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
"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)
I thought when I started listening that this would wrap up the Game of Thrones series. I wish it had. There is no one left I even like. The plot is overwhelmed by way too many characters. Not to mention endless food and clothing boring details. I'm done with it!
The action returns and this book is pure Martin mastery. I almost didn't download based upon reviews of Daenerys' voice (which is pretty terrible). However, the story is so good, the characters so deep, and the rest of the narration sufficiently excellent that it was a very worthwhile listen - nearly every minute of it's 57+ hours. Unlike previous books in the series that take awhile to gain traction, this one speeds along well nearly from the jump.
One last tip - this book takes place basically in chronological parallel with book 4. Martin does a masterful job of establishing the timeline, though in spots you might find yourself going "I already heard this"...you did, but keep on trucking and you'll see. Enjoy!
Listening to the whole thing is a very long task and the payoff is only ok. This isn't a bad book, but it's about twice, or three times as long as needed. The author should have released it as a collection of short stories.
The reader is talented and can do may voices. However the director, or editor was asleep at the switch. Roy can do female voices well as seen by Cersei, but his voices for other females like Arya an Dany were completely awful and painful to listen to. The book would have been way better to listen to if all the women sounded like Cersei.
All in all even though the book ended with multiple cliff hangers it left the story in a good spot for the next book. The author just needs to make the next book advance the plot unlike the last two. Otherwise he will continue to hit a wall like Wheel of Time did. Oddly enough I started reading these books because of the Wheel of Time books want downhill so fast.
There are so many beloved characters strewn out that it is rather frustrating waiting to circle back around to their circumstances. Some characters that we left "on a cliff" in the previous book were never addressed in this book.
The narrator is skilled at his many voices, however, I think he misses the mark for a few key characters. Particularly women characters.
This book seemed less violent and more thought provoking than the previous 4. More game oriented, less action. I hope GRRM keeps it up!
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