**spoiler alert** Not my favorite of the five books in the series. The storylines are becoming too disparate, there are more and more characters; and**spoiler alert** Not my favorite of the five books in the series. The storylines are becoming too disparate, there are more and more characters; and I begin to wonder how Mr. Martin is going to pull it all together in the supposed two more books that will finish the saga.
The exiled young dragon-queen Daenerys is still exiled, fiddling while her conquered city of Meereen burns. Not exactly burns, but her rule falls apart; she tries to hold on to a culture and country that she barely understands; and instead finds that she is destroying it. Dany dear, wake up and smell the dragon-toast; it's time to claim your real throne, back in Westeros...I begin to think she never will. Meanwhile, two astonishing new players are advancing the Targaryen cause without her.
Speaking of dragon-toast; alas, Poor Quentyn Martell...He should have stayed in Dorne.
Tyrion has become darker and meaner; but his chapters are quite lively (when he's not abusing slaves/prostitutes) and he makes some surprising new friends; and that's not including the pig and the big dog (but don't get too attached to them; since the lives of animals are usually even more brutal and short in this world than that of people).
Theon resurfaces in the dungeons of the Dreadfort to give the reader a haunting and outstanding story arc.
There are several individual plot threads that make the size and price of the book worthwhile - Davos, Tyrion, Theon, Cersei, Jon; but by the end of the huge tome, I don't think much time has passed in Westeros since the end of A FEAST FOR CROWS. I hope we're going to get another book within the next three years, especially since the TV miniseries is doing well....more
**spoiler alert** Three children, a teenaged boy and his younger brother and sister, are pulled into a great darkness v. light conflict in the magical**spoiler alert** Three children, a teenaged boy and his younger brother and sister, are pulled into a great darkness v. light conflict in the magical world of Vandarei...
This was the first of Joy Chant's books that I read, and in my opinion, the weakest. Of course, it's entertaining, with flashes of brilliance, such as the means by which the oldest boy eventually is returned to our own world. But it's rather too Tolkien-derivative to suit my taste; I love Tolkien and prefer less obvious tributes to him. The Princess just plain annoyed me; though, surprisingly, I rather liked the high king. The best bits are those that are Joy Chant's own mythology, such as the culture of the Khentorei.
The three children are well-written; I liked it that the little girl actually has a moment where she breaks down and cries out of fear and bewilderment. I also liked it that among the forces of light, i.e. the good guys who are summoned together by the vaguely Elven/Numenorean-type high king, is an army of black warriors from the south, led by the only other lord in Vandarei who is a king - and the high king's people welcome them with much joy and applause.
It's a superior Tolkienesque story, miles above the Shannara books in my opinion. Most would like this. It's just that I found Chant's other two books much more though-provoking....more