- Series: A Song of Ice & Fire (Book 5)
- Hardcover: 704 pages
- Publisher: Bantam Books; First Ed edition (2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0002247399
- ISBN-13: 978-0002247399
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.7 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9,619 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,505,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Dance with Dragons Hardcover – Print, 2011
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“Filled with vividly rendered set pieces, unexpected turnings, assorted cliffhangers and moments of appalling cruelty, A Dance with Dragons is epic fantasy as it should be written: passionate, compelling, convincingly detailed and thoroughly imagined.”—The Washington Post
“Long live George Martin . . . a literary dervish, enthralled by complicated characters and vivid language, and bursting with the wild vision of the very best tale tellers.”—The New York Times
“One of the best series in the history of fantasy.”—Los Angeles Times
From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons—as well as Tuf Voyaging, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, Windhaven (with Lisa Tuttle), and Dreamsongs Volumes I and II. He is also the creator of The Lands of Ice and Fire, a collection of maps from A Song of Ice and Fire featuring original artwork from illustrator and cartographer Jonathan Roberts, and The World of Ice & Fire (with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson). As a writer-producer, Martin has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with the lovely Parris in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
To me Jon & Ser Barristan storylines interested me the most. You know these guys are out of there depth, and they seem more fleshed out and human. Also, surprisingly the Dornish are intriguing- I believe that the Martells will have some pivotal roll to play even though they seem on the periphery much like Bran & Arya.
Speaking of the Stark kiddies. Can they just all die? I mean they seem to just be around to get kicked or massacred by everyone (Sorry, but not sorry! ) And then let Momma Kat loose on the Boltons & Freys for some major payback!
All told it is a good book Thanks to Mr Martin for a good read. I know- Everyone's a critic! Looking forward to the next one. Winter is motherf'ng coming!
Too many twists and turns in a random and confusing story
Too many characters. Too many McGuffins.
Not in the same class as earlier books in the series
Have you ever read books where you can't wait to turn the page not because you can't wait to find out what happens next but to get to the end to put you out of your misery. This is one of them.
I do not like this book. It is going to take me all winter to finish and I started it in early spring I believe. I bought all 5 books last fall. This one has left everything flat and confusing. What the heck was he thinking when he wrote this? Did he forget what book he was writing and started a whole new one part way through? That is what it feels like. Like he slammed another book inside the story line.
The fifth book, like its predecessors, is nasty and brutal but the allusion to Thomas Hobbes cannot be complete because it is definitely not short. Most of the major characters that have survived since the first book still survive the end of this although the fate of one of them is questionable. They survive but not without being severely shaken and disturbed. Those characters remain unsettled and Martin has populated his world with dozens of other characters, tossing names out like plates in a juggling act and his brief physical descriptions don't add much beyond viewing them as merely population statistics in this vast world.
If that last paragraph sounded overly harsh or conveyed the impression that I look on this book as a failure I want to correct that assumption. It's as readable as the other books although as with 'A Feast for Crows,' I have more of a vested interest in the fates of characters that I have spent time with in previous books than with characters that have never appeared before. Martin has wisely retained his favorite character, Tyrion Lannister, that witty survivor, although even Tyrion is finding it difficult to talk himself out of deadly situations. Heading east as a fugitive he is abducted by exiled, wandering knight Jorah Mormont who hopes to win back the favor of Daenerys by bringing Tyrion to her. He finally meets one of his own kind, another dwarf named Penny, a 'mummer' i.e. performer of tricks whose brother was mistaken for Tyrion and murdered. Although he cares for Penny she is not his physical type nor is she a whore so anyone expecting a sweet dwarf romance will be quickly disappointed. Tyrion, Penny and Jorah all get sold into slavery and Tyrion alone seems to be proactive in seeking ways to escape. His humor has not been beaten out of him but Tyrion definitely has a much harsher life as a slave than as a wily aristocrat.
Jon Snow is now commander of the Night's Watch although his life has presented new struggles. The man who would be king Stannis arrived at the eleventh hour to ensure that the defenders of The Wall defeated the wildlings who had mounted an assault upon it. The Night's Watch historically takes no sides in power struggles. Their vows include protecting ALL men. However, Stannis, with the aid of his wife Selyse and red priestess Melisandre and some yes men advisors has assumed authority, placing Jon in a very delicate situation. Jon inducts hundreds of wildling prisoners into the Night's Watch, feeling that the Watch is strengthened by former foes that know the territory and surely can seek the logic of pooling efforts into fighting the common enemy, The Others, who remain mysterious, ominous foes lurking in the forests. Doing what he feels is best for the Watch but trying not to run afoul of Stannis' authority is a precarious balancing act. How well he performs that balance remains to be seen.
Two of the other Stark children, Bran and Arya, have briefer escapades that lead them into stranger, more mysterious avenues. Bran finally finds the Three-Eyed Crow, not a crow but a skeletal figure known as the last greenseer, who instructs Bran in how to use his gift of prophesy and visioning through nature as well as skinchanging, entering the bodies of various animals. Arya undergoes a different kind of spiritual tutelage, continuing her initiation into the Faceless Men, an order of assassins that worships the Many-Faced God, a god of death.
Across the seas, Daenerys is having even more difficulty controlling her dragons as well as her people. She has the foresight to cast aside her personal feeling (unlike the fatally romantic Robb Stark) and weds for political expediency rather than passion a noble of the city of Mereen. Needless to say, disaster ensues and Dany is fortunate not to have lost her life as well as everything else.
And then there is always Cersei, who finally has two POV chapters. For those wanting to see justice served, she does suffer public humiliation after confessing her crimes before awaiting trial. Her fate also remains unresolved.
In some ways, this book is feeding on itself, perpetuating new struggles for old characters. In this novel, the dragons aren't the only untamable creatures. All attempts to bring stability and order to the denizens of this world are equally futile. While this may contribute to the authenticity of this quasi-medieval world it doesn't appear to be inching the series any closer to a conclusion. I can understand readers who just want Martin to start wrapping up plotlines and tying loose threads although for now I'm still enjoying the ride and marveling in the fertility of this author's massive creation.