Steven E's Reviews > A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Jul 19, 2011

it was ok
Read in July, 2011

Well, I guess we know now why Martin took so long to release this latest volume: it's a steaming mess.

Forget for a moment the fact that of the many principal POV characters, only one (Jon Snow) has any discernible character arc throughout the tome's 940+ pages. Forget too that the only female POV characters (Cersei and Dany, and even Asha in her first chapter) can scarcely go two pages without pining lustily and pathetically for their male paramours. Don't trouble yourself with the chapters (Victarion, Davos) that could have been told more effectively in three sentence flashbacks in the next installment. And sure, one storyline features a character to whom we have never been introduced (Quentyn), forced to spend dozens of pages on, only to have that character fail to be an interesting character or a consequence to the larger narrative. So what?

The larger issue is this: Martin has created a wondrous, fully-realized world in which many people (including myself) are happy to spend a great deal of time. He's just forgotten that he's supposed to be advancing a story within that world. Instead he spins his wheels. Nearly all the action takes place in a far-flung city operating within an alien (and uninteresting) civilization with a unique set of moral norms, with no apparent consequences for the people with whom we've already spent four books and 4000 pages with. Some characters don't advance at all from the beginning of this book's action; worse, some characters end up back where they began several books before.

It's as if J.K. Rowling decided to create a book between 4 and 5, with the great bulk of time devoted to Hermione's wanderings in Dobby's homeland instead of Hogwarts. What a misfire.
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04/11 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-12)

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Markness Couldn't agree more!

Michael Offutt You are correct sir.

message 9: by Odintor (new) - added it

Odintor You hit the direwolf on the head. I felt trolled by the end of it. Did i really just read 1000 some odd pages for nothing to happen to anyone, and for characters I'm invested in loose all redeeming qualities?

Dana I agree with everything you said, and thank you for showing a bit of restraint (unlike a certain double-middle-initialed author) and keeping it concise!

message 7: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary So disappointing...l just felt it left you with no real conclusions.

Kellyferran I disagree

Anton Yep

Ishan haha the jk rowling analogy is priceless :P

Shotiko Abesadze Mostly agree. You're totally right about the not moving forward point, Dany moved maybe like 50 miles and he let that open so we can wait another lifetime by the time she eventuelly ends up in Westeros. And Jon progressed 5 feet and he got a new chambre. I totally agree with that it seems timeless nothing happens. But the cliffhangers he wrote are good ones, in my opinion. But like I said stop with the teasing and give the public what it wants. Battles with fire, blood, wargs, wildlings, walkers and ofcourse the DRAGONS.

message 2: by Lindsey, (new) - added it

Lindsey, Corrie, I'm still waiting for Dany to slaughter the Lannisters and get revenge for her family. Or Arya. Acctually, I don't care who slaughters the Lannsters at this point, so long as it gets done.
And that Rowling analogy was priceles! XD

Sarah Just finished this one & I couldn't agree more.

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