Book Review: A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons

George R. R. Martin

A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE: BOOK FIVE

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, Daenerys Targaryen rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way east—with new allies who may not be the ragtag band they seem. And in the frozen north, Jon Snow confronts creatures from beyond the Wall of ice and stone, and powerful foes from within the Night’s Watch. In a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics lead a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, to the greatest dance of all.

* I finished this book a couple months ago and am getting to the review now… so my memory is a little hazy… *

I’m not a fantasy-lover at all, yet I’m thoroughly engaged with Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.  He writes such that this fantasy-hater stays up late reading his books, page after page into the wee hours of the morning.

Like with any series, readers will enjoy certain entries more than others.  It’s difficult to always maintain an upward momentum.  So, with that in mind, I have to say that I found A Dance With Dragons the most difficult book to engage with of the series so far.  I think part of the difficulty is that there are so many story lines that have developed and been introduced that the book is immediately bloated due to the fact that it has so much story to address.  I’m willing to give that a pass, though, because that’s part of the draw of this series for me — that there is just so much happening that it keeps me entertained.  I’m hoping that as the series progresses toward its end that the story lines will be wrapped up one-by-one as characters die off and crises are resolved.

My main difficulty in getting through this volume, though, is due to Martin’s desire to document nearly everything that characters do… which in this book, largely consists of waiting around for things to happen.  That being said, though, even in the waiting there is political intrigue, drama, and tension.  A “boring” waiting chapter is still engaging.  But this could have been tightened up a bit.

So, I think in my personal tastes, A Dance With Dragons is a little dip in the road, but the road is still climbing high.  This was a great book and I eagerly await the release of the next book (whenever that is).

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