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

by George R.R. Martin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,466273463 (4.04)2 / 363
Member:kristykay22
Title:A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)
Authors:George R.R. Martin
Info:Bantam (2011), Hardcover, 1040 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:read, fiction, borrowed, john

Work details

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

  1. 171
    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 (261)  Spanish (5)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (273)
Showing 1-5 of 261 (next | show all)
What more is there to be said once you get to the fifth book of a series that is supposed to be seven books long? If there is some seismic change in the approach (and there isn't – that's a good thing), then the only alternatives are that the series continues the same, grows even stronger, or begins to slack off.

Unfortunately, the last of these choices seems to be what is happening. That isn't to say that the book is bad. It has all of the things you would expect from this series – intrigue, dragons, good being treated badly, bad being treated badly, both being treated as well as you would hope or hope not to happen, and some shocking twists/deaths/etc. (I'll just say that, about the time I was thinking some people were safe, they were not.)

But Martin is beginning to fall too in love with the details. And while his writing lends itself well to catching up on each character – that is, being able to catch the reader up on where the character was and will now move forward from – it is all becoming a bit tedious.

And, to be honest, I am really learning to care less and less about the composition of their meals.

It reminds me of Stephen King as he reached the end of the Dark Tower series. That is, where's a good, honest, brave editor when you need one. Ultimately, so much detail that I'm not sure we needed four and five to be so long. Cut some of the detail, make it one book, and you lose none of the verisimilitude.

However, it is all there and, while it may be more work, that doesn't make this a bad book. The story continues and the reader's investment in the characters continues to pay.

And it does little to dissuade me from wanting the next book in the series.

And I do, so, want to know what happens next. ( )
  figre | Apr 11, 2015 |
A Dance with Dragons is the fifth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, and you really need to start with the first book, Game of Thrones, and read them all in order. Trust me, you’ll be completely lost otherwise. If you’ve been through the first few books, you should know by now that this series is R rated and full of trigger warnings.

A Dance with Dragons fills in what the characters missing from A Feast for Crows were up to and continues to overall story a little past that. But while events may have advanced a tad, it feels like they’ve hardly moved at all from previous books. Ultimately, it felt like it was just leading up to the next book, and there wasn’t even really a climax to the book – there were a bunch of cliffhangers instead.

A Dance with Dragons is so packed with characters that some’s story lines are barely or not at all furthered. Why do we even need all these POV characters? Many of them could easily have been cut either shorter or left out entirely. Tyrion’s sections where full of him traveling from one place to another. While some useful information was learned here, his travelings could easily have been shortened. There was also, as usual, filler regarding the history of the world and the houses, much of which was not at all necessary.

Despite all that, I continue to care enough about the series. If there’s one thing he’s good at, it’s pacing. A Dance with Dragons was gripping enough that I read this 1,000+ page monster of a book in one weekend.

I’m still not convinced that this series will maintain the quality of the previous books, but I think it’s still worth reading on to find out.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Apr 6, 2015 |
So I'm at last caught up with the published works of A Song of Ice and Fire. Unbelievably, five tomes into the series Martin is still introducing new major characters and plots. So it drags it times and can be hard to keep up. But largely this is still a compelling story and it is good to catch up on the stories of characters like Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion, Theon, and Arya. And there's a really cool part with a dragon. Now I join the rest of the world in waiting for the next novel. My theory is that Martin has actually written material for several new books and is constantly rearranging chapters, unable to cut anything, and introducing entirely new families and storylines. ( )
  Othemts | Apr 1, 2015 |
A revival, of sorts, to the pulse pounding exitment of the earlier books in the series and the plot returns to some of the more central (and favorite) characters of aSoIaF. A very entertaining read, can't wait until winds of winter. Things are starting to really heat up! ( )
  nmg1 | Mar 20, 2015 |
I did enjoy this overall and will pick up the next book in the series when it's published--thus the three stars. But this marks a significant decline for me from the earlier books in the series--they impressed, this showed cracks. This time around I found myself annoyed by certain stylistics quirks (I'd say flaws) such as "book saidisms" (distracting sentence tags like "quipped") and "burly red head syndrome" (saying "the little man" or "dwarf" rather than Tyrion.) I never noticed that in previous books--they moved so quickly despite their hefty lengths. And while other books had great moments of suspense or gasp-worthy moments or times that made me want to cheer--well, one story thread aside, I'd say the most memorable parts of the book was the descriptions of the food. It's no wonder this series has inspired more than one cookbook.

The biggest problem I think was that far too much time in this book was spent traveling to one place or the other. One chapter even began with--I kid you not--"Are we there yet?" (The one story thread that did engross me was surrounding a character that pretty much stayed put). So much of this book is bloat, it makes me fear (especially given how long it took between this book and the last) that Martin has not a clue what to do with this series, how to end it, so he's dithering and prolonging the journey while trying to figure out how to get to his destination. I also felt a bit jerked around by this book. For a long time I didn't go beyond the first book, because in killing off a favorite character, I realized no one was safe and wasn't sure I wanted to take a trip through such a dark world. That has its pay offs though. The books had been suspenseful because a reader had good reason to believe Martin wouldn't spare his characters. But this book had too many cliffies, too many instances of the sure-to-have-bought-it surviving or getting off easy, I fear Martin might have lost his nerve. Yet, conversely, there are scenes of such brutality--and far too much description of rape for my tastes--that I find myself at times repelled--even more so than in previous books. It may be not so much that this was so much worse, but that because it was weaker overall I noticed this aspect more.

And yet I do remain engrossed by this world, still am left caring about Martin's characters--still want to find out who wins this game of thrones. Thus three stars--barely.

And now, if you'll excuse me I have several seasons of the HBO series to watch--which I understand diverge some from the books. This next season will take us to the end of this book, so if they're going to give us more, they're going to have to use material Martin hasn't published or their writers leap beyond him. Maybe that'll be good for Martin--he'll be jumpstarted by their creativity. Which I would find highly ironic given GRR Martin's famed hostility to fan fiction... But here's hoping, one way or another, Martin can bring this series to a finish as strong as his beginning. ( )
  LisaMariaC | Mar 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 261 (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 (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dotrice, RoyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary 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.
Quotations
"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.)
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Dragons? Dany? Others? Imp?
Do nothing at all
(amweb)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:56 -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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