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A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

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Reason for Reading:
  • I’ve been waiting for this book for years!

I also recommend:

  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Summary from GoodReads:

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again–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 three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

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

And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all. . . .

My Review:

It really is impossible to write a review of A Dance with Dragons without reflecting on the wait any fan of GRRM had to endure to get this book into his or her hands. For years we’ve been waiting on this book, the other half to A Feast for Crows, and, while it certainly gave more of what we’ve come to expect of Martin, it also failed to answer many questions that we’ve had years to dream up.

I’ve never read a book quite so thick before and come away as dissatisfied as I am right now. Most of that dissatisfaction stems from a fear of having to wait another 5-6 years before given more of the story – and that’s a really long time and many, many books between. There were deaths in A Dance with Dragons, rebirths, kings seated and unseated, villains punished (or were they?), factions changed and many other things that occur, yet the ramifications will not be known for quite some time. So, rather than providing us with answers after several years of wait, we’re merely left with more questions.

That said, there was one scene in the book that finally provided me with something, a mere scene, that I’d been waiting for. It involves Queen Dany and… it was worth the wait. I was also pleased to note that a few others that played such a large part in A Feast for Crows were included in A Dance with Dragons (as I’d begun it thinking that they would have little to no part at all), and I was happy to finally see what happened to some of my favorites (Jon Snow and Tyrion).

I am still processing this book and, upon re-reading it next year, will probably write a whole different review, but as of right now I can say this – I’m fully satisfied with the story contained within A Dance with Dragons – provided the book following it does not make me wait another several years.

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