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What a total and complete waste, July 30 2011
This book is has to be the nearest thing to a punch literature has to offer. For fans of the series let's not forget that the last book, Feast For Crows, was bad enough. It was a boring, tedious read, that resolved nothing of the characters we loved best from the suberb first three books, and and introduced chapters of characters who were massive plot anchors on the series.
Don't worry we were told, by Mr. Martin, I've got a manuscript sitting right here which has everything you are looking for. All the threads I left dangling would be tied up. That was what he claimed, six years ago. Instead, he swished around in his mouth, horked up a giant loogie onto a manuscript, and is demanding 30 bucks to read it.
Nothing happens in this book. NOTHING at all. There isn't a single character who accomplishes anything of note in this tome. As a matter of fact, two characters are actually thrown back a book or three, having all of their progress, and by extension, all of OUR progress, erased.
Not only that, but Mr. Martin has become so infatuated with his world that he feels he has to share all of the most mundane and unintersting histories of it. I don't care about Lord Hazog ur Ghazog, the fourth of his name of Yunkai, from about a thousand years ago, and how he commanded tht exact cobblestone beneath Danaerys' feet to be constructed from another indentical cobblestone from 3000 years earlier. Nor do I care that two hills by some stupid mill in the hinterlands resemble breasts, and why they were named that about 2000 years ago. That's not interesting. How about you tell me what Jaime Lannister is up to instead for gods sake.
After this book, I can't even reccommend this series to friends, knowing they will have to slog through the tedious (yup, there's that word again) minutae of this book and the previous one. Just hang it up George, you've jumped the shark pal.