BigJohn's Reviews > A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Aug 03, 2015

really liked it
Read in July, 2015 — I own a copy , read count: 2

I hope I never find myself wandering through a desert, desperate for a drink, and come upon a puddle of pee. But if I do, I hope I would still have my wits about me and be able to recognize that it is not the water for which I yearned, and perhaps I should hold out for something more. At least then i would know for certain that, when denied something for a long time, i would still be able to recognize quality when I saw it.

I think that would make me feel better for enjoying this book as much as I did. To be certain, I've been chomping at the bit for the next installment since 2004's A Feast for Crows. But I questioned myself on completion of A Dance with Dragons: Did I enjoy it because it was good, or was it just that I wanted the next book so bad?

After thinking about it a bit, I have come to the conclusion that this book really does kick ass. There's some very nice plot twists in here, and perhaps not as much book-throwing-in-frustration as A Storm of Swords, but there's new characters, old plots, older schemes and new ambitions throughout the tapestry of characters in not just Westeros, but the rest of the world as well.

I thought I understood why this book was called A Dance with Dragons, but I don't think i really do. The focus on this book seems to be Daenerys, and the suitors that vie for her hand. There are many, and their motivations are slowly revealed, along with surprises that I never saw coming.

There's a disclaimer at the beginning of the book explaining how the first 2/3 of the book (or so) follows the same timeline as A Feast for Crows, and then there is a point where the characters from each continue along together. It's an adequate explanation, and the way it presents itself in the narrative is really quites seamless. Before you know it, events from Feast are paralleled with new character point-of-view chapters, and the characters from Feast start making appearances.

As with all of the other books in the series, there's a good number of cliffhangers towards the end of the book. Each character's last chapter is a cliffhanger, of course, but it's clear that the story is not nearly complete. This book doesn't really stand on its own as a story from start to finish, but I think by now we've come to expect that. There is, however, a good sense of closure; the ending feels right. It's a good and natural place to wrap up the book. It sets up exactly what we will expect to find in The Winds of Winter when it comes out. Whenever it comes out.

Whenever it does, I'll re-read the entire series again in preparation. And maybe I'll find more subtle nuances that I missed the last time around. But certainly, I'll get excited to read whatever the latest will be. And I'll enjoy it.

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Reading Progress

07/18/2011 page 31
08/08/2011 page 661
65.0% "Finally reached the point in the timeline where I've passed Feast for Crows. Good to see old characters again!"
08/10/2011 page 741
73.0% "Only 219 more pages. Then - what, 7 more years? :P"
08/15/2011 page 914
90.0% "Coming up on the last chapters for each character. >sigh<"
08/15/2011 page 944
93.0% "Ack! only the epilogue left!"
07/03/2015 marked as: currently-reading
08/01/2015 marked as: read
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