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A Dance with Dragons
Reviewed by
Geoffrey Kent
on
A Dance with Dragons Review. It may have between a long time between good reads (six years to be precise) but George R. R. Martin has returned with gusto and his unique interpretation of this genre continues to amaze as he puts many authors to shame. And just like a Lannister always pays his debts, so does George R. R. Martin! Bravo!
Rating:
4.0
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS
George R. R. Martin
 
 

Review Information

Reviewer: Geoffrey Kent
Review Date: August 2011

Book Information

Publisher: Harper Collins
RRP: $39.95

8

out of 10

 

 

The fifth novel from George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire has arrived in Australia, called A Dance With Dragons which reunites viewers to the mythical continent of Westeros and beyond. With the excellent HBO TV series, A Game of Thrones just finished in America, the timing for Martin's latest novel could not have been better.

Needless to say, this book will definitely spoil the next instalment of the TV series for those blasphemers that only want to watch this story unfold as opposed to reading it! Conversely, for those curious about the books, I would highly recommend that you investigate the excellent writings of scribe George R. R. Martin because there is so much more information about the characters in the book which even makes the excellent TV series pale in comparison. Let's push the TV series aside and get onto the fifth book. On a side note and in terms of continuity, A Dance with Dragons takes place during the same time-frame of A Feast of Crows, however this book is a little longer in terms of time.

Initially I was a little apprehensive in returning to this series as A Feast of Crows (2005), the previous book was a little lacklustre and more importantly, many of the main characters from the previous books were absent. Thankfully all this has changed in A Dance with Dragons as Martin returns to more familiar territory with colourful characters such as Tyrion Lannister the imp to the bastard son of Lord Eddard Stark, Jon Snow as he valiantly attempts to build an army and cater for an almost never ending influx of refugees from the North.

With that said, his current novel has a more sword and sorcery feel to it as opposed to the political intrigue from the original book and more particularly the language and debauchery still remains. Unlike other fantasy books of this genre, Martin has a knack to truly flesh out his characters from their motivations to emotions that at times, feel quite realistic as you read this engaging novel. Thankfully all the elements of the first three books and to some extent, the fifth book continue in A Dance of Dragons and there's plenty of twists and turns to be found along the way.

Of course, A Dance with Dragons would not be a dance without the lovely and mysterious Daenerys Targaryen, the Dragon Queen whose scaled grip continues to expand as her dragon pups continue to grow and feed. Daenerys also has the difficulty of taming the nobles of Meereen as she has abolished slavery which does not sit well with some of the denizens of this city, especially the rich.

Given these facts, the comparison between Daenerys and Jon is quite interesting to see unfold. Although both from noble blood, Jon's existence is for the protection of Westeros as the ancient evil from the North that threatens the wall will eventually threaten all this continent. In essence, he is torn between his allegiance to the Wall and that of his King. Whereas Daenerys is using her position as "Queen" to build an army to reclaim her birth right using all her political charm and power.

Finally we have Bran Stark whose family believes him dead but he continues to seek for an ancient power in the north in order for him to master his magical powers as not only a skinchanger but also a greenseer. Bran's story is definitely the more mythical story that harkens back to the sword and sorcery genre.

There are also several new characters introduced into A Dance with Dragons and I loved the prologue about Varamyr Sixskins, a powerful skinchanger who struggles for survivor. However my favourite character is that of Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf kinslayer as he attempts to find his place in the world. He is man on the run who has destroyed his ties to one of the most powerful families in Westeros after killing his father and his nephew. It's amusing to see his tale unfold, not to mention his quest of where do whores go?

Final Thoughts?

It may have between a long time between good reads (six years to be precise) but George R. R. Martin has returned with gusto and his unique interpretation of this genre continues to amaze as he puts many authors to shame. And just like a Lannister always pays his debts, so does George R. R. Martin! Bravo!

Highly Recommended!






 
 



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