Prescott's Reviews > A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Jul 16, 2011

really liked it
Read from July 16 to 24, 2011

Another amazing book in the series.

I think anyone who reads this is forced to compare it to the previous book, A Feast For Crows, because this phase of the story was split into two books (supposedly). The experience of reading A Feast for Crows was diminished from the start because of the conspicuous absence of several of characters, namely Daenerys, Tyrion, Jon Snow, Stannis, and Davos. It felt like the Jamie-and-Cersei show. But now with A Dance for Dragons, we're given plenty of Daenerys, Tryion, and the others. So in that regard, it's a new breath of fresh air. If that makes sense. I don't mind how in this book, characters such as Sansa and Samwell are put in the dark. We'll see them again soon, I'm sure.

Considering how long the book is, not too much actually happens. Ok, that's a bit of a overstatement, but for example, we don't see the dragons at all until halfway through the book. Literally, half the book and no dragons. Considering we waiting the entire previous book to learn what's going over with Daenerys and her brood, I found that a bit odd.

It's very hard to separate the books in my mind, as they are all part of one immense story. But the feeling of absolute immersion that I felt during book 3, A Storm of Swords, did not reappear. However, like all the other books, we're left with some juicy cliffhangers, which will keep us talking for a few more years. Will Daenerys learn to control her dragons? Will the Dothraki now finally join her cause? Will Ser Jorah be welcomed back? Will Jaime find new allegiance with Brienne? What's the deal with Catelyn Stark? Is Jon Snow really dead? Will Arya return to Westeros [to kick some serious butt]? And what's the deal with those Ironborn? You see, many questions.

All in all this was a great book, and another brilliant episode in the saga. But as a standalone book, it didn't move as fast as I would like, or answer the questions of its predecessor. In that sense, it's a bit like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — an immense tome, the longest of the series, in which really not much happens, but in which we learn more about the characters, and set up the relationships and challenges for the final two books.

I wonder how it will all finish.

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