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Showing 1-10 of 500 reviews(3 star, Verified Purchases). See all 4,925 reviews
on September 17, 2011
I have to say I am a big fan of Martin's series, but with huge reservations at this point. I am in the middle of the 5th book in the series and at this point have to admit that I have skimmed much of book 4 and 5. The problem started in book 4. Up to that point his series was a masterpiece. Then he started to expand the plot to the point that no one would be able to manage the development of the plot line. He would leave plot lines in the middle of a cliff hanger (he practically always does that which gets quite annoying after a while), and then not return for what seems like ever. He even apologizes for this at the end of book 4. Adding so many new characters requires page after page of background information about characters. He also has a habit of leaving the scene in the middle and then instead of returning to it, he will have another character explain what happened robbing the reader of the pleasure of experiencing the events.

I was hoping this ever expanding plot would end in book 5 when he clearly has to wind up many lose ends, but he is still expanding the plot in the last book. We have headed off in about 50 different directions at this point, and he thinks we need more instead of dealing with what we have. He also goes back to characters and instead of developing a suspenseful action packed set of events, he will bore the reader to death with page after page of background or insipid empty character history or uninteresting events.

I am sure I sound angry and annoyed. This is only true because the series had so very much potential. And he does do extremely well in parts. The series is really unsurpassed in plot creativity and suspense from time to time. Too bad he does not fulfill that promise by developing the plot in a realistic doable manner and providing more consistent plot action.
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on October 14, 2015
These disjointed tales just went on and on. I think I need to take a break from this series. I've downloaded the Affordable Healthcare Act, because I realized that if I can get through four books of Ice and Fire, I can get through anything.
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on October 12, 2011
Like almost everyone else, I really liked the first three books and had no problem recommending the series. But after reading half of this book and seeing from the reviews that book five is more of the same I can't do that anymore. How can I recommend that someone invest that kind of time in a series that will slow to a crawl? I had hoped that this book was an anomaly and that the pace would pick back up in the next book but I can see from the reviews of book five that I was wrong. I have to wonder if the author is trying to milk this series for all he can get from it.
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on September 7, 2014
Martin seriously needs a better editor. It is only my dedication to following characters to the end that kept me slogging through. You can skim whole chapters for the tiny bits that matter. I suppose I may need to come back for missed details if I am confused later on, but I doubt it.
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on February 13, 2014
Reading this series is like Shakespeare's quote "hope springs eternal." Intricate plot lines engross you, then abruptly end. Sometimes they are picked up again later...by that time, you may have forgotten all about them. Or, sometimes, the character, as is common the Martin's books, simply dies. No satisfaction for the reader is ever provided, just continued story lines like a TV soap opera. My suggestion is to try not to ascertain an overall moral to the stories; the prevailing theme seems to be to continue to sell more books. Not one of the books in this series ever has an ending. A great read without any satisfaction.
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on December 18, 2013
I have been trying to ration out my GOT reading because I know once I finish book 5 it's going to be a wait for the final two books. So I prolonged my reading of book 4 and read several other books, but I finally just went ahead and read the book. I'm a little disappointed. There were so many new and seemingly unimportant characters introduced that it seemed a little muddled. I knew that my favorite character, Tyrion, wouldn't be in this book, but I was okay with that. I was looking forward to finding out more about Cersei and Sansa and Littlefinger. But what I got was three Pate's, three Kettleback's, and a host of other miscellaneous characters. Instead of all these other characters, I would have like to know more about Margery. I also didn't like the way the story ended with Cersei. I knew her downfall was coming (I won't give it away) but it was so abrupt...it could have used more build up, more tension.

I could go on, but the fact of the matter is that I will read the next book, and the next, and the next, because it is a great story and I'm invested emotionally and financially LOL, but this book just fell a little short of what I had come to expect from this series. I do think it will make for good TV for next season on HBO.
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on April 10, 2014
This book does not even compare to the others in the series. It suffered from lack of an editor that should have made Martin cut out half of this book and continue the story with all major characters. The book went into WAY too much detail about the lives of minor characters that the reader has little emotional connection with at this point in the saga. This created disinterest on my part along with the fact that the book was ponderously slow. The first books in the series I read in a matter of a few days, while this book took me weeks to finish because I kept losing interest.
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on October 13, 2013
I understand that this is merely part if the story focusing on specific characters, but even in the midst of a series, this did not feel like a complete book. Sure, it furthered the plot well enough, but it significantly lacked the jaw-dropping moments we got in each of the previous 3 books. Even each POV endings in the book seemed anti-climactic (with the exception of the closing moments of Brienne's final chapter which were arguably the most dramatic of the entire book). I'm looking forward to ADWD next, but I fear that it too will prove anti-climactic. This book gave me the sneaking suspicion that these are simply building to the real action and reveals in books 6 and 7. I hope I'm wrong.
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on January 8, 2013
NB: You should have read the first three books prior to reading this review.

Summary: The weakest book in the series, though not necessarily a bad book. Lots (too many) of new characters, many of whom seem redudant/uninteresting. Pages per chapter rate is too high. The book gets better as you move through it, but does not come close to Storm of Swords.

Even before I read into this book's development, I could tell that it was a poorly planned book. In the previous three, Martin's writing always feels as though it has a purpose. You can tell the story is going somewhere, even if you can't tell where. The twists come, but they are not cheap twists. They fit into the context of the story and you can understand characters' motivations. In this book, several twists come to mind that make me think, "why?". Perhaps I will find out in the next book (I have not read it yet). In general, though, the chapters and the story seem to be moving without purpose. Sure, things happen, but they are not especially exciting.

Part of this problem can be traced to the characters. About 2/3 of the perspectives are new; this would not be a problem if these were perspectives of characters we had seen very often. Three of them, I believe, have never appeared in the books aside from descriptions or references. Several others we have met briefly. Too many are unfamiliar. Some are introduced and then disappear for long stretches of the book. And then there is Cersei. By far, she takes up the most room in this book. Martin has done a good job of casting unlikable characters in a sympathetic light once we are introduced to their perspective. We may still dislike them, but we understand their motivations better. So, I was interested to get a look into Cersei's mind. Unfortunately, she is just as one-dimensional in this book as she is in the others. The big reveal, where we learn what motivates her, comes slowly and isn't fully realized until near the end of the book, but it's fairly disappointing. That's why she is how she is?

Martin also uses this bizarre naming convention for his chapters, whereby some characters are referred to by their name, some by their title, some by their alias, and some by a random descriptor. So, Arya has assumed about 10 different names throughout the books thus far, but suddenly her chapters are renamed to fit the name she takes in this book. You'll meet a new character in Dorne, the captain of Prince Doran's Guards, so he is called the The Captain of the Guards. Meanwhile, Jaime, who is now the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, is still just Jaime. Then there is another character is described at one point with a reference to her current situation. That is, every other chapter name (alias, given name, title) could be considered a proper title to be used in greeting the character, with one exception. Why? I don't know. Oh, they change throughout the book. So, you meet a ton of new characters and then when you reach their second or third chapter have to spend a paragraph discrerning who this chapter is about. The most glaring example of this is found in the second half of the book when the alias used as the chapter name fits two different characters.

And yet the book is still good, as far as books go. Some of the new perspectives are interesting, picking up storylines from book three that you hoped would not be dropped. I have heard people say they do not enjoy Arya's chapters as much in this book, but I still found her to be as interesting as ever. Meanwhile, and this is a testament to Martin's writing as I wouldn't have imagined this in the first book, Sansa is starting to rival Arya as one of my favorite characters. The book hits it's high water mark near the end in a quite unlikely place. You will know it when you get there as a smile might creep across your face.
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on March 17, 2014
This book is like the red headed stepson of the others. I know the back story behind why it exists, but it just seems like for the most part this book got shoved full of all the boring parts of what should have been book 4 and then all the good parts ended up in book 5. Who are these new characters? Why are they important? Was this necessary?
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