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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Song of Ice and Fire
Not a bad read and it flows well, but there is a lot of life left in this saga yet and this book won't provide any closure, you'll end up waiting on the next one.
Is it just me or is he trying to shock for the sake of shock sometimes, and not for the betterment of the storyline.
Published on 22 April 2012 by A. Bennett

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars what a waste!
i was so looking forward to this book,what a disappointment! where was the remaining characters in this book? what is happening to them? there was so many new character introduced, that has no relevance to the book,i found myself skipping parts of the book,just so i could finish it quickly,only to now find out that this story is nowhere near finished....yawn! what...
Published 21 months ago by allison


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Song of Ice and Fire, 22 April 2012
By 
A. Bennett "benceltic" (Belfast, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Not a bad read and it flows well, but there is a lot of life left in this saga yet and this book won't provide any closure, you'll end up waiting on the next one.
Is it just me or is he trying to shock for the sake of shock sometimes, and not for the betterment of the storyline.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's cold. And it's getting colder..., 8 May 2012
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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Here we go again...

Yhis is the second half of the fifth book in the series of fantasy novels 'A Song of Ice and Fire.' Currently being dramatised on tv as 'Game of Thrones' although they're only in the middle of book two at the time of writing.

This is not a good jumping on point, and new readers should start with A Song of Ice and Fire (1) - A Game of Thrones (Reissue).

The fifth book was, just like the third book, split into two volumes for paperback publication. Thus this particular volume contains the second half of what was in the original hardcover edition. If you've already read that, then don't get this, because you're not getting anything new.

As to this book itself....

Has the same format as before. Maps of the setting at the front. Appendix at the back listing all the very long cast of characters. Chapters in the middle. Each with a different viewpoint character. Of which there are many to choose from.

And there's also an epilogue.

Book five takes place chronologically at the same time as book four. Thus for most of book five the viewpoint characters who appeared in book four don't feature. But you do get to a point in this particular volume the viewpoint characters from book four do start to creep back in.

Some storylines do make interesting progress. Although there's hardly anything in the way of action. There's a fair bit going on in the north. And some interesting developments. But things haven't quite come to a head yet.

And there's a lot going in the east where Daenerys, and several other characters are. And certain events do happen there. But they just move the story along rather than bring it to a conclusion.

Whilst this remains very readable and does have you desperate to know what will happen next, the events in the north and west do tend to be a bit more interesting than those in the east. But there's more of the latter than the former. And all the newer characters who have appeared from the beginning of book four and five onwards don't tend to grab you quite as much as the ones who have been around longer, so you can find yourself wishing the story would get back to them.

However one plotline does get very interesting, and the epilogue only heightens your interest to see where it will go. One cliffhanger from book four is resolved. But that leads to yet another cliffhanger for a character who only makes a frustratingly brief appearance in this one.

The strength of this series has always been that it's war in a fantasy kingdom done the way real wars go. They don't end with daring assaults on the dark lord's fortress, but with the fighting coming to a natural end, then treaties and negotiations. It doesn't quite feel like it's being stretched out for the sake of it though. But that may be a matter of opinion.

At the end is a chapter from the forthcoming sixth book in the series. The release date of which remains to be announced. And you might not want to hold your breath waiting for that.

This is a splendid read. Let's just hope it can all be brought to a satisfying conclusion sooner rather than later.
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99 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patience and vigilance people!, 5 April 2012
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Am I alone in finding it really irritating just how many people are giving Martin's excellent series low scores either because they expect the complex multi-threaded story-lines wrapped up nice and neat at the end of each book; or because they got confused that the publisher and distributor decided to release what was over 1,000 pages in hardback as two books in paperback?

As far as the actual content is concerned, I have found A Song of Ice and Fire a riveting read - even part 4 which was perhaps the driest read - with no dragons or Others to break the political machinations and multitude of betrayals. I suppose that since Martin's main strength is without a shadow of doubt in his masterful characterisation - the one book where political narrative took centre-stage was always bound to have seemed slower than the rest.

But having thoroughly enjoyed his triumphant return to form in "A Dance with Dragons" (parts 1 and 2 and yes, I was almost caught out too :-)) I now look forward to seeing how Martin manages to draw these myriad of loose threads back to the leaderless Westeros, where I'm guessing we will be reading about the Direwolf and the Dragon (and the half-nose Lion?) fighting side-by-side for the future of humanity. If the concluding two books are going to be as good as what we've had so far, well I don't know about you, but I'm prepared to wait another few years.
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87 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book...please review the book not the advertising!, 16 Mar 2012
By 
Mr. C. Heath (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a great read, one of the highlights of the past decade in fantasy fiction for me personally, gripping throughout all the way to the climactic cliff-hangers at the close of the book. I would definitely say that this was worth the wait.

The character arcs of Theon Greyjoy and Stannis especially were real highlights for me as well as the new 'wild card' POV following the exploits of the Young Dragon. George Martin has a way of lulling you in and making you think that you have your opinion set on a character before gradually chipping away at your preconceptions...I won't say any more. All in all this was a very good read and my only bugbear is that there will be another long wait before we can return to Westeros.

On a final note, it is highly disappointing to see the backlash of 1* reviews based on human error and lack of research on the part of purchasers thinking that this is a 'new' book. It clearly states that this is part two of the fifth volume in the product info and has the name 'A Dance with Dragons' blazoned on the cover. Please make a complaint to Amazon regarding the external advertising of this book if you have to, do not besmirch George Martin's content with bad reviews based on your perceptions of Amazon's advertising team.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece, 2 Oct 2013
By 
Sally Cinnamon (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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The intricate delicate nature in which this author writes is 2nd to none. Character development is plentiful and this is made all the more engaging by hearing from the various characters mind sets as we journey through the chapters. Twists in plot leave the mind never complacent and eager for the next turn. My only problem with this book is that it finished. Bring on the next one George asap!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 more years, 3 Feb 2013
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Excellent well paced book, I started reading the books after seeing the TV series and have been hooked since, can't wait for the 2 final books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid continuation of an excellent series, 20 Nov 2012
Yes there is lots of it and yes there is a lot of chat about food and flags but that's GRRM, if you've got this far then don't stop now and be patient! The quality of his character building is excellent and one cannot hope to like all of them, that's just part of the subjective nature of life. I'm confident he'll get there I guess it just takes time.
My only grip however is the repeat of techniques, not so much to constant detail he insists on describing but the use of the chapters as supposed "cliff hangers" unfortunately too many folk have come back from the dead for any feeling of dread is lost!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, 8 Nov 2012
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I have read all of these books so far and i must say i am astounded and amazed by the quality of writing and the story line is breathtaking, wonderful characters with depth. love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, infuriating..., 24 May 2012
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In a series of such epic length and scope you have to accept a few weaker moments now and then. For my money I could have done without all the Kingsmoot stuff in Book 4.

I'm a late starter - I only started reading these books after I caught the TV adaptation on Sky. As a result I've only just caught up with this, the most recent of the ASOI&F books. And it's brilliant. It's one of the best in the series.

Unfortunately it's also infuriating, because now we've got at least a year, maybe more, to find out what happens to all these characters. And because the books are so well-crafted we care about these people. While at the same time knowing that in ASOI&F anyone can die at any time. George never shoes away from killing off a good character. Or at least cutting their hand off.

Having read this one, my anticipation for the concluding books of this series could barely be higher. Winter is coming? It can't come soon enough.
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47 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right at the top of the list of great fantasy series..., 3 Aug 2012
I delayed reading this series because of the negative reviews on amazon regarding this book and its predecessor, A Feast of Crows. I didn't want another unpleasant disappointment after the Wheel of Time, having enthralled me, plunged into dismal depths around book eight. With similar accusations leveled at Martin, I was wary.

After reading the whole lot back to back, I can only surmise that this is due to the lack of attention span of some readers. It was utterly riveting. Yes, the plot grows and grows, but allegations that Martin is losing track of his story are quite simply down to some readers inability to keep up. Tiny aspects of the first book turn out to have significance much later- there is no padding whatsoever, unless you consider richly detailed description to be such.

And despite the vast story and cast (the list of characters in the back of the book takes up dozens of pages by this volume) it's tremendously fast moving thanks to the author's formula of short POV chapters.

I suppose if you left gaps between reading books, you would probably lose track of things. Now I'm left to wait for book six I might end up doing so. But I'm sure if you google it, there'll be synopses somewhere on the net.

This really is a story to immerse yourself in. Utterly tremendous- full of intrigue, treachery, sex and violence, a dash of the supernatural, unpredictability, all wrapped up in a medievil realism and harshness that both enthralls and appalls. But Martin's greatest strength is in his characterization. Everyone is an individual in this book- some are hugely original, some are more traditional fantasy characters. And like all the best fantasy, there is no tedious, unbelievable good versus evil going on. No unfeasible Tolkienism. It's about people struggling through turbulent times. Some characters who commit atrocious acts early on end up earning your sympathy, and some you might like at first might lose your affections in time. And if you want 'goodies' to root for, look elsewhere. This as realistic as fantasy gets- the depth and scope is up there with Robin Hobb and Rothfuss.

It's damn near perfect.
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