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A Dance with Dragons – George R.R. Martin (A Game of Ice & Fire, Book 5)

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A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

Publisher: Bantam

After thousands of pages, I’m finally up to date with “A Song of Ice and Fire” the mega-epic by George R. R. Martin. As epics go, it’s great, but even epics need to come to an end. Not so in this one.

My complaint about Martin bringing in the “Dornish” people makes more sense now. I’m glad he explained it, but four thousand pages ago would’ve sufficed. This family has connections to the dragon-blooded Targaryen family. One of them bravely makes his way across the world to meet Dany, but events turn the journey into a misadventure.

Dany returns in this installment, still beautiful, and struggles with her unsophisticated followers, trying to maintain order. This finally happens by means I certainly didn’t predict; by the time all is said and done is her “children” have grown up, are very dedicated and non-selective carnivores, and she’s “taken away” by one of them. Literally.

Fortunately, my favorite character of the epic, “The Imp” returns to center stage, facing more physical and mental hardship than he ever did on the Ice Wall. But like a competent Lannister, his brain makes up for his height, and so far survives a trip into pandemonium.

Winter sprinkles down upon what’s left of the Lannister family. Cersei finds herself in the same place she schemed to put everyone else she didn’t like. Her incestuous twin hottie Jaime searches the countryside for the remnants of the Starks, who remain scattered.

Winter is coming. The Ice Wall is colder, colder, colder, and not yet coldest. Jon Snow still defends the world against the horrors beyond the wall, but everyone’s so cold by this time, I’m not sure if the enemies can move up there. The remains of Winterfell are freezing along with the wall; with its new ungallant occupants figuring out that Winter is over-rated.

What Martin accomplished in this tome is to add an epilogue, or a word for saying “I’m sorry I’ve exhausted my readers, so here’s a little treat.” Something surprising happens in the end, that I certainly didn’t predict. Unfortunately, it left a cliffhanger.

“A Song of Ice and Fire” is still an excellent dark fantasy epic. I don’t necessarily agree with some who say he’s stretching it out on purpose; that rings more like a publisher than a writer. I do believe Martin is in love with his world. That’s OK. But caution, Mr. Martin, Winter is coming to your readers. Please don’t freeze us out. I’m giving it a generous three stars.

Reviewer: C.C. Cole

I’m C.C. Cole, award-winning author of the dark fantasy/action “Gastar” series, blogger, and book reviewer.  Raised in rural Mississippi, I live in the suburbs there with my family.  Interests other than writing include medieval and twentieth century history, martial arts, and adopted greyhounds.  I’ve been a participant in the launch of Orangeberry books, a featured author in the book “Every Child is Entitled to Innocence,” by Niamh Clune.  I’ve also written for The Writers Collection, a blog that is featured in the Westchester Guardian. You can visit C.C. at her blog.

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One comment on “A Dance with Dragons – George R.R. Martin (A Game of Ice & Fire, Book 5)

  1. forgingshadows
    September 29, 2012

    I completely agree. I felt that the story is getting bloated and stretched. Martin has obviously developed a very complicated and rich world, but reading this and the last book made me think that he’s a bit too in love with them to let them come to a succinct end.

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