August 30, 2013

A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin

Things can change quickly in the game of thrones.
-from A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5

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It's bittersweet to post this review because it means that Ice and Fire August is coming to a close at The Book Barn and I'm finished reading all 5 published installments of George R. R. Martin's epic series. I'm really excited to have time to read other things and do other things, but I'm also going to miss reading about these characters daily so much! I've also made so many new blogging friends through this series because clearly it has affected a LOT of people (readers and television watchers alike!).

Fortunately at least two more books have still yet to be published in this series, because unfortunately I didn't feel like this book ended the month with a bang as I was hoping it would. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, and I know that this book was a favorite for many of you; however, it fell a little flat for me, similarly to A Feast for Crows (aka AFFC). While I feel like the details are what make this series so incredible in many ways, there may have been too much detail in AFFC and A Dance with Dragons, to the point where the story didn't move forward as quickly as I expected (and needed!). I wish Martin would have compacted both of these books and made them work as one unit as originally intended. I have absolutely no idea how he would have done this (*cough*cut out the Greyjoys*cough* lol), but many of the newer characters still did not resonate with me as a reader.

Now, don't get too angry with me, but I was especially disappointed with Dany's storyline; I felt like she did nothing but spin her wheels in this book!! I'm sure if I look deeper there's some great, powerful explication on her need for stability, to stop moving, her fears and doubts. But as a reader, I wanted action! I wanted Dany to keep moving forward and keep stringing bells in her hair! I need to keep reminding myself how young she is and how vulnerable she is, but I also have confidence in her as a reader and want to cheer her on. I really wish I could go into better depth on Dany, but I don't want to spoil anything at all for those of you who haven't yet read this book.

As I mentioned in my review for AFFC, even the worst George R. R. Martin book is still probably the best of 100 books chosen at random. While I didn't connect with this story as deep as books 1-3 in the series, I still enjoyed the experience of reading tremendously and loved the characters. It was exciting to follow Tyrion's story and some of the new characters were especially promising to meet (like, REALLY exciting to meet. I can't stress that but I can't say more). After reading this book, I am also excited to read theories about the future of the series without being spoiled. The beauty of Martin's writing is that you can never anticipate what is going to happen next. This epic tale is truly an adventure to read and discover, and I hope that I won't have to wait long for the sixth installment, The Winds of Winter! I really don't know how fans who started reading this series in 1996 have survived all of the time between publications!

Bottom Line: Not as great as books 1 through 3, but I enjoyed this one a little bit more than A Feast for Crows. A must read for anyone who has already started the series!  4/5 stars

P.S. I know fan fiction is seriously looked down upon and I haven't looked into any since high school, but I must say, I am addicted to No Featherbed For Me ... Arya and Gendry FOREVER! ;)


  1. haha,
    i knew since the very start that arya and gendry is a perfect match for each other. c'mon martin!

    i'm this close finishing the 4th book. what i enjoy the most from the 4th book is getting into jaime's and cersei's head. cersei's mad, and jaime's turned into this grey person.

    ps. i do watch the tv shows. i've done the 2nd season last year. haven't watched the 3rd though. i like to watch tv shows when it's already completed in one full season so i don't have to question the next episode, only the next season. hha

  2. I feel the same way! It needed to move faster and cut out some of the wide lines that felt a bit hindering to the overall story! I feel like he needs an editor that will be like "Hey, listen here. Tighten this up. Remember A Storm of Swords? A lot happened and it wasn't all over the place."

    Yes, bells! She can be so fierce when she doesn't second guess herself so much. I think certain people made her look at things differently and slowed her down some. I hope she can regain momentum and go! There are some really awesome new characters in Dance and really big things being set up that are so exciting!

    And yay theories! I really think the theories and speculation and meta are as fun as the books themselves!

    Great review!


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