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on 16 October 2017
I was at first not certain I would enjoy this book as I was convinced it would be a rehash of what had happened in A Feast For Crows, just from another perspective, but of course I had no reason to be concerned as Martin has taken what we know and padded it out even more to create a complex world with hints of our own world history interwoven with pure fantasy. Martin has a real talent for making his characters feel like real people with dreams, plans and fears so grounded in reality that they could walk right off the page. I can't wait for the next book to be released so I can get straight back into the drama, intrigue and adventure of Westeros.
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on 19 December 2015
So many people are whingeing, so many people are demanding - they want closure, they say the have been reading this series since time started...they want closure. Everyone wants closure..then what next, when CLOSURE happens it will not be enough, they'll want dig it up and reanimate the whole rotting cast to encore for their own private show, they have invested so much of their time reading this animal they are now driving the author to the ends demanding and end but no end. The author has created a monster that has now been ripped out of his mind into a beast driven by the consciousness of millions of devoted fans who demand a soap opera, but a soap opera with an end. And when it ends....
Yet these books cannot deliver the satisfaction that we all want because there is no end to the angst or fortunes that we, our grandparents and grandchildren have or yet to experience. We are not good, we are not evil - we are grey. It's the cleverness of the narration that hits us on the blindside - we're expecting good to prevail a' la Hollywood. A villain should not have a human side, or should a man of a god be a coward - but here you go. It's a wonderful narrative of humanity for all its beauty and its faults.
I couldn't give a fig for George RR Martin, nor could he for me. I've used him and paid him to tell me a tale. It's a deal. I liked the story, I paid him some more, I heard more tales. Who cares who the white walkers are, who cares what happens to Jon Snow or Cersei they will live or die like everyone else. I go to work the next morning. Life goes on and I'm satisfied.
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on 11 February 2014
Another turgid tome packed with anal minutiae re family trees and what people are wearing where the good characters are killed off and new ones introduced who you don't care about. (And then killed off) The story progresses like a snail with an anvil tied round its neck and I continually asked myself why I was reading it? There is I think more action in this than the previous Feast for Crows which I thought was dire.

Why you may ask have I continued reading these books given my negativity? Well it's because the first ones were so good, I keep hoping for the best and that the magic will return?

I think in reality though that its going to be a rare case of the TV people doing a better job than the author who seems to have ran out of puff.

I will read the Winds of Winter if it ever comes out, I just hope that the author gives us some resolution to at least some of the story lines he's created and rewards us for our patience.
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on 21 March 2014
This review is going to be copied to all the Ice and Fire books up to 2014, so it's not worth reading my other reviews of G. R. R. Martin's Thrones saga.
First, this review concerns the separate volumes of Ice and Fire as published for the Kindle. Several years ago I owned the pulp versions, but gave them to a friend on a permanent loan. As far as I can remember there are no differences between Kindle and hard copy versions, though the maps are virtually useless on the Kindle. I bought the Kindle versions by way of a refresher prior to watching the three seasons of the HBO DVD versions. I don't have access to the Sky Atlantic channel. Also, now, my hands struggle to handle the considerable bulk of the printed books.
There's no chance of your finding any spoilers here, the scope of the saga cannot be covered in one review, and I can't be bothered to write separate reviews for each volume.
Long, long story short: this is a magnificent telling of a gripping tale, and it isn't over yet. Yes, Mr. Martin waffles for a significant portion of each volume, but it's easy to spot the onset and speed read through until the bedrock of the story is found again. The scope of Martin's imagination is staggering, and the characters and storyline weave together like a fine Tweed.
I have thoroughly enjoyed these books twice now, and yes I am a fan.
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on 28 July 2016
I was quite disappointed with A Feast for Crows. I felt that Martin had let the story drift a lot and that the story went into too many dark holes. This book - with a different title but taking part in the same timeline - sees a return to the standard of the first books in the series. For a start, there's a lot more of Tyrion - who is by far and away the most interesting and entertaining and likeable of all the characters in the series. I have watched up to the end of the sixth season of the TV series and I feel that the producers have made a better job of the story than Martin himself. This is a good traditional sci-fi fantasy page turner - a good holiday read.
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on 10 August 2013
I quite enjoyed the first three books but this author has a propensity to kill all his characters off and replace them with really feeble characters and by the end of this book there were starting to be too many of them and too many threads drifting about. Someone like Tolkien could get away with that as he pulled them back together periodically but both this book and the last introduced too many new characters and virtually killed off all the original characters and we are left with the dross. No I didn't like this book and I am doubtful that I will purchase any more in the series nor will I watch the next series on TV. I noticed that at the last GoT conference he intimated he was at least giving actors jobs. Therefore I think he has lost the plot somewhat. I thought JKR was bad enough killing of some of her major characters but compared to Mr Martin she was very lenient. I'm sorry but I hated this book and that's the kindest thing I can say I can't give the plot (?) away in case some have not read it. I am sure some others will disagree with my opinion though which of course they are fully entitled to do.
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on 2 August 2013
How does he do it?
5 books (7 technically) in and Martin continues to keep us entrapped in the fantastical world of Westros with yet more battles, politics and wonderful characters. The imagery and attention to detail used to create such an engrossing story is amazing. In addition, his ability to completely change how we feel about characters and develop such empathy with some truly loathsome people is equally brilliant.
That said, this novel does feel a little like a filler, setting us up for future events, which we will have to wait for tantalisingly. There are a great deal of threads still loose at the end of this novel and while it is fun to try and guess how it will turn out, an impossibility due to Martin's tendency to make incredibly brave choices with regards to his characters, I am feeling like I want some answers now.
Great continuation of the story, more of the same, but time to get to the point.
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on 12 April 2014
A Dance with Dragons sort of continues where the previous but one book ended and runs parallel with it. There are some characters missing. Sansa's story seems to have been put on hold for a while after her escape with Baelish to the Eyrie.

The main players in Martin's saga, the Lannisters still continue to dominate Kings Landing with little to dominate them or oppose them. Tyrion has gone but continues to haunt Kings Landing and Cersei in particular, with her suspecting and blaming him for almost everything. Tyrion's journey also continues with him heading towards Meereen but getting no nearer to Danerys. Arya's journey to becoming a member of the assassins of Bravos continues.

If you've had to wait for these books, then I've wondered why you've bothered. The books have slowed down. More action is needed. More battles. If more battles are coming, instead of Winter, then I'd probably await the next books with great anticipation. We shall have to wait and see.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 May 2012
In order to better manage the length, GRR Martin decided to split the last installment of the series into two books, both happening concurrently but following different characters, this one and A Song of Ice and Fire (4) - A Feast for Crows (Reissue) (making it largely (but not completely) irrelevant in which order you read the two). Fortunately, the current volume is the more interesting of the two, having the more lively set of characters covered - still this is not to say that the quality of the book and the fascination of the events is on par with A Song of Ice and Fire (3) - A Storm of Swords: Part 2 Blood and Gold (Reissue).

As mentioned, you get the more interesting characters, such as Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister to follow but even they are not in the middle of action but rather being described as characters in this book. If you were hoping for a real dance of dragons, a thundering finale, you will be disappointed. Some characters get killed off again, some wheels are set in motion or simply turn a bit further but in terms of resolution to the story you are not much closer than you were at the end of the third book.

The dragons burst onto the scene shortly and without much effect, the rest of the book offers hardly anything really placing it firmly into the fantasy sphere, and the new characters introduced get too superficial an entry to be a real enrichment.

Unfortunately, this all means a rather long wait for the next volume and a hope that at least some action will result or that the author returns to form fully, and manages to successfully operate the gargantuan cast once again. I would not advise fans of the series completely giving up at this point but it may well become more and more of an uphill battle, if the pace does not pick up with the next installment.
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on 8 November 2015
I got hooked on reading the series.
Very enjoyable and unputdownable.
It is a little more complex than the TV series which I have since started watching, and keeping track of the characters can be challenging. The narrative strands that are running by the end of the series (currently 5 books in 7 volumes) are fascinating but will be a challenge to bring together at any point, even after the 'promised' two further 1500 page books (according to one internet entry).
I think we can safely assume that the closing sentence will not end 'and they all lived happily ever after'.
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