Friday, 8 March 2013

A Dance with Dragons - George R. R. Martin


Unfortunately, I read most of the books in A Song of Ice and Fire before I became interested in writing reviews and, as a result, any reviews that I post now won't be a fair assessment of them as they've all blurred into one big mess inside my head! Because of this, I plan to hold off reviewing them until I reread the series (which I undoubtedly will at some point), and for now, will just have to live with most of the titles being absent from my blog. Luckily A Dance with Dragons, the rather meaty fifth instalment of the series, was one of the first reviews I posted on Goodreads and I've decided to improve the review and repost it here!

So, enough waffle and let's begin! And, as you may already know, George R. R. Martin decided to overlap the chronology of A Dance with Dragons with that of the fourth book in ASoIaF (A Feast for Crows) due to the its staggering complexity and split the events unfolding around his POV characters accordingly. Thus, A Dance with Dragons predominantly deals with the characters that Martin had neglected in A Feast for Crows and mostly tells of the events unfolding around Jon Snow and Stannis Baratheon in the north, along with those of Daenerys Targaryen, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister in the east. It's worth noting however, that towards the end of the book Martin passes the events in A Feast for Crows and continues to advance the story of ASoIaF as a whole by including his entire ensemble of POV characters to set the scene for The Winds of Winter.

I wont tell you anything about the plot of the book though (because I don't want to spoil it for you), expect to say that it is every bit as gripping as its predecessors and is filled with the typically unpredictable plot lines that I have come to except of Martin. Furthermore, the book contains his usual vividly descriptive narrative that adds depth to his prose and its brutal violence, promiscuous sex and the political intrigue of the scheming lords and ladies throughout a vast array of locations helps to keep the book fresh and makes it extremely difficult to put down - something that became a great problem for me since I foolishly started reading A Dance with Dragons just before I sat some of my final year exams!

I can safely say to any fan of ASoIaF that you won't be disappointed with A Dance with Dragons though and it's certainly a worthy instalment of the series, being both fast moving and shocking so you're left routing for certain characters, hating others and fearing for the lives of many more in the true style George R. R. Martin! And, by the end of the book, the events have begun to boil up in a manner that is going to make The Winds of Winter a very exciting read! Thus, I would recommend reading A Dance with Dragons to anyone who is a fan of the series (both of the books and HBO's TV show) and recommend beginning ASoIaF as a whole to anyone who hasn't read it before. Be warned though that the book takes a long time to read and could easily take over your life!

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