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5 of 5 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really? Another major death
I have to agree with a few of the previous reviews, I spent most of this book not caring about any of the characters, 95% of them I still have difficulty working out who they are in relation to everyone else. I don't know if Martin thought, 'i'm making a lot of money now, lets drag this out' resurrecting characters dead long before the story begins, killing favourites for...
Published 16 months ago by themrstone


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5 of 5 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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36 of 40 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars V good novel - left me wanting more . Note: Contains Spoilers., 27 Jun 2014
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The Game of Thrones series has been both fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. Martin's epic fantasy about the lives of the rich and not so rich of Westeros and its surrounding lands has become a tale in which you have certain characters you root for and others you wish very much would either die horribly or do something different with themselves.

A Dance with Dragons Part 2 follows the continued fortunes of Houses Lannister with its ruling members and exiled other, Bolton, Stark, Tyrell, Martell, Targaryen and all of their followers. The big stories seem to be the grief that the Lannister family are having at Kings Landing, with King Tommen continuing his young and increasingly precarious reign, his scheming mother, his uncle (who is his real father) who has largely abandoned them and his household who seem to be at war with themselves. It also follows the fortunes of exiled Lannister, Tyrion the imp who is trying to find his way to helping would be Queen Daernys Targaryen but keeps getting captured and sold as a slave or winds up going from one bad situation to another. His current fortunes include jousting in an arena on the back of a pig for Daernys' amusement and then getting away with his life to end up with soldiers of fortune in a company at Mereen's walls.

Meanwhile, in another city, the Stark formerly known as Arya is learning the assassin's trade at Braavos, something she has wanted to do. Her sister, Sansa who fled being imprisoned for a crime she had nothing to do with and being married to Tyrion is now in the hands of master schemer Petyr Baelish. He is continuing his domination of the Vale of Arryn and trying to connive his way into getting Sansa married to someone who is willing to go to war for her and retake her birthright, Winterfell. Then there's the Boltons who are the current landlords of Winterfell and probably the worst. Son Ramsay is a sadistic, bullying young man who has terrorised his fake Stark bride and ruined Prince Theon Greyjoy.

Yet all is not lost. Whilst Daernys seems incapable of leaving slave city Mereen and using her Unsullied army and dragons to re-claim the iron throne, the Targaryen formerly thought of as dead, now emerging as Prince Aegon has landed at Westeros and is about to head on to re-claim his birthright.

The next books should be even more interesting. Will Tyrion have his meeting with Daernys, become her advisor and lead her to Kings Landing and have the opportunity for his own revenge on his awful sister? With Daernys ever leave Mereen and realise her true purpose? Will Tommen remain as ruler for long? And will Sansa Stark be able to marry, call her banners and re-claim her birthright? Only the next few novels will tell.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really? Another major death, 5 Jun 2013
I have to agree with a few of the previous reviews, I spent most of this book not caring about any of the characters, 95% of them I still have difficulty working out who they are in relation to everyone else. I don't know if Martin thought, 'i'm making a lot of money now, lets drag this out' resurrecting characters dead long before the story begins, killing favourites for the apparent sake of shock value and generally over complicating things. The TV series has cut out all of the pointless tangents and is a much more entertaining medium to enjoy the series.

I thoroughly enjoyed 'A song of ice and fire' to begin with but feel he should have wrapped the story up 2 books ago.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars oh get on with it!, 30 Oct 2013
By 
Mr (BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Loved the first 3 books but the series is now suffering from Harry Potter syndrome i.e. too long, too slow, and too many characters that are incidental to the core plot. Stick to the knitting Mr Martin!
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87 of 102 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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97 of 114 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Splitting books into two will kill off the kindle., 23 May 2014
By 
Mr. J. Murphy (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a amazon trying to screw more money out of kindle users. There is no good reason for why this book needed to be split, the whole point of a kindle is that it reduces a large book down to something that can be easily held. I have noticed that this seems to be happening more often with other authors. If this carries on then my kindle will be used for free books only and amazon can go to hell.

That said I did enjoy the two parts of book five, many complained that it didn't move any of the main characters on but I thought that Martin did a good job of picking up many different threads and starting to gather them together. That said Martin does seem to be chucking any and everything onto the market to make a quick buck. It would be nice to see him concentrate on the main books as we may not get to the end if he continues to muck about with these sundry stories.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like Heroes the TV series, I just no longer care how the events in the Seven Kingdoms end!, 5 Nov 2013
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Verbose doesn't do justice to Martin's writing. I found it captivating intially but by the final three books I was just plowing through them in order to find out how it all ends. What a fool I was!

I read all seven paperbacks in short succession solely as I knew there was no way to hold all the characters in my head. Alas, Martin succeeds in getting himself tied in knots over the plotline and my main recollection of one of the final books is "Daenerys dithers for an entire book".

In summary:

Too many irrelevant characters that do not enhance the storyline one iota;

too much irrelevant detail - do we really need to name every individual at a banquet dinner?

No real story arc within each book - several books (and not just those split into two parts) have no real ending. No mystery build up of a plot, just ended as though his wife called him down to dinner and he prematurely emailed the draft to his publisher, forgetting to write the last chapter.

I hope my seven books are enjoyed by Oxfam where I donated them. Personally I hope they're bought to fuel some old person's fire over winter rather than someone enduring reading through 7 books with a bewilderingly confusing array of characters and there being absolutely no chink of an end in sight.

Maybe like Dallas, it'll all turn out to be a dream, assuming Martin does manage to finish the series....
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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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