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64 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "This is no game we're playing for your amusement."
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...
Published on July 12 2011 by E. A Solinas

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Feast of Crows...
I wish G R.R. Martin spent as much time on his writing as his publicity and side projects. Perhaps if he did this series would be complete. I enjoyed this installment better than the last (character selection no doubt) but still feel that the plot has barely moved in the last two books.... to tie up ends that is - there are many new questions that will never be answered...
Published 24 months ago by A. Soares


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64 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "This is no game we're playing for your amusement.", July 12 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (Hardcover)
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.

However, even a Martin book moving forward slowly is a striking experience. He embroiders this bloodspattered tapestry with vivid prose ("he fluttered like a burning leaf, a moth caught in a candle flame"), sex, and quite a bit of gruesome violence handled very casually (when a man is beheaded, someone asks, "Can I have his boots?").

The only very flawed scene that springs to mind is Daenarys' final scene, which is so melodramatic as to be almost silly. And yes, it ends on a multiple cliffhanger. Prepare to scream in frustration.

As for the vast cast of flawed, intriguing characters, Martin only handles some of them -- we see more of Bran's burgeoning powers, Jon's bleak, frustrating life as a commander, the determined Tyrion afloat without his family's influence, and Daenarys' quiet nature at war with her "dragon's blood."

Well, he touches on some of the other characters -- such as Cersei -- but mostly focuses on those four. And without revealing too much, yet another much-loved character seems to have bitten the proverbial dust.

"A Dance of Dragons" dances too slowly, but it's still a deeply absorbing read -- and it feels like George R.R. Martin is arranging the grand finale. Let's hope the next book doesn't take six years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Feast of Crows..., Feb. 6 2013
By 
A. Soares - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (Hardcover)
I wish G R.R. Martin spent as much time on his writing as his publicity and side projects. Perhaps if he did this series would be complete. I enjoyed this installment better than the last (character selection no doubt) but still feel that the plot has barely moved in the last two books.... to tie up ends that is - there are many new questions that will never be answered. I have no confidence this series will be finished in Mr. Martin's lifetime. The last 2-3 books feel like he is just calling it in too.

Frustrated (and yet still -sadly- awaiting the next book)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Long Winded, but good enough, Feb. 1 2014
George R.R. Martin has a gift for evocative and detailed descriptions. He also has a gift for saying in 30 words what can better be said in 10 words... LONG WINDED.

He's also fond of using the same expression from characters or as a description over and over again without justification. I thought when Ygritte finally died that the constant repetition of 'you know nothing Jon Snow' would be over...NOPE. Since the death of Tywin Lannister we are treated to Tyrion's constant asking 'Where do whores go?' Also, many things in this series are as 'useless as nipples on a breastplate' Martin really likes that one. The issue I have is that these expressions are repeated dozens of times, and gets tiresome

Certain storylines that were moving along with pace and interest began to stagnate in this book. Daenerys Targaryen had a great storyline in previous books; from her marriage to her 'Sun and Stars', birth of the dragons, Qarth, Astapor, Yunkai. All of this well written with story moving and drawing the reader in... Then we get to Meereen, where, in my mind Martin clearly messes up. Inexplicably, our queen suddenly decides to stay in Meereen and the story becomes boring. She decides to marry to keep the peace. This whole segment moves at a snails pace. From a storyline perspective I think this is a mistake by Martin. It goes against the character of Daenerys and doesn't work with the story he had built up before. The ending is good though.

Tyrion Lannister's storyline is far more interesting is far more interesting and well written. Tyrion's quit wit and survival instincts are well displayed as he deals with being a slave and eventually joining a group of sell swords with Jorah Mormont, and the mummer, Penny. Maybe I'll add more later.
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4.0 out of 5 stars slow moving, Feb. 25 2013
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This review is from: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (Hardcover)
Although the story remains very intriguing I feel that the author is moving the plot along too slowly. Lots of the main characters are forgotten. The author either kills some or has them trapped, captured or in a prison. He adds new ones for a brief appearance but unconsequential to the plot. It makes it very difficult to keep track of everyone. I don't feel that this was necessary or that it really added to the story other than adding more pages to the book. There were enough characters already. Even when the author brings back one of the favorites, the chapter doesn't move the plot but adds lots of useless dialogue and descriptions and emotions that just creates empty pages. I am finding that I am skimming over several these uneventful paragraphs. These are very long books and are very interesting but eventually you would like to see the story come to some sort of ending. I am at the point that I am not too sure if I will get the next book (book 6). I would certainly go for it if I knew that book 6 or 7 finishes the series.
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42 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All Build Up and No Release, July 16 2011
By 
Christopher H - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (Hardcover)
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Five is not alive, June 19 2013
This review is from: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (Hardcover)
Before reading the latest instalment in this series, I consulted many of the online reviews and was decidedly apprehensive as I started Dance with Dragons. Now that I have finished it, I have to agree with the negative reviews, at least in general terms. Some have claimed that Martin has lost the thread of his series, which I find preposterous since that presumes he has no agency over his creation. I, however, believe that he has become enamoured with his world creation, characterisation and descriptive prose, all of which remain unparalleled in this field. Unfortunately, he has emphasised these qualities over writing action sequences and this is dragging down the series.

Consider Dany's storyline. In Book Three she conquers three cities as she builds her army and moves towards Westeros. Her character development is shown through her conquests, thus merging action with characterisation. In ADWD she spends the majority of her time governing one city awaiting an invasion from Yunkai. This takes up her entire storyline with the invasion only coming as the novel ends. It would be as if the Battle for Kings Landing, which consumed the entire second book, never actually happened until the third book. Jon's storyline also saw no real resolution. His storyline concerns negotiating a truce between the wildlings and the Black Brothers but readers will have to wait until the next volume to see how it is finally resolved.

Furthermore, Martin is now focusing on the lower noble houses, and it is rather difficult to get excited over the conflict between the Manderlys and Boltons after reading about the titanic struggle between the Starks and Lannisters for three books. Similarly, the introduction of a whole host of new characters has not elicited a tremendous amount of excitement since none of them equal the original cast in character.

As such, if you are committed to the series then continue reading. But be prepared for limited action, an introduction of a whole new cast and extensive description with absolutely no resolution of storylines.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dancing Out of the Corner, July 30 2011
By 
David L. Pulver (Victoria, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (Hardcover)
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.

But...

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. What's worse, when they aren't in prison, they spend most of their times stuck aboard ships or boats on the way to a destiny that always seems just out of reach, beset by storms, pirates, slavers, and other traditional perils. The mark of a good character is the decisions he must make. Individuals bound by chains or oaths or duty have little no room to weigh these choices. Eventually, circumstances or decision DO break some of these bonds but it's a long time coming. It's a mark of the strength of Theon's chapter that despite his circumstances - worse than that of most other characters - he makes choices.

With almost all of the main characters so constrained, Martin has two choices: get someone them out of trouble STAT, or add new characters who aren't constrained to move the plot along. Unfortunately, he chooses the latter, with the predictable result that even less time is spent on anyone we care about, and more time is spent introducing new faces who serve mainly as spoilers to kick the plot along. In doing so, the addition of one character, a lost heir, seems to come completely out of left field, with the unfortunately consequence of weakening the apparent important of one of the series' core characters.

So as to not end of a negative note, however, one element I did like was the introduction of some new villains. A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE has been hard on its heroes but even harder on its villains, with many of the more memorable antagonists either disposed of or (to some extent) reformed or made understandable (e.g. Jaime, Littlefinger), while the "white walkers" - the wights - remain an oddly impersonal menace. Both Ramsay Snow and Victarion Greyjoy get some extra development here, making the latter especially more credible as a future antagonist. Cersei also has potential to emerge back on stage, though perhaps more as a catspaw than an actual opponent.
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3.0 out of 5 stars All Stories have an Arc, June 24 2014
By 
ATC123 - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (Hardcover)
I really like the Game of Thrones series (both the books and the TV series), however that said, this is one book too many and realistically it should have been stopped after the first three books. I am reminded of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Ill Earth Trilogy) that morphed from a trilogy into something that seemed never to end - a good idea carried too far. The Fringe was great because it began with a clear arc and it finished before the series was exhausted. In this book, I almost get the sense that R.R. Martin knows that he has a cash cow and he wants to milk it a bit more. The book is reasonable but at some point there has to be an end and it should have been before this book. So overall not bad, but we did not need it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book 5 paper back., April 22 2013
By 
Kam Bandali (Nanaimo, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (Hardcover)
As most of you by now have found out yet again book 5 has been delayed in North America. IT seems like people are either purchasing the massive hardcover or trying to borrow the few supplies from the library. Well I found out the book is available here in paper back.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dance-Dragons-Song-Fire-Book/dp/0002247399/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366685327&sr=1-3&keywords=dance+with+dragons.

Apparently the book has been released in Europe for over a year now. I ordered it and paid 8 bucks for it including shipping took 2 weeks now comes the long task reading the book. So if you want to order book 5 in paper just search UK amazon and you will find a paper back copy.

Cheers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still a great series, Feb. 1 2014
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This review is from: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five (Hardcover)
I didn't really know what to expect after Martin split the story in half with the last 2 books, but ADWD is addictive as usual. I like where the story is going, even if some of it just pisses me the hell off. Most of the younger characters like Bran and Arya are still learning more about themselves, so hopefully they'll have a greater impact on the story later on. The other character arcs are unfolding nicely; many surprises and twists make this book consistently fun to read. I'm glad Petyr Baelish didn't have to kill anyone else, Lysa's end seemed like a bit much frankly and it's not really Baelish's style to get his hands dirty.

As good as any of the other books in the series.
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A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five
A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five by George R.R. Martin (Hardcover - July 12 2011)
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