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A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five [Hardcover]

George R.R. Martin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
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Kindle Edition --  
Library Binding CDN $16.76  
Hardcover, July 12 2011 CDN $23.83  
Paperback CDN $15.16  
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Book Description

July 12 2011 Song of Ice and Fire (Book 5)


Dubbed “the American Tolkien” by Time magazine, George R. R. 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.
In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance—beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House 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. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone—a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

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A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five + A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four + A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three
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Product Description


“What’s A Song of Ice and Fire? It’s the only fantasy series I’d put on a level with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. . . . It’s a fantasy series for hip, smart people, even those who don’t read fantasy.”—Chicago Tribune
A Game of Thrones
“Reminiscent of T. H. White’s The Once and Future King, this novel is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal.”—Chicago Sun-Times
A Clash of Kings
“Martin amply fulfills the first volume’s promise and continues what seems destined to be one of the best fantasy series ever written.”—The Denver Post
A Storm of Swords
“Riveting . . . a series whose brilliance continues to dazzle.”—Patriot News
A Feast for Crows
“Of those who work in the grand epic-fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best. In fact . . . this is as good a time as any to proclaim him the American Tolkien.”—Time

About the Author

George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. As a writer-producer, he has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with the lovely Parris in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
60 of 71 people found the following review helpful
It has been SIX LONG YEARS since George R.R. Martin last released a book in his Song Of Ice And Fire Sequence. That's a pretty long wait.

So was "A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five" worth the wait? Well... yes and no. It returns to much-beloved characters like Tyrion, Bran and Daenarys and slowly moves us toward the complex, treacherous endgame of Westeros' power struggles. But it's also very slow-moving, and sometimes it feels like events are happening too slowly.

After killing his father, Tyrion flees his native land and ends up adrift in another, dependent on others for safety and shelter. So instead, he forges a new destiny for himself. Meanwhile, Bran is en route to the Wall, only to run into wargs and discover new facets of his mysterious skinchanging power.

The new Night Watch commander Jon Snow finds himself facing an incoming horde of wildlings, as well as the presence of grouchy King Stannis and his bloodthirsty priestess Melisandre. Jon is determined to keep doing what he thinks is right, but his steadfastness may also be his undoing.

Having conquered the city of Meereen, Daenarys starts learning the ropes of queenship there, as well as caring for her three rapidly-growing dragons. Of course, she soon discovers that it's a lot harder than it sounds, as she becomes enmeshed in a deadly tangle of love, treason, ambition and bloody murder.

It's honestly hard to sum up a George R.R. Martin's books without giving away far too much, or going into countless detailed subplots. However, this book is very slow moving, and there isn't a lot of forward momentum until the last several chapters. It feels like Martin is arranging his vast chessboard for a the final clash, but it's going to be slow moving until he's done.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Forced my way through March 13 2012
By Ginoa
Going to make this Short....

I was totally disappointed in this latest book of the series. Too slow, long "nothing happening" periods throughout, not sure if the author can salvage the story. I'd rate the previous books a 4.5 and with this one I'm being generous with a 2.

It was an interesting twist to see some key characters killed off in previous books, but you don't have to do it over and over. Eventually you're going to kill off all the characters that are interesting.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dancing Out of the Corner July 30 2011
I enjoyed reading Martin's latest novel, but even 100 pages into it I began to feel a growing dread that this was not going to be a book to equal A STORM OF SWORDS. The narrative pace crept when it should have galloped. Over-long passages were devoted to what people ate for breakfast, local scenery or history. Ever more viewpoint characters were introduced, meaning that less time was available to advance the story of existing characters.

All of this detail is great fodder for ancillary projects: compendiums, encyclopedias, tie-in games, etc. But a rousing story it does not make.

There are some great touches. In particular, in the Reek chapters, Martin does for Theon Greyjoy what he had previously done for other anti-heroes like Jaime Lannister, giving him a powerful, personal story. The paranormal content rises significantly, but remains consistent with what has gone before and does not overwhelm the story. The dragons are depicted very well as creatures of fire and fury. Davos has some entertaining adventures.


There are too many viewpoints. The problem seems to be that Martin has maneuvered almost all of the "primary" characters into some form of prison, or slavery (Theon, Cersei, Tyrion, Aisha, Davos, the dragons), or into figurative bondage (bound by duty, destiny, or oath as in the case of Dani, Bran, Jon, Arya, etc.). No one has room to maneuver. Everyone is stuck. While this gives A Dance with Dragons a certain thematic unity ("escape!") it doesn't help that Martin is in no hurry to set things up. At any one time at least half the cast is either in prison, visiting someone in prison.
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All Build Up and No Release July 16 2011
By Christopher H TOP 500 REVIEWER
Six Years.

I waited six years for progress and answers and all I got was more cliff hangers.

Because George knows the only way we will wait another 6 years is if he resolves as little as possible.

When I neared the end of the book I had such high hopes. So many threads were converging, it would clearly end in an amazing climax.

But it didn't.

I am sure this book will get some good reviews. It has some pleasant chapters and was enjoyable to read, but that is simply because I and many others have waited so long, that we would be happy with anything new.

But this is no book to re-read.

For every surprise, there is a hundred pages of tedium.

The book meanders about, and feels like George wrote simply for the sake of writing. It was all build up and no release, and that's bloody unacceptable after six years of waiting.

I know there will be fans of the book, those who angrily defend it, and I really wish I was one of them. But instead of sliding this book onto my bookshelf, well satisfied, I simply want to throw it out a window.

I really couldn't be anymore disappointed.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A dance with Dragons
As brilliant as the first four books. The world George R.R. Martin created has no equal in complexity and authenticity.
The book engages a reader deeply. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Iwona
5.0 out of 5 stars Song of Ice and Fire
Could hardly wait to start reading it :) I am immersed in the story the same way I was in the first 4 :)
Published 6 days ago by Marilyn Chicoine
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!
Published 7 days ago by Meka
5.0 out of 5 stars unpredictable and exciting!
With some new friends and some returning old ones, the characters and plots continue to be well written and have created an unpredictable and exciting story line!
Published 13 days ago by ami
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read but I want closure!
Like the other books in the series, this one is impossible to put down. You continue the stories of the characters you care about, and some you don't, as well as meeting some new... Read more
Published 22 days ago by ScienceLives
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good like the others
The other books in this series were great. This book is so bad though that I can't even finish it. I'm halfway through and have given up. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Cheryl
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for book Six
Once again, George R.R. Martin delivers a compelling story, full of details and intricate plots. The only downside is that it leaves you wanting more and more and more :-)
Published 1 month ago by Francis Girard
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite One Yet!
I really like this series. Cant wait for the next one. Would recomend all the books to anyone that wants a really good read. The characters are well written. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars can't wait for book six!
After finding book 4 a little slow, a dance with dragons reinvigorated the series and has me wanting to know what happens next, more than ever.
Published 1 month ago by Dave LaRue
3.0 out of 5 stars Note: Not the mass market paperback size...
Haven't read this 5th book yet but I'm sure it will be hard to put down once I get to it!
Just want to note to others that this is not the same size as the mass market... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jsc
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