Daniel's Reviews > A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Jul 03, 2011

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bookshelves: english, kindle, fantasy
Read in July, 2011

I was initially going to give this book 2/5 because for the most part, it was "just" ok. The beginning was strong and the end was good, but the chapters in between were increasingly awful. It's too much talk about what people are eating, too much repeating the same old catchphrases, not enough about the things that drive the story. I'm talking about Daenerys, who is really going to take Westeros... once she's ruled Meereen for a dozen years... and the Others - who are going to attack the wall... apparently when everyone is well prepared. And there's too much describing what the leaders of lesser houses want. I really don't care what the Boltons and Karstarks want. They were minor characters in the other books, and they should stay that way, otherwise Martin will have to write another five books to cover all the subplots. The same goes for the Dornishmen. I don't care what Prince Doran and his women, who were introduced relatively late in series, want. I'd rather read more about Bran and Davos - who get far too few chapters in this book - and Tyrion.

What irritated me the most were the decisions Jon and Dany were making and how they acted as leaders. Both are surrounded by older, more experienced men and women, but they never listen to them. Jon sends away the only friends he has at the wall, decides to save a people that was his sworn enemy in the last book and never listens to what the other black brothers say. As for Dany... Good grief... Not only is she responsible for the death of several thousands in Slaver's bay, as a queen in a foreign civilisation she decides to impose her own cultural rules. She frees all the slaves and closes the fighting pits - because she as a Westerosi thinks it's wrong. Never mind the fact that slavery has defined the culture in that part of the world for several millenia. And then she has the nerve to call the Meereenese her children. After defeating them in battle, destroying most of their culture and sending them to war with the neighbouring city states.
If I lived in the Seven Kingdom I would sooner dread the coming of Daenerys than the invasion of the Others...

However, this book deserves a 3/5 because it's still a good read, George R R Martin is a brilliant writer and the beginning and end almost redeem the middle part. The long wait and the enormous hype made me expect too much, so I guess I have myself to blame for much of the disappointment.

Now give me tWoW already!

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Quotes Daniel Liked

George R.R. Martin
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

George R.R. Martin
“Foes and false friends are all around me, Lord Davos. They infest my city like roaches, and at night I feel them crawling over me.” The fat man’s fingers coiled into a fist, and all his chins trembled. “My son Wendel came to the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder’s bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with his friends. And they murdered him. Murdered, I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter…but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer’s farce is almost done. My son is home.”
George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

George R.R. Martin
“An admiral without ships, a hand without fingers, in service of a king without a throne. Is this a knight who comes before us, or the answer to a child's riddle?”
George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

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