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4.2 out of 5 stars
A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2013
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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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2011
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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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2011
6 years for a book that does nothing but advance the plot far enough to add cliff hangers for the next book, which probably won't be released until 2018. Enough talk about what they eat, what the fashion choice of the local nobles is and for love of all that's good I don't care where whores go!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2012
I really enjoyed the first two books in the series. After that I thought the story line became too complicated and lost direction. I had hoped that A Dance with Dragons would tie everything together - but no , it wandered on like a soap opera and ended up with "cliff hangers" and unanswered questions. JRRT brought his epic to a conclusion , which was appreciated by readers everywhere . Nevertheless I shall probably read the next episode - if I live long enough.
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on July 24, 2013
George Martin is undoubtedly a genius; but I have no idea what he has in mind for the series. Pivotal characters are either maimed or killed off or face bleak futures. I skipped several pages while reading and it felt like a chore. I was frustrated once I finished reading and the way the book ended infuriated me. I knew it might turn out this way, but i felt compelled to buy and read it.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
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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on June 15, 2014
Mr. Martin is a story teller and can create strong characters, but overall this book felt like he was stretching out the story with lots of filler, without bring the reader any closer to resolution with the many plots that were left in the area. I was quite disappointed after having really enjoyed the first three books.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Ok, I just finished A Dance with Dragons, the last dance for me. I expected more, frankly. I expected a lot of loose ends to be tied up, and voila, new characters and more loose ends at the finish. Overall, the series was entertaining, but there was too little grain and too much chaff. Don't have the time or the energy to tackle Winds of Winter, so don't rush to finish it on my account George - - - just take your sweet time.
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on March 26, 2014
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. As a result, I won't be wasting my money on a future book in this series.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2012
I must agree with the majority of reviewers, A Dance with Dragons is a slow and monotonous read (although I did enjoy it better than the fourth book). It is sad that the series started off so strong, but the last two books were a bitter disappointment. Most of the reviewers on this site are pretty accurate with their reviews, so I'll just touch on my major gripes. The book offers no plot progression at all, most of the main character story lines remain stagnant, and Martin barely touches on the characters that we want to read about. Too bad, the series had so much potential. I can't help but wonder what HBO will do in the next couple of seasons when they run out of material...
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