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A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5 | [George R. R. Martin]

A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.
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Publisher's Summary

Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again - beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. 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. But Daenerys has three times 3,000 enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone - a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Nights Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

Enchanted? Check out the rest of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.

©2011 George R.R. Martin (P)2011 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Martin has produced--is producing, since the series isn't over--the great fantasy epic of our era. ... his skill as a crafter of narrative exceeds that of almost any literary novelist writing today." (Lev Grossman, Time)

"Martin's love for sophisticated, deeply strange fantasy permeates Dance like a phantasmagorical fever dream…Martin seems poised in the last two books to bring home one of the best series in the history of fantasy." (Jeff Vandermeer, Los Angeles Times)

"Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire will surely think the wait was worth it. ... The great attraction of the story must lie in its panorama of a medieval kingdom: knights in armor, mercenary ‘sellswords,' tavern wenches, struggling and surviving inhabitants in all forms, from low to high." (Tom Shippey, Wall Street Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Kevin Winter Garden, FL, USA 09-09-14
    Kevin Winter Garden, FL, USA 09-09-14 Member Since 2007

    Do not Follow Me. Learn to lead.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Does this soap opera ever end."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    yes it helped me understand that my life could be worse.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    ENDING? There is no ending. I have listened to all 5 books and I still have no idea where this story is going. It's like Days of Our Lives with swords. Don't worry if you pass out while listening you'll be able to keep up with the non existant plot when you run off the road and wake up.


    What aspect of Roy Dotrice’s performance would you have changed?

    Roy, we should do drinks. You're a good guy and you did a good job. I listened to the story not the voices.


    Was A Dance with Dragons worth the listening time?

    Yes it was like elevator music in the car. It kept me from running the Bluehairs off the road.


    Any additional comments?

    This series is a very complex story that is difficult to follow and impossible to predict. I'm sure there are people out there that can explain the plot but I'm not one of them. If your life is so bad that you need to zone out and escape into another, this is the way to do it. But undestand it is pointless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer McKinney, TX United States 09-03-14
    Amazon Customer McKinney, TX United States 09-03-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Story Continues to Develop... and Develop....."
    Where does A Dance with Dragons rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Within the Fire and Ice books, this is probably in the middle of the five books I've listed to. As far as all of my audiobooks, I would rank it in the upper 25%


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Dance with Dragons?

    Another major character "bites the dust". Almost as hard to take as the "red wedding"


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narrator makes everyone sound like their about 70 years old and the women, especially Dany, sound like an old man. I would recommend that he have someone else read the female parts, at least.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-20-14
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-20-14 Member Since 2008

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    186
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    "Much and more; little and less"

    I have a number of quibbles with this book, which may lead some to consider this a negative review. Therefore, let me say right at the start that I love this series and I do not regret one minute of the many hours it has taken to listen to the first 5 books.

    Book 5 covers the same time frame as book 4 only focusing on different characters. That puts a solid limit on how much the story can advance. As always in this series, Martin relies on the dialog to move the story forward. He's really good at it, but sometimes I wish he would resort to some old-fashioned exposition and just jump ahead. The problem is that we already know most of the facts the characters are going to consider. If you love the characters and like to hear them talk, then it's no big deal. If you are conscious of the fact that we have a long wait ahead of us before book 6 comes out (and who knows how long till book 7 and possibly book 8), then you'll have to forgive me for being a bit impatient.

    Another reason for my impatience is that some of the questionable details of Martin's imaginary world are starting to wear thin: bodyguards appointed for life, an ice wall that lasts 1000s of years without maintenance, multi-year weather patterns that are a big deal in one continent but not in the other, the absence of technological advances in a world that seems to have all the resources ours does, medieval empires of a scope unimaginable in our own world, royal families with almost no members after centuries of unbroken dynasties.

    Martin has gotten much better about overusing certain vocabulary since he started this series. Unavoidably, he still gets attached to certain words and phrases. 'Much and more' and 'little and less' are two that stood out in this latest volume. And even though he never strays from the emotional truth of his characters, I couldn't help but feel he made some missteps in this book as far as certain dialogs between characters of different ranks or classes.

    Yet for all that, this series is still an amazing exploration into human nature. It is fascinating to watch the main characters discover the perils of leadership and agonizing over the right decision. Just as it is fascinating to watch other characters discover the result of their own hubris. It is hard to think of a single character in this series, whose future we are not interested in discovering, regardless of how we may feel about them. Just the fact that Martin has us rooting for multiple characters, even knowing that they will eventually be in conflict with each other, puts this series in a class by itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorry Sebring, FL, US 08-14-14
    Lorry Sebring, FL, US 08-14-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Anxiously waiting book 6"

    Every book in this series ends in a cliff hanger. Book 5 is no exception. Roy Dotrice is the best narrator!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Hamilton 08-07-14
    K. Hamilton 08-07-14 Member Since 2013

    Kathy Hamilton

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "too slow, not enough action"

    Last book and this book have been a disappointing time vampire. After book 3, I had looked forward to more plot twists and reasonable story movement. Instead, separation of characters so completely from each other that I felt the momentum was completely lost. Who edits these books and where were they?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily michigan 08-06-14
    Emily michigan 08-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing Book. (But the Chapter Breaks are Wrong!)"
    What did you like best about A Dance with Dragons? What did you like least?

    This story is fantastic. I've read the book before listening to the audiobook and have caught a lot of new details. This is probably my favorite book so far in the Song of Ice and Fire series. If you have liked the other books, you will love this one.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ser Davos Seaworth. How can you not love this guy? He is humble, talented, loyal, kind, and wants what is best for everyone around him. Even though I'm not sure I'm a Stannis fan, it's impossible not to love his Hand, Davos.


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    Roy's voices are incredible! He is the best audiobook narrator I've ever heard. Little bonus - he actually plays the role of the pyromancer in Season 2 of Game of Thrones on HBO.


    Any additional comments?

    It drives me insane that the chapter breaks are incorrect. You can't just skip through chapters because all the breaks at at random points in the text. I am especially annoyed by this because I'd like to relisten to A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons in chronological order (mixing chapters of those two books together) and it's impossible due to the screwed up nature of the chapter breaks in this audiobook. PLEASE fix this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy M. 07-28-14
    Wendy M. 07-28-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Love this world, can't wait for more"
    Would you listen to A Dance with Dragons again? Why?

    Yes, if I had an extra 49 hours!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Dance with Dragons?

    The dragons. I don't want to give spoilers.


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    He is a wonderful narrator, although his female voices can be laughable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Pittsburgh, PA, United States 07-27-14
    Michael Pittsburgh, PA, United States 07-27-14

    I am a Physics and Engineering student.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why do I even waste my time?"

    I've read good reviews about Roy Dotrice and I don't see it at all. I found him to be one of the worst narrators I've listened to. He uses the worst voices for characters. They do not fit the character's description and a few times I couldn't understand what he said because apparently he figured that character should be hard to understand. Not only do the voices not fit they sound very stupid. I wish they would have found a new narrator for this one.

    As for the book, I have grown bored with reading (or listening to) them. The first three were excellent, I couldn't put them down. "A Feast for Crows" was so hard for me to stay interested in I decided to buy the audio version. I feel the same about this one. It just drags on and seemed forced, like he wrote it just because he needed to get something out there. The television show is turning out to be much better than the books, and when is that ever the case.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Indianapolis, Indiana, United States 07-21-14
    Todd Indianapolis, Indiana, United States 07-21-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    24
    20
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    "SO MUCH BLEH!?"
    What did you like best about A Dance with Dragons? What did you like least?

    George RR MARTIN does further the story with this installment. Much like his other books some stories are AWESOME! Others are just plain boring.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It was an ending? IT had no impact on me.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The dragons are finally becoming more prominent.


    Did A Dance with Dragons inspire you to do anything?

    It made me rethink how I spent the last 40 + hours of my life.


    Any additional comments?

    It is hard to deal with this series. IT is very very descriptive. . . which is fine... but some of the side stories just are BORING.... I am usually a fan of unabridged not here.... The TV series is doing a better job at trimming the fat then the audio books. Listen if you have time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha Cox 07-17-14 Member Since 2013
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    4
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    "Story is mediocre; Narrator is unbearable."
    Any additional comments?

    I read Dance of Dragons before I downloaded this audiobook, so I already knew what I was getting myself into. Most fans of this series are aware that the quality of GRRM's writing and pacing in books 4 and 5 are inferior to the first three novels. I'm in agreement with the general consensus, although the end of Dance of Dragons starts to pick up and the last quarter of the book leaves me optimistic that this series could end on a high note. Obviously, I enjoyed the book enough to give the audiobook a try because my experience with Audible has taught me that a good narrator can really enhance a story.

    I think this book is definitely worth READING especially if you loved the first three, but please don't make the same mistake as I did and download the audiobook because the narrator ruined it completely for me. I'm not even sure if I can finish it, it's that bad.

    I've heard from others that this narrator was really good on the first three audiobooks, but I can only comment on what I know from Dance of Dragons. The best way I can describe it is that if you like the idea of listening to a cranky old man/chrone rambling for 47 hours straight, maybe this is the audiobook for you. . . It just takes you out of the story when Dani, who you know is supposed to be a beautiful, young queen, sounds like an old hag. The biggest flaw in this narrative is that there are too many characters and plotlines and the narrators use of similiar voices and inflection for all characters just makes the story close to incomprehensible. Also, very, VERY annoying.

    Due to the popularity of the HBO series, I am really shocked at how bad this audiobook is.
    I feel ripped off. Not by Audible, which I can't say enough good things about, but whoever The Powers That Be are behind the current GOT money machine who are cashing in on this POS audiobook.

    Bottom Line: if you are a diehard fan of this series READ a Dance with Dragons. If you are more a fan of the TV show, you probably won't like it. No matter what though, don't buy or waste a precious credit on this audiobook!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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