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A Song of Ice and Fire (5) - A Dance With Dragons [Paperback]

George R. R. Martin
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (615 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 July 2011

HBO’s hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin’s internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS is the fifth volume in the series.

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…



Product details

  • Paperback: 1040 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (21 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007455992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007455997
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.4 x 6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (615 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,592,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George R.R. Martin is the author of six titles in the A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords Part One: Steel and Snow, A Storm of Swords Part Two: Blood and Gold, A Feast for Crows and the long-awaited A Dance with Dragons. A Game of Thrones is now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.

He has also written Fevre Dream, the ultimate science fiction horror novel, several collections of short stories and numerous scripts for television drama. He was also the co-author of SF adventure tale Hunter's Run. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Product Description

Review

Praise for A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE:

'In the grand epic fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best … tense, surging, insomnia-inflicting' Time Magazine

‘An absorbing, exciting read … Martin’s style is so vivid that you will be hooked within a few pages’ The Times

‘The sheer mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads …Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias’
Guardian

‘Colossal, staggering … Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome in his imaginary world … The writing is always powerful …' SFX

About the Author

George R. R. Martin is the author of fourteen novels, including five volumes of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, several collections of short stories and numerous screen plays for television drama and feature films. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
530 of 555 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intricate, but Underwhelming. 17 July 2011
Format:Hardcover
ADWD was a loooong time in the waiting, and since the previous book was a character-driven travelogue, it was generally believed that this would make up for it with plenty of action and plot resolution. Not so. This, like A Feast For Crows, is 1000 pages of scenic character study.

The characters travel about, and have immense conversations with other people. These conversations are fascinating, and you can see the characters develop (and not always for the best) as the book goes on. But action? Not that much. We have been invested with these amazing characters for 20 years now, so watching them develop is rewarding - but it seems to be at the expense of story momentum.

By the end, we're not much further along in plot than we were by the end of Book 3. But it's now starting to become apparent that GRRM's focus is on character first and foremost, and plot must fit in the small gaps whenever the character is allowed to plateau for awhile.

So the real standout storylines in this book are oddly, the ones with characters with the fewest chapters. Then, they have to be sharp, succinct, focused and dramatic. But the "Big Three" characters each get about a dozen chapters each, and as a result have bloated, fuzzy, rather impotent storylines, where they talk a lot and worry a good deal, and evolve or devolve as people, but don't get much further towards their respective goals.

A great many new characters are introduced, but oddly, are not detailed that well. An important new figure in Dany's storyline, Hizdahr, is sketched so vaguely that you never get a sense of him at all, and care even less. It seems GRRM is too fascinated by the Big Three to be much interested in the lesser roles.
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182 of 195 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A long, lackluster build up to an absent climax. 27 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover
I am, I admit, new to A Song of Ice and Fire. I watched the fantastic series made by HBO and, as soon as the pilot ended, I picked up the books and fell in love. The first three volumes of this series, as any reader will know, are a tour de force of fantasy. A wonderfully realised world populated by fantastic characters that are loved and loathed to a high degree. An entanglement of plots is lightly touched by an unnerving thread of dark magic that lingers in the background to remind us that 'winter is coming'. I read the series, including the slower, less satisfactory 'A Feast for Crows' three times whilst waiting those couple of months for 'Dance'. Then this doorstop was in my hands and I read it eagerly, expecting a return to 'A Storm of Swords' quality.

I, like so many others, was vastly disappointed. This novel sees the return of the 'protagonists' of the epic: Jon Snow (who still knows nothing), Daenerys Targaryen (who has looked back and is now facing the wrong direction) and everyone's favourite sarcastic dwarf Tyrion Lannister. However, these three fan favourites accomplish precisely one act of significance between them, and that is a vastly annoying cliffhanger-a now overused hallmark of Martin's writing.

Jon Snow, stuck on the wall, is struggling to hold several factions together in the face of the approaching war with the Others in the long winter (which is supposedly still on its way, despite no evidence of it in this book). There are interesting parallels with Daenerys, who is trying to rule a city of people and customs that are not her own and who would gladly see her dead. Both of these young leaders struggle in their tasks. Jon grows into his position as a leader with satisfying, if not entirely realistic, maturity.
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144 of 157 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars winter is coming at a glacial pace 14 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover
It's been quite the wait for the latest installment of G.R.R.Martin's (GRRM) A Song of Ice and fire series and during the wait there have been some very impressive new additions to the fantasy field (Abercrombie, Bakker, Lynch and Abraham). So I was interested to see whether the quality still holds up with the new competition. The first thing I have to say is that, yes it does. GRRM is still the master when it comes to his characterisation and world building and whenever he writes a key scene (and there are several) he will have you laughing, crying, dropping your jaw and cheering as it becomes etched in your memory.

So why is it missing a star? The book clocks in at almost 1000 pages and that's without taking into consideration that "A Feast for Crows" was the essentially the first "half" of this segment in the series. Despite all this room the book fails to reach any conclusions in practically every story strand. I wasn't expecting the whole series to wrap up but I do think the Meereen storyline at the very least should have reached some kind of conclusion. As it is the book ends leaving me with the feeling we still haven't had what feels like a story within a larger story. What makes this even more frustrating is that there are many chapters where not a lot really happens. I don't think so much time had to be spent on the fact Dany couldn't make a "good" decision and was obsessed with a new love interest. While Tyrion is always entertaining the majority of his chapters were like some hobbit version of the Odyssey. One character only ever got to travel throughout the whole book and Quentyn Martell could have appeared several chapters later without anything being lost. These things left me wondering why so much story was potentially wasted on them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of your seat!
Absolutely brilliant - no more to say!
Published 20 hours ago by Crazy lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect.
Published 1 day ago by Suzanne Wallace Mears
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you guessing
A great read and a much needed shot in the arm for this saga. George R.R. Martin needs to write book six quickly so I can find out what happens next.
Published 1 day ago by Andy Laing
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Looking forward for next part
Amazing , Looking forward for next part.
Published 2 days ago by Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Best fiction ever
The ability to have so many characters in play and still string the plot together seamlessly makes this a masterpiece. Read more
Published 2 days ago by leonidusprime
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love these books, just wish he would write the one that was promised for 2014!
Published 8 days ago by L. Jarvis
3.0 out of 5 stars Game of Yawns, Book 5
Disappointing compared to the other books especially 1, 2 and 3. Book 5 is full of characters I'm supposed to know without having come across them before. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Mary Mckay
5.0 out of 5 stars george rips the heart out
he has a gift of making you care for Characters, even the most foul and then just as you care as if they are family, he rips them from the pages and your heart.. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Stuart Meek
4.0 out of 5 stars the usual patchwork
Story told from multiple viewpoints as before but the cast is restricted and so the book flows much better than the others especially the last - Crows, which is a catch up volume -... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Malcolm R
5.0 out of 5 stars Really excellent read
Love this book
Published 16 days ago by Susan Allen
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