The fifth volume in the greatest epic work of the modern age The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance. In the east, Daenerys, last scion of House Targaryen, her dragons grown to terrifying maturity, rules as queen of a city built on dust and death, beset by enemies. Now that her whereabouts are known many are seeking Daenerys and her dragons. Among them the dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, who has escaped King's Landing with a price on his head, wrongfully condemned to death for the murder of his nephew, King ...
The fifth volume in the greatest epic work of the modern age The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance. In the east, Daenerys, last scion of House Targaryen, her dragons grown to terrifying maturity, rules as queen of a city built on dust and death, beset by enemies. Now that her whereabouts are known many are seeking Daenerys and her dragons. Among them the dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, who has escaped King's Landing with a price on his head, wrongfully condemned to death for the murder of his nephew, King Joffrey. But not before killing his hated father, Lord Tywin. To the north lies the great Wall of ice and stone -- a structure only as strong as those guarding it. Eddard Stark's bastard son Jon Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, but he has enemies both in the Watch and beyond the Wall, where the wildling armies are massing for an assault. On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all!
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.
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