A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with DragonsA Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #5
Publisher: Voyager Books
Released: July 12, 2011
Pages: 1125
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In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance—beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone—a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

It gets better. Don’t worry. It does.
Of course, I’m comparing A Dance With Dragons to Feast for Crows. I felt that Dance with Dragons started at pretty much the level at which Feast for Crows ended, which is something. My main problem with the previous book was that I just couldn’t bring myself to care properly about most of what happened. I found the story itself to be a little more compelling from the start of this book, but I still found myself not really caring as much as I felt that I should have. For a while I was worried that this was my fault and that I had just stopped caring about the series all together. However, and though it took a while, Dance of Dragons succeeded in pulling me back into the universe. Eventually all the threads seemed to come together in a way which doesn’t quite justify everything I have been complaining about, but at least serves to explain it. The book ends on a couple of high notes and, annoyingly, made me want to start the next book right away. That’s a feeling I haven’t had since the end of the first book, and it is just typical that I should get it again now that I’m caught up.

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