Genre: Adult, High Fantasy
Year Published: 2011
My Rating: ★★★★☆
(Possible spoilers ahead, nothing major)
Let me start off by saying that George R.R. Martin cannot be trusted.
But of course, I think all of us that are familiar with him and his work already know that. A Dance with Dragons, however, made me distrust him more than any other book in the series so far. I am grateful for it, as it has kept me on the edge of my seat, but at the same time, I do not know whether or not my favorite character is dead right now and I have to wait until Winds of Winter is released, and gods knows when that’s going to happen.
Anyway, I read this book much faster than I did the 4 previous books, and for good reason. A Feast for Crows left me wanting more action, and for a good while Dragons did too. All the action came at the end of the book…but in the end I think Martin timed everything correctly.
Unfortunately I do wish he gave something in the beginning and middle of the novel to keep the reader moving along. I often found myself stuck and slow to move forward through chapters like those of Davos and Asha. Also, I felt like some of Dany’s chapters were a bit redundant. She lusted after Darrio, was unsure about what to do about the Sons of Harpy/everything in general, didn’t listen to Selmy, and denied and denied Hizdar until she couldn’t anymore. Martin’s dramatic closing with the Dany and the fighting pit seemed to be a long time coming, and at times I wished it had all moved a bit quicker. Personally I’m beginning to lose faith in her as a leader, but I suppose we’ll see where her story is taken in the future. The book, after all, left her future very unpredictable to the reader.
Tyrion’s story arc, on the other hand, was fantastic. I devoured his chapters, as he was constantly on the move and I had no idea what would come next for him. Also, I personally find his wits amusing, and when it was revealed who Young Griff was, I got so excited. Tyrion was finally getting into the game, and across the Narrow Sea, who knew what would happen next? I certainly loved Martin putting him and his wits in a different place; somewhere besides Kings Landing. I was never really nervous for him, as I knew he would always get out of trouble somehow, someway.
Towards the end of the book, the reader gets to see a little bit of what Arya, Cersei, and Jaime are up to. Martin is very secretive with what he is planning with Arya especially, and I just want to know more. Her time in the Halls of Black and White are mysterious and make me wonder where she will be headed next, and to be honest, I’m looking forward to find out what’s going to happen with her next more than anyone else.
As a last mention, I wish Martin didn’t make Jon Snow so straight-faced and sullen in this book. I, as a reader, felt like there needed to be a little bit more energy in his ruling of the Wall. Not necessarily happy, but at least a little bit less…dreary. He had a few sassy-Jon moments, which I did root for, and his last chapter made me angry, frustrated, and quite nervous for what’s to come for him.
On the whole, A Dance with Dragons was better than its predecessor, and certainly left me wanting more. There were a few things here and there I wish I could fix up, but that’s not up to me. The future is only up to our dear author, George R.R. Martin. And I have to say, I am equally nervous and excited for what’s to come.