Naithin's Reviews > A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Nov 15, 11

bookshelves: epic, fantasy, flawed-characters, political
Read from September 24 to November 13, 2011

This book was a slog for me. Not entirely the books fault; I had a lot of life changes throughout the duration which dramatically decreased my available reading time. A return to full time work, new baby, etc.

Yet even with all those changes, even with the acknowledgement that it wasn't entirely the book's fault... Some of it was.

I ended up finishing this book more out of a sense of duty to the series. It was a task I had to complete. A chore, almost. In short, a far cry from my experiences with the first three amazing books in this series (or the latter half of the forth). Martin's writing style is still right up there, but his pacing and story telling seem to have fallen to tatters.

Maintaining a series of this scope is no easy task and I think the side effects of that have been increasingly evident as the delay between books grew.

In terms of specific complaints; pacing is really the big one for me. A lot of the chapter cliffhangers were quite well done. So you'd reach these brief peaks of brilliance every once in a while and once trained to expect them have a certain anticipation as you near chapter's-end, but the parts that come before... ugh.


Which leads me to why I've still given this thing a 4 star. Really it'd be a 3.5 if it'd let me, but nonetheless, the above should be framed in the context of the rest of the series.

Amazing, amazing books, that perfectly balanced all elements; writing style, story, plot pace and more. This one fell off the wagon for large swathes of the book, but that still put it at the head of the pile when compared to most other books.

My hope for the series isn't dead; I think that George has it in him to pull the threads together and give us tighter volumes in the future. If we start hearing word of more book splits, that may well be the clarion call to be alarmed, but we'll just have to see.

Further, there were many legitimately enjoyable chapters in the book; there just needed to be a better ratio of those to the other kind.

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Reading Progress

63.0% "Been a LOT slower at reading lately -- in case it wasn't already obvious -- but I am enjoying ADwD, yet, not quite as much as I anticipated I would. Perhaps got built up a little high during the long (long, long, long) wait."
76.0% "I'm still enjoying the book (whenever I get a chance to read) but at the same time, I cannot wait to be done so can read something else. :P"
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