Dubbed "the American Tolkien" by "TIME" magazine, Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the #1 "New ...Show synopsisDubbed "the American Tolkien" by "TIME" magazine, Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author delivers the fifth book in his landmark series--as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.Hide synopsis
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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.
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.
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