24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
, July 21, 2011
While I have LOVED this series, I must say I was disappointed in this book. I was annoyed by the long wait, but that served also to whet my appetite: "Boy! It't taking FOREVER! This one must REALLY be good!" Alas, it is OK but the worst one in the series to date.
I suspect part of it was ghostwritten, for the following reasons. First, the language is much less poetic than his prose has been in the past. Not only is this much more crude, with more liberal use of "sh_t" and "F__k," those words are not in character with the people who are uttering or thinking them. It is very jarring. Secondly, there are whole paragraphs in which there are sentences that have the same number of words in each, with no variance. This makes for a very stilted "sound." Lastly, the characters are "off," not quite right with their previous personalities. Tyrion was very close but others were not, and that was disappointing.
There are lots of descriptions of marching and weather and traveling but not the depth of emotion that has characterized his work previously. No one else could so slowly, subtly make one switch from loathing of Jaime Lannister to actually admiring him, or make one feel anything for someone as tepid as Sansa was at the beginning. This is missing here, and in fact, some of the developments do not seem congruous. For example, Danaerys knows that Daario is a selfish, untrustworthy, shallow sellsword, and there is nothing in the book to suggest otherwise, but yet she "loves" him (I could understand just sex or a fling but this rings false; it seems like Martin is saying, "This happened because I said it happened.").
It also seems strained for so many "dead" people to be popping up in this book. This sort of thing makes future reading stop, as I say, "Hmm, I wonder if this character is really dead in this book or will he/she pop up again? Maybe Joffrey will turn up in the next one, married to Ygritte. How far until he just says, "Then Sansa woke up and it was all a dream."? It keeps the flow of fantasy from being effortless from there on, as with each death, you stop and wonder if you are being lied to again.
Lastly, it ends with a bunch of cliffhangers. I can understand some of that but this gives the impression that the main issue is to get the reader to buy the next book rather than to make the best book possible. I will read the next one but it will be a library copy.