“A Dance With Dragons” Review (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)

ImageCynthia Ayala ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

By: George R. R. Martin

Published: July 12, 2011

Publisher: Bantam Spectra

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Adventure, Science Fiction

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms is uncertain. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. Nevertheless, Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. However his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever. Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth wall of ice and stone where Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice. The Game of Thrones is far from over.

It is another amazing novel by George R. R. Martin and a great addition to the Song of Ice and Fire series.  As a novel that switches between perspectives to develop the plot, this is a very character-driven piece of work.  A Dance with Dragons follows alongside A Feast for Crows for the first half of the book, giving readers a richer look at the actions of what was going on with characters such as Jon and Daenerys whose perspectives were left out of A Feast for Crows.  This gives the readers a better look at the plotline from the book, and a better understanding of the characters and the world with which they are living in.

As the story progresses, the characters and the changes that they go through, as the whole the plot is given a richer detail.  Scene after scene, the characters have to deal with the world as it has changed with war and lies.  Politics is always messy, and that is exactly what Martin is grasping at as he unravels this plot line, thickening it up with the characters.  Each character continues to develop and faces life decisions they never thought they would have to face.  Looking back, these are not the same characters from A Game of Thrones; they are new, stronger, weaker and scared from who they were.  It’s a deeper insight into who they are. But the same narrative that made them so unique and captivating still rings true to this book because it is those differences that highlight who they have become in this war for the Iron Throne.

Martin also threw in a few unexpected plot twists into the novel, more game pieces that made the plot and story more riveting as old characters interacted with these new characters.  How this series will end, no one knows. There are just too many possibilities, too many ways this story can end.  Nevertheless, that makes the story more interesting because it’s unpredictable and unexpected.

Martin is a very talented writers and a master at his form.  ★★★★★ (A)

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