Friday, 19 August 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: A Song of Ice and Fire 5: A Dance with Dragons - George RR Martin

Release Date: 12/07/11


The fifth volume in the greatest epic work of the modern age

The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.

In the east, Daenerys, last scion of House Targaryen, her dragons grown to terrifying maturity, rules as queen of a city built on dust and death, beset by enemies.

Now that her whereabouts are known many are seeking Daenerys and her dragons. Among them the dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, who has escaped King’s Landing with a price on his head, wrongfully condemned to death for the murder of his nephew, King Joffrey. But not before killing his hated father, Lord Tywin.

To the north lies the great Wall of ice and stone – a structure only as strong as those guarding it. Eddard Stark's bastard son Jon Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, but he has enemies both in the Watch and beyond the Wall, where the wildling armies are massing for an assault.

On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all…


Having just re-enjoyed the Game of Thrones (the TV series as well as the book reread) I was really in the mood for the new title in the series. After all with five years between books currently (A Storm of Crows was five years, and A Dance with Dragons was just short of 6) as a reader I really felt that the title would have been polished to keep the suspense as well as developing the complex themes already occurring.

What I got, however was sadly disappointing as this thousand page title was flat, it felt like it was more filler and to be honest I don’t think that anything was explored well enough to even constitute this as s fully successful addition to the series, especially when you add in the delay time between books. It’s almost as if the author expects it to sell well because his name is on the cover and that’s it. Finally add to this character confusion, poor development and sadly lack of pace and it felt pretty damn flat. I just hope that the next book picks up the pace and brings back the fans hard won trust.


Anonymous said...

Should be nothing worse than being a dissappointment to yourself first and your fans second. Books written in 'writer purgatory' simply to cash in on fame have no place, and no excuse.

Pat Hollett said...

Oh wow Gareth. I just finished watching Game of Thrones for the second time because I love it so much. Your review worried me because I was just thinking of getting the other books in the series. Nothing worse than an author using filler in his books and boring the reader with unecessary stuff. Thanks for sharing this! :)