatic following. Even ostensibly disillusioned fans will be caught up in the interweaving stories, especially when Martin drops little hints around long-debated questions such as Jon's parentage. Author tour. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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