Novel Review : A Dance With Dragons
Back in early July I began reading through George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series again beginning with A Game of Thrones hoping to get caught up and read the newest installment along with everyone else. I suppose it is a bit of a testament to how dense those books are or how slow a reader I am that it took me until about a week and a half ago to get to the fifth installment released earlier this year entitled A Dance With Dragons. I actually had planned on doing full reviews for each book but then I got lazy and decided that it would probably be best just to do one for the latest entry. Believe me, you don’t want to read me gush for 2,000 words about how amazing A Storm of Swords is because that may be my favorite novel of all time. Seriously one of the most compelling pieces of literature I’ve ever read, not just in the fantasy genre. Seriously. That thing is the balls.
I barely made it through the fourth novel, A Feast For Crows, because my favorite characters didn’t get any spotlight during that particular installment and some of the new characters given focus were less than interesting to me. Also it falls into one of the classic missteps of writing where a character knows less than the audience and never quite catches up until the very end. The fact that we know how pointless their quest is makes it difficult to get through those chapters. There’s a lot less of that from A Dance With Dragons. The book runs alongside A Feast For Crows chronologically for a majority of the book but handles the characters who didn’t get covered in the last book; Bran & Arya, Jon Snow, Tyrion, Dany Targaryen, et. al.
Let me be perfectly frank, the Dany chapters can be a slog. I know. But there is enough intrigue there to keep you going to the more riveting chapters. Anything with Jon Snow, Tyrion, Bran or everyone’s new favorite villain Ramsay Bolton is great. I’m not going to mince words. It’s great stuff. There is a lot revealed here that sets up everyone to the point where we can begin moving to the ultimate climax. Basically, the shit will hit the fan in the next installment in ways we haven’t seen since A Storm of Swords. There are hints of it here but the real nitty gritty is going to come in the final two books.
I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t read the books but there are some major reveals that will make people geek out and the novel ends much stronger than A Feast for Crows. It’s not near as good as A Storm of Swords but then again it would take a miracle to surpass that particular book. That thing is phenomenal.
Now let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another five years for the next book.