Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) by George R.R Martin

Westeros is still a kingdom divided. The game of thrones is still in full swing. Just when it looked like the playing field was narrowing down to 3 players, another individual threw his hat into the ring. And this player has the potential to change the playing field forever.

In this book, we find out Tyrion is alive and drinking--A LOT. His location is finally revealed, and we find out what happened to him after he killed his father. We get a better look at how Melisandre works, and  find she seems to have her sights set on Jon. Dany will need to make a decision--to wed or not to wed? That is the question she'll be contemplating. King Stannis will appear to be trying to gain Jon's favor, or perhaps those who loyally follow the Starks. Plus, Ramsay Snow goes a little 'Silence of the Lambs' on us so beware. There will be many betrayals. People who were thought dead will mysteriously end up alive. One thing you can count on--expect the unexpected.

So I was truly excited with this series after reading the first few books, but then something went wrong. In book four, , Martin went on a writing binge and wrote too much to be contained in just the one book. That caused him to split the writing up into two books. That in itself would normally be considered a good thing, however, due to what I can only guess to be bad editing, the division sadly didn't flow well together. The mish mash of story lines in this book took a step back in time and totally confused the heck out of me until I realized that this book did not start where 'A Feast of Crows' (AFOC) left off. It started before the end of AFOC. So while you may have wondered what Jon was thinking when he sent Sam off, in this book you find out.

I kind of feel Martin got a bit carried away with this series, and several of us who read the series together felt perhaps the story expanded to such an extent it got a little too big for Martin. Even reading the books practically back to back, I have had a difficult time keeping all the characters straight. We (those of us reading the book together) used A Wiki of Ice and Fire (A fan-created and fan-maintained encyclopedia for George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire) several times to look up who a character was. It was a true godsend. I guess once we get to the end of the series we'll know exactly what Martin has been planning.

While I seem to be slamming this book, I actually liked it more than 'Feast for Crows'. Daenerys' dragons are bigger and, while they cause a lot of carnage, were pretty cool. Plus, many of my favorite characters were back, but unlike the last book where many long pending questions were answered, we were thrown many new ones. Overall, I gave this one 3 1/2 roses out of 5. Still loving the series and am a touch awed by how someone can create such a huge fictitious environment. Hopefully, the next book will transition more smoothly than the last.

And now a letter to George R.R. Martin from this lowly blogger:

Dear George (don't worry this isn't a 'Dear John' letter),

I must confess that I love all your characters even the ones I claim not to (don't tell anyone). However, it is with a sad heart that I must inform you, sir, that some of the people who are killed off in your series really do need to stay dead. You aren't writing an apocalypse novel after all. The way things are going the last book will be entitled Zombie Nation. The. Madness. Must. Stop! I understand authors get  fallout from fans when favorite characters pass on to the "greener" pastures, and have heard rumors that when a certain character bites the big one in your HBO series you will attempt to be out of the country. So I've decided to offer myself as the "sacrificial lamb" so that you may have someone to blame. Tell them all it's my fault. Please, for the betterment of the novel I'll be your scapegoat. Tell them it was all my, Lisarenee's, fault. You didn't want to but I made you.

Yes, I will probably grumble and be upset at the demise of one of my favorites, but seriously, this is getting out of control. The way things are going I wouldn't be surprised if Eddard Stark will come back to life. After all his bones are supposedly lost. If he does, please don't make him a headless horseman type person. That would just be too much.


Lisarenee (aka Scapegoat)

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