A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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“Filled with vividly rendered set pieces, unexpected turnings, assorted cliffhangers and moments of appalling cruelty, A Dance with Dragons is epic fantasy as it should be written: passionate, compelling, convincingly detailed and thoroughly imagined.”—The Washington Post
“Long live George Martin . . . a literary dervish, enthralled by complicated characters and vivid language, and bursting with the wild vision of the very best tale tellers.”—The New York Times
“One of the best series in the history of fantasy.”—Los Angeles Times
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
George R.R. Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally since then. He spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer-producer, working on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made. In the mid '90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he's allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with the lovely Parris, a big white dog called Mischa, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula, who think they run the place.See all Product description
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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.
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.
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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