Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Review: A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons
A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So like the rest of the series, this is very very good.

However, its not quite as compelling as some of the earlier pieces in the set. If you're not aware, he's essentially split 1 book into two between this and the last one, following only some of the characters through a span of time in the first book, and then coming back and collecting the rest of the characters in the first 2/3 of the second, before twining them all back together again. I don't think this works out very well, even with re-reading the first one just before the second came out. You spend too long apart from some of the characters you're very attached to (in both cases,) and by the time you read the second one you essentially know a lot of where things have to end up, since you know what happened to some of the other characters in the first.

There are a couple of other things that don't quite work as well in this one. We introduce a bevy of new characters - which is fine, since we were starting to run out - and some of them are really interesting. But I think maybe we got a few too many and a couple were just too similar to one another. One dies by the end of this book (I'm not even going to count that as a spoiler, in this series) and I _wanted_ to care, but I really didn't much. There was the potential for them to turn into someone interesting, but there really just wasn't time to develop them much, what with all of the other people we had to keep track of. And in the meantime, there were some long chapters of nothing much really happening with Daenerys except her working out that ruling a city is hard. I'm sure thats an important thing for her to learn, but I didn't feel like we needed to watch quite so much of it to get the point.

These are minor flaws in an otherwise excellent novel, and the whole series is still well, well worth reading. Hopefully we wont have to wait 6 years for the next one!

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