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A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and…

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5) (original 2011; edition 2011)

by George R.R. Martin

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8,980328333 (4.04)2 / 396
Title:A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)
Authors:George R.R. Martin
Info:Bantam Books (2011), Hardcover, 704 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Read in 2012

Work details

A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Author) (2011)

  1. 181
    Dune by Frank Herbert (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Similarly concerned with the politics of power and survival.
  2. 181
    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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Showing 1-5 of 314 (next | show all)
I thought this book was great! I probably had an easier time with it since I only just discovered the Song of Ice and Fire series so I didn't have a super long wait for this to come out.

I like that we get to check in with some of the people that weren't in book 4, and see what they have been up to. I think Dany's story is spinning its wheels a bit and even Tyrion is moving ahead slowly. This felt a lot like a set-up book. ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Sep 17, 2016 |
I'm counting this as finished even though I technically didn't read the last three chapters in protest. I always said that is Martin killed on of my two favorite characters I was done. So I ragequit.

My husband is convinced that this person is going to come back somehow. If they do in the next novel (which is now not coming out until 2016) then I will come back and read the rest of this book and continue the series.

If not, I'm done. I have no motivation to continue because I pretty much can't stand any of the surviving characters at this point. And the ones I don't dislike, I'm apathetic about.

Ugh. ( )
  GoldenDarter | Sep 15, 2016 |
The Review Can also be found here.
My Impressions:

My favourite thing about the audiobook, by far, is the narrator Roy Dotrice. I have this book in Kindle Edition, Paperback and my husband has it in audiobook, which we both have access to since we share our Amazon libraries. The paperback edition's print is very small, I wish it were a little larger. The Kindle Edition has some of the same elements as the paperback, i.e., the elegant chapter headers.

Alas. Although I love this world, it's so hard to love the plot in this 5th book. I feel like Martin is purposely stalling. Much of nothing happens to Daenerys. I think we have all been waiting for something to happen with Daenerys but no, nothing really happens.

Until the end, and even then it feels like it just doesn't fit into the story. Daenerys rides away on the back of her runaway dragon. Then after he refuses to take her back to Mereen, she just wanders around and is met by a Kalasar, We don't know who the group is.

Interestingly the person with the most intriguing story happens to be our most beloved Theon [sarcasm - for those who missed it]. While in Winterfell he will play a huge role. I don't know if the show will be taking it along that line, so I will leave my spoilers for the show/book comparisons.

A lot is happening with Jon at the wall [granted that is probably because we didn't hear anything from him in all of the last book]. Melisandre keeps hinting at his power which we believe to be his warging that he is not embracing. He is struggling to be Lord Commander while also protecting the realm from the Others. However the two seem to be working against him. As he mingles more with the wildings, he creates issues among the men of the Night's watch.

There are widely popular fan theories about Jon Snow. One is that he is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. The problem I am having with this theory is that, if this is true, Jon is still a Snow bastard. I don't know how this really helps. The second, less popular theory, is that he is really Azor Ahai. Now this theory I do like, and I can see how it will benefit the story. There is a theory that Dany is it, but with her never making a significant impact in Westeros, it makes less sense. Jon is in the north, where it matters in the fight against the Others. Although, the book ends Jon's story with him dying or at least stabbed several times.

Tyrion's story is just all over the damn place. He travels from place to place, and encounters many different changes in circumstances. But for all of this, nothing really happens for him. He is mainly used as a vessel to observe what is happening where he is and with whom.

Tyrion's different roles include escapee, friend and ally, prisoner, and slave.

Bran's story is somewhat interesting but we don't hear from him for about half the damn book. He is finally going to start the training he has been struggling to reach.

There are hints that he is now present in the weirwoods but I guess we will have to find out in the next book

I really hate how the story was split down the middle in bad way. I constantly feel the need to go and look up what happened in the last book. This book was a whopping 48 hours [and many minutes] long.

We get one chapter here and there from some characters who were mainly in A Feast for Crows such as Cersei, and Jaime. Both have very interesting endings to their stories. Especially Jamie.

Brienne shows up and they ride of together. No one hears from him again.

Overall though, most of the story takes place in the North of Westeros and across the Narrow Sea. And as usual, it is a lot.

Arya is one of the few characters that are in both books, although none of her chapters are actually named "Arya". She is in the process of becoming a faceless man, but she struggles with letting go of her past.

She finally gets to change her face.

There is war [of course], lots of sex, and overly vivid descriptions of festering wounds. In fact, as I was listening to this book, I am wondering if I didn't pay as much attention to how graphic the books were, or if it's just this one, and the show used this writing style as inspiration for the show.

The book ends on a bad note to me though.

Varys returns to kill Pycelle and Kevan Lannister, in hopes to turn the Lannister men and High Garden against each other, while the newly discovered and much alive, Prince Aegon takes Storm's End.

I particularly don't like this change because it will continue to keep Cersei in a position of power.

As with all previous books, all our characters are fleshed out very well. Although the world is so vast, you get a clear understanding of what each of your main characters are experiencing. Besides Theon and Cersei, and maybe Sansa, I think I like most of our characters.

The writing as I have said is amazing. Martin makes it seem like you are right there in the story. He has the ability to create cliffhangers that just make you want to scream. But it does it's job in getting you to come back and read more. ( )
  kayjenx | Sep 14, 2016 |
Still working my way through the book, but George Martin really has a twisted mind and the book is endlessly more clever than the tv show. It is amazing that he can create a whole world and keep it entertaining. I particularly like the Jon Snow and Daenaerys portions of the plot, with the nod going to J Snow. Black Watch is an interesting concept where you can break bad and go to the Wall and redeem yourself. I would lov to see the backstory on Mance Ryder.

I understand why some people would get restless and skip through the lesser threads of the story. There really are a lot of families and subplots to keep track of, and is is quite lengthy. Personally, I am reading one or two chapters a day, knowing that it will prob be another year before the next book comes out. I think there is a lot of the story that can be compared to true life, and lessons to be learned from it. It is well worth the investment of time and effort. ( )
  delta351 | Sep 8, 2016 |
As crows feast over the carrion of southern Westeros, in the steadily wintery North and the sun-soaked far east of Slaver’s Bay there is A Dance with Dragons both literally and figuratively. After waiting five years in between the fourth and fifth installments of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin brought back the stories of Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen after a ten year wait after finishing A Storm of Swords. As with A Feast for Crows, this book shows how new leaders handle responsibility and the results of their actions.

While the previous book had a feeling of intimate focus, A Dance with Dragons returned to the grand scale that had given Martin’s series one of its biggest appeals. The majority of the book takes place in North or Meereen, whether in the city or traveling towards it. At the Wall, Jon has to juggle the needs of the Stannis Baratheon, the Night’s Watch itself, the Wildlings, and more importantly the Others who look to take advantage of men divided against one another. Just a little south, the Boltons and Freys look to secure the North as Theon Greyjoy reeks out an existence within the confines of Winterfell all the while as his sister Asha marches with Stannis as the coming of winter hits hard without knowing that Davos Seaworth has discovered that ‘the north remembers’. Tyrion’s escape from King’s Landing and his eventual journey to the far east of Slaver’s Bay is full of soul searching, the need to survive, and finally the thrill of political intrigue especially as he sends another Dragon west towards Westeros. Wherein Meereen, Dany is finding ruling a conquered city challenging especially after confining her dragons and must compromise to bring peace from her foes within the city walls all the while enemies approach without as well as several friends.

The much lamented “Meereenese Knot” that Martin talked during the writing of A Dance with Dragons, is the area of the book in which many are dissatisfied, including myself to an extent. In all honesty, the majority of Dany’s chapters were my least favorite of the entire book which made me not look forward to anything related to Meereen until after she had ridden out of the city in style. Once Dany had left, in her place came Barristan Selmy who seemed to get things moving with a little help from Quentyn Martell. Although the later character’s story was a fiery catastrophe, Barristan made me look forward to seeing Meereen again as things were actually happening. Given the issues and personal dilemmas that Dany was facing, it felt that it was parallel with Jon however Martin seemed to write Jon’s chapters better than Dany’s which made Meereen a slog until she left and when she did her chapters improved dramatically.

The first 60% of A Dance with Dragons takes place at the same time as A Feast for Crows and it isn’t until the final two-fifths of the book that the entire epic feels whole again as previous POV characters Cersei, Jaime, and Victarion make important appearances. However there is one important new character making a first appearance in this book that could considerably change the political landscape of Westeros for better or ill as The Winds of Winter hit the continent.

After a wait of five and ten years respectively for this installment and for a lot of these characters, A Dance with Dragons is a very good book. Although one major point of view character’s chapters are not up to par with those from previous books, the great writing of other major and secondary characters more than makes up for it resulting in a harrowing and thrilling latter part of the second act of A Song of Ice and Fire. ( )
  mattries37315 | Aug 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 314 (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
Martin, George R. R.Authorprimary 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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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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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