Customer Review

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An aimless wander with Dragons, 26 July 2011
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This review is from: A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5) (Hardcover)
I'm a huge fan of the series and had high expectations for this book, heightened by the extremely long wait since the last one. Sadly, the book didn't live up to billing I'd given it. It's desperately in need of some editing. The three main story arcs of the book (Jon, Tyrion and Dany) are very slow moving, and while Mr. Martin is very adept at creating atmosphere and building wonderfully deep and lifelike characters it would have been nice if there had been a little more plot development in their stories. Dany's chapters I found particularly painful, as at least Jon and Tyrion's chapters had some humour to get me by.

I read a couple of early reviews which promised resolution of previous cliffhangers, and the beginnings of the whole storyline coming together. Unfortunately this couldn't be further from the truth. Far more questions were raised than answered and a large number of new characters were introduced, few of whom grabbed me enough to care much about. I'll eat my Kindle if Mr. Martin can wrap this up in two more books.

One of the biggest problems for me is that the story has become so large and spread throughout the world that GRRM has created that none of the main characters ever interact with one another. It seems a waste to have all these wonderful characters and then keep them apart for the entire 800 pages. Not once do Dany, Tyrion, Jon, Arya, Bran, Theon, Sansa (who doesn't even appear once), Cersei, Jaime or Davos appear in the same room together (or the same city/continent for that matter) and it's left to minor characters to interact with them.

It's not all bad news. Bran and Arya have a couple of excellent chapters each (I could read a whole book just about Arya), and the Theon chapters were a very pleasant suprise. GRRM has excelled himself turning a character that many readers had little love for in the previous books into someone to actually care about.

There are a couple of truly suprising moments in the book that will have you on the edge of your seat and thankfully it's just enough to keep the reader interested. Overall it's my least favourite of the series and I can't say I'm not disappointed. I'll definitely read the next one, albeit with a sense of trepidation.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Aug 2011 21:28:38 BDT
K. B. Haines says:
The lack of major character interactions is one of the biggest problems I had with both a AFFG and ADWD as well.

Particularly the lack of a Tyrion Dany meeting.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Aug 2011 00:58:37 BDT
Matt says:
Yeah, I was really looking forward to that. Maybe next book...

Posted on 13 Sep 2011 11:35:16 BDT
Robert Ward says:
I think you've hit on what might be the real problem in the last two books, the main characters never interact. Dany-Tyrion is hinted but fails; Jon-Bran could happen but doesn't; Jon thinks he might find Arya but we know he can't; Briene looking for Sansa but we know she won't find her (wrong place, wrong place!); Cersi, Tyrion, and Jamie think about each other a lot, but are separated by large physical barriers. It goes on and on doesn't it? Thanks for a great review

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2011 07:16:12 BDT
Matt says:
Thanks for your comment. :)

Yeah, it was a problem in 'Feast' too. I didn't have the same sense of frustration as in this one though, probably because I knew in advance that it only dealt with half the characters, whereas in this one I was a bit mislead by reviews.

I'm listening to the audio book of Dance at the moment and it's more enjoyable with diminished expectations. It is interesting to learn more about the history of the world and characters. Just not as interesting as reading what Dany might have made of an insulting quip from Tyrion. At least the next book should be non-stop excitement if GRRM really does intend on finishing it in two!
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