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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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  •  
    S. R. Neidenbach Annapolis, MD 03-06-13
    S. R. Neidenbach Annapolis, MD 03-06-13 Listener Since 2009

    Constant Wanderer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "Badly formatted. Narration and story don't hit par"
    What would have made A Dance with Dragons better?

    Keeping the same voices from earlier books.
    Proper chapter breaks.
    Less new characters.


    What was most disappointing about George R. R. Martin’s story?

    New characters that did not go anywhere. The possible death of an old character that I guess Martin just got bored with. Cersei and Jaime were hardly in it.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Roy Dotrice’s performances?

    Yes. His work on the last four books was marvelous. For some reason the voices of the female characters in this completely changed, for the worse.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Tyrion's tale was marvelous.


    Any additional comments?

    The chapter breaks were not set up right. I often like to finish a chapter on my Kindle before bed. Even without whispersync this would have been easy if Audible had set up the chapters properly like in the previous book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob PLATTSBURGH, NY, United States 03-04-13
    Rob PLATTSBURGH, NY, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    4
    3
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    0
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    "Like The Energizer Bunny, It Keeps Going On and On"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Somebody with insomnia. To paraphrase Robin Williams from the movie "Good Morning Viet Nam", this book should be played for "people who don't respond to strong drugs".


    What was most disappointing about George R. R. Martin’s story?

    I was sort of Ok with the first 4 books, (they too were a bit long winded) but this one sets a new record for providing the listener (or reader if they have the print edition) with more information and descriptions than is needed. It almost seems like the author was being paid by the word. As an example, nobody "needs" to know every piece of clothing a charactor is wearing, what material each article is made of, what color each piece is, it's texture, what the buttons are made of, so on and so forth, "EACH" character (who by the way, many of whom seem to make no pertinent contribution to the advancement of the story) is wearing. What seems to be even worse is the the fact that Martin seems to think that the Listener/Reader wants to know the smallest detail and spends way too much time describing every morsel of food a character eats. I like eating, but I really don't want or need to know (mayby slightly exaggerated) where each biteful came from, how eash course was prepared, what color the food is, how it smells, and so on. I think you get the picture. Anothing I found is that there way too many charators, too many story lines, and the time between one story line until he gets back to it takes way too long and makes the story really hard to follow.Another thing that is annoying (and boring) is that way too many times, a chapter just seems to stall. Charactors just sitting around talking for what seems like hours, getting into minute details about histories of lands, kingdoms, family trees, etc. that again, doesn't do anything to advance the story.If one was to take out all of the page filling fodder, it would it make the story shorter and way more interesting.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Roy Dotrice?

    Although he does make an attempt at doing voices, his reading is dull and monotonous. Between the story and Roy's reading, I can only listen for short periods of time, and for an audio book that is 49 hours long, it's going to take quite a while to get through this story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Dance with Dragons?

    That list is WAY too long


    Any additional comments?

    Although I have listened to the first four books, and was not overly impressed, I do plan to suffer through the rest of this one. But, that having been said, I think I'll be hard pressed, if at all, to get Book 6, and however many others may come after that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith 03-01-13
    Keith 03-01-13
    ratings
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    "Tedious storyline further damaged by Dotrice"

    After an engaging 2 or 3 books, Martin, in Book 5: A Dance with Dragons, gives us page upon page of filler. It's as if he learned to write on the staff of an aging television soap opera, grinding out small story after small story just to fill the pages and keep the checks coming. This series started out to be grand adventure and is now a directionless exploration of the minds of so many characters that have so little to do with the larger plot. Helping to further limit our enjoyment of this "new classic" is the embarrassing narration by Dotrice. His inappropriate and inconsistent accents (think pirates and leprechauns) are laughable and he can't seem to use them only when the characters are speaking. Also distracting is his inconsistent pronunciation of some of the characters' names. His mistakes are so numerous that the audio editors cannot have closely monitored his output - the recording seems to have been done on the cheap. Recommendation: If you have read the 4 preceding books in this series, you must make up your own mind. With so many hours invested, you will likely trudge on through this one. For me, I am through with this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keisha 03-01-13
    Keisha 03-01-13
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Best one yet"
    If you could sum up A Dance with Dragons in three words, what would they be?

    Addicting, interesting, well-done


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Theon Greyjoy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I can't pick one


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes!


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator did an excellent job, I though

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte Phoenix, AZ, United States 02-28-13
    Charlotte Phoenix, AZ, United States 02-28-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    11
    4
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    Story
    "More please sir"
    Would you listen to A Dance with Dragons again? Why?

    I would listen to this entire series over and over again. Over 250 hours of compelling drama. With dramatic and sometimes graphic descriptions of events, I was drawn to keep listening for the next step. Perhaps I missed something, perhaps I didn't cattch a subtle twist. Maybe, just maybe one of them isn't really dead. I can't seem to get enough. Please Mr. Martin - give us more and give us a resolution (if there is one). What of Bran, What of Ricon, Where is Jamey, who is the silent knight, will the wicked queen get her just reward,


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jon. So courageous. So young. So head strong yet full of hidden and unknown potential.


    What three words best describe Roy Dotrice’s voice?

    Lack of depth. His characters became confusing - possibly because there are so many. Hated his vocal on most of teh female characters.


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

    When the queen takes off on the dragon! I could see it and feel her exhileration.


    Any additional comments?

    The hard copy books have appendicies which are helpfuk in keeping track of who's who and what's what. I think this would have been helpful for listening as well. I did not care for how the chapters were broken up on the audible. Book four is the only one that had it rightg.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail 02-26-13
    Gail 02-26-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ONLY 3 Stars : Lost of Focus and Confusing Voice"

    A mere 10% of the story revolves around the Stark and Lannister families and Daenerys. Sadly, the scattered family members of the Starks worsened to a bleak ending, so was Daenerys'.

    The 90% was spent developing minor characters and subplots that did not contribute much to the whole story- what a waste of listening time.I listened patiently waiting for the climax; I didn't recognize it if there was one

    The voices of Daenerys and Aria both became like hags: 'coarse', high-pitched, pinched and croaky; not at all close to their voices in books 1 and 2. A normal male voice sounded more feminine and pleasant than the voices rendered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck San Francisco, CA, United States 02-26-13
    Chuck San Francisco, CA, United States 02-26-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book, horrible narration"
    Where does A Dance with Dragons rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The book itself is great, but I had a lot of issues with the narration. Generally I am able to get over a reader I don't like, but the accents Roy Dotrice uses were constantly annoying to me. So, hard to say.


    What other book might you compare A Dance with Dragons to and why?

    I have also read the Wheel of Time series. This series beats it hands-down for me, however, the last 3 books of the Wheel of Time are actually pretty good and come pretty close to matching the quality of this series. Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series, seemed to loose his way, adding far too many characters and plot threads, and by book 10 of that series, the story just slowed down to a complete halt. I am a bit concerned that George Martin is in danger of doing the same thing with this series.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader insists on using a series of utterly ridiculous accents, other than that he is quite good. However, the book becomes almost unlistenable. For some reason he gives Tyrion and a number of others, including Danierys utter silly sounding Irish accents. It just makes them sound like comical leprechauns. I mean, these characters are supposed to be royalty and nobles, it makes no sense! OK, the men from the north speak with Scottish, accents, I get that, but then why does Jon Snow have a more proper British accents? and why do people from across the Narrow sea also speak with Scottish accents? There just rhyme or reason to it. Sam Tarley sounds like a complete halfwit.

    It may be that I am British by birth, and that I read the previous books of the series in dead-tree format, and have enjoyed the tv series, but these overdone and silly accents completely ruin the book for me. The TV show seemed to nail the characters, so why does Mr. Dotrice decide to take a completely different tack and portray everyone as some sort of half-witted yokel? Otherwise, as I said, he is a very capable reader. Fortunately he does not use the accents when doing characters' inner monologues, which helped my enjoyment of the book somewhat.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The saga continues...


    Any additional comments?

    If you've read the others, you know you're going to read this one as well!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Livingston, TX, United States 02-25-13
    J Livingston, TX, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    31
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    "Returns to quality of Books 1 & 2"

    Books 3 & 4 got very choppy, with the substory lines left unresolved too often. There were so many substories and characters that the narrator ran out of voices and the substories were difficult to follow. This series needs to be reproduced with at least 3 narrators -- 2 male and 1 female, much in the manner of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy. Having said that, the substories in volume 5 are much more comfortable, although the book leaves us waiting for volume 6.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kris KERRVILLE, TX, United States 02-25-13
    Kris KERRVILLE, TX, United States 02-25-13
    ratings
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    "Love it! More Song of Ice and Fire..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Dance with Dragons to be better than the print version?

    I loved Roy Dotrice. I think he does a great job narrating. I just can't pick up the books anymore. They aren't as good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the continuing story... no spoilers!


    Which character – as performed by Roy Dotrice – was your favorite?

    I particularly like Tyrion's voice and how all of the Lannisters sound similar. I think that is brilliant.


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

    No spoilers.


    Any additional comments?

    Please keep Roy Dotrice for the rest of the saga!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sebastian 02-22-13
    sebastian 02-22-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    62
    6
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    "Winter actually comes :)"
    If you could sum up A Dance with Dragons in three words, what would they be?

    Need 6th Book


    What other book might you compare A Dance with Dragons to and why?

    Not sure


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    Excellent, except for some of the woman's characters who seemed to all have "old lady" voices even is they were young.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    I am so delighted to get this book and now I will be able to find out what happened to my favorite characters in this series. I really enjoy George R. R. Martin writing style and how he can make you feel like you are there and how through he is in everything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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