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A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin

A Dance With Dragons (2011)

by George R. R. Martin

Other authors: Virginia Norey (Heraldic Crests)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,379299371 (4.04)2 / 385
  1. 181
    Dune by Frank Herbert (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Similarly concerned with the politics of power and survival.
  2. 171
    A Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: It's the first in the series and all should be read.

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English (284)  Spanish (5)  German (3)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (298)
Showing 1-5 of 284 (next | show all)
I can't believe I'm giving this book 4 stars, but so be it. It was the first very good book in the series, fifteen years after the first book was published, and my favorite. It seems that GRRM has learned, finally, how to control pacing and momentum in a story. In almost every chapter, the plot continues to progress. This is very much unlike the fourth book, "A Feast for Crows", where the plot of the book seems to be about Cersei going crazy with paranoia. It's not, of course, and that's partly what makes it such a bad book.

I think GRRM may have received some criticism about the sex in his series- pedophilia, necrophilia, rape, incest, and prostitution. Most people really don't like reading about taboo sexual circumstances, and it was noticeably missing in this book, and the previous. This should tell you that you can write a good story without it.

Unfortunately, "A Dance with Dragons" continues chronologically where "A Storm of Swords" left off. So, it runs parallel in time with different characters as "A Feast for Crows". This was an unfortunate decision, because now it will be a full thousand-page book, before you read about Cersei, or Brienne, or Jaime, or Sansa/Aryanne, or Arya, etc. So, any details that were important to you while reading the fourth book, could be forgotten by the time you are nearing the end of this book.

I say that, because this book goes further in time chronologically than "A Feast for Crows". So, some characters do reemerge in the plot. But at that point, you're a good 2/3 into the book. So, it's as if you've read a full book about different characters during the same time. Then, when it meets up in time with the last book, you start reading a new book, where everything left off, as if nothing was the matter.

It's a queer writing style, and I'm not sure it works out very well. I read the whole series in just under 5 months, so a lot of those details are still very fresh in my mind, but that may not be the case for others. Anyway, this book starts at the same point in time as the last book, but ends much later in time than the last book, and even brings back characters from the last book, to continue the story.

The biggest problem I had with this book, was the constant repetition of sayings various characters kept repeating to themselves. "Where do whores go?", "nipples on a breastplate", "words are wind", "my name is Reek, it rhymes with ...", "you know nothing Jon Snow", and on, and on, and on. So many repetitive phrases, and heavily plastered all over the book. It's really that bad.

The other reason why I wouldn't mark this as a favorite, is because even though this book is by far the best in the series, it still falls short of being an overall favorite of mine. The pace is good, and the plot progresses, but there were still chapters where I kept wondering "how much further?". I think this book, and the previous four, could use a good abridging, trimming the fat, so to speak. There is so much useless detail about what people are wearing, who is in the great hall feasting (names you'll likely never read again), useless noises, etc. Keeping a story visually appealing and chock full of details is good, but GRRM greatly overdoes it, such that many chapters are laborious reads, to the point of boredom.

I really liked this book, but it wasn't amazing. And after 5 straight months of reading this series, I'm eager for something else. ( )
  atoponce | Jan 29, 2016 |
This is one of those situations where I wish I could give a book four and a half stars. It may not be quite fair, but I'm not just comparing this to other books, I'm comparing it to the early books in the series because I was so impressed with those and I know Martin can do better. Here's the thing that caused me to round down to four rather than up to five: repetition.

I'm a slow reader, and it takes me forever to read a book this long as it is, so when I keep seeing the same information over again (and not even presented very differently), I can't help but get upset. I get that we're following different POV characters, but do they each have to ruminate on the same things? And, even worse, sometimes the same character is thinking about the same exact things s/he thought about earlier.

In some cases, it almost seems like Martin forgot that he had already written about something, and repeated it again. Where are his editors?

I really enjoyed the story itself, and I think it was an improvement over the last book, but I can't give five stars to a book that bugged me that much. ( )
  cvalin | Jan 24, 2016 |
Hmm, I thought this was the last book in the series? It does definitely NOT tie up all the lose ends as I was expecting. Although I did thoroughly enjoy this series. I have no idea how the author keeps all of the characters and relationships straight - I was forever pulling my hair out to remember how different characters related to one another! ( )
  becka11y2 | Jan 19, 2016 |
4.5 Stars. I thought this book was well worth the wait, although I hope the wait for The Winds of Winter isn't quite so long. ( )
  Melissa_J | Jan 16, 2016 |
Now I have to wait along with everyone else! ( )
  ApatheticPetunias | Jan 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 284 (next | show all)
It's terrible. Martin has taken the concept of the pot-boiler to an extreme — it's a novel where nothing happens other than continual seething, roiling turmoil. He whipsaws the reader through a dozen different, complex story lines where characters struggle to survive in a world wrecked by civil war — one other problem is that I'd hit a chapter about some minor character from the previous four books, and struggled to remember who the heck this person is, and why I'm supposed to care — and again, nothing is resolved. Well, not quite: major characters are brutally killed, if they're male, and graphically and degradingly humiliated into irrelevance if they're female. I guess that's a resolution, all right — perhaps the last book will be a lovingly detailed description of a graveyard, draped with naked women mourning?
added by jimroberts | editPharyngula, PZ Myers (Jul 28, 2011)
Martin remains boundlessly creative, sketching out intricately realized new civilizations, societies, religions, and factions on one continent while continuing to complicate the established political agendas on another. No part of his world ever feels like an afterthought or an easy fantasy cliché.
Even so, “A Dance With Dragons,” for its bounty of adventure, is more about Mr. Martin marshaling his forces in anticipation of the cycle’s final two books.
Was "A Dance With Dragons" worth the six-year wait? Absolutely.

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Norey, VirginiaHeraldic Crestssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dotrice, RoyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, Jeffery L.Endpaper and interior maps bysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Ce volume est pour mes fans

pour Lodey, Trebla, Stego, Pod,
Caress, Yags, X-Ray et Mr. X,
Kate, Chataya, Mormont, Mich,
Jamie, Vanessa, Ro,
pour Stubby, Louise, Agravaine,
Wert, Malt, Jo,
Mouse, Telisiane, Blackfyre,
Bronn Stone, Coyote's Daughter
et le reste des cinglés et des folles furieuses de
la Confrérie sans Bannières

pour les sorciers de mon site web
Elio et Linda, seigneurs de Westeros,
Winter et Fabio de WIC,
et Gibbs de Dragonstone, à l'origine de tout

pour les hommes et les femmes d'Asshai en Espagne
qui nous ont chanté un ours et une gente damoiselle
et les fabuleux fans d'Italie
qui m'ont tant donné de vin

pour mes lecteurs de Finlande, Allemagne,
Brésil, Portugal, France et Pays-Bas
et tous les autres pays lointains
où vous attendiez cette danse

et pour tous les amis et les fans
qu'il me reste encore à rencontrer

Merci de votre patience
First words
The night was rank with the smell of man.
"Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal."
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies .... The man who never reads lives only one."
Women do not forget. Women do not forgive.
Give me priests who are fat and corrupt and cynical ... the sort who like to sit on soft satin cushions, nibble sweetmeats, and diddle little boys. It's the ones who believe in gods who make the trouble.
There are ghosts in Winterfell. And I am one of them.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Book description
Haiku summary
Little plot progress
Dragons? Dany? Others? Imp?
Do nothing at all

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553801473, Hardcover)

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again--beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone--a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all. . . .

Dubbed “the American Tolkien” by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the #1 New York Times bestselling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series--as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:15 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

New threats emerge to endanger the future of the Seven Kingdoms, as Daenerys Targaryen, ruling in the East, fights off a multitude of enemies, while Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, faces his foes both in the Watch and beyond the great Wallof ice and stone.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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