Monday, September 09, 2013

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

(pb; 2011: Book Five of A Song of Fire and Ice)

From the inside flap:

"In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance - 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 thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her.  As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the quen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

"Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys.  But his newest allies in this quest are not the ragtag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who would undo Daenerys's claim to Westeros forever.

"Meanwhile, 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 Watch, will face his greatest challenge.  For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice."


Dance, like A Feast for Crows,  is a transition book - in the sense that it's not as fast-moving and action-brutal as the first three Song novels.  Because of this, Dance sports many of the same faults of Feast (e.g., its emphasis on secondary characters who are less intriguing). 

On the plus side, though, there are a plenty of character-based moments in this fifth Song book where I experienced the same sense of thrill that I felt while reading the first three books.   These moments made Dance a worthwhile, if overwritten, read.

Not as great as the first three books, it - like Feast - is still a more impressive read than most fantasy series I've read.  Check it out from the library.

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