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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

4.4 (11986 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kenneth Fairfield, OH, United States 09-22-11
    Kenneth Fairfield, OH, United States 09-22-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Worst performance of a tremendous book"

    I just finished "A Feast for Crows" performed by John Lee and loved listening to it. I had read hardcopy of the first three books previously. I quickly purchased "A Dance with Dragons". My heart sank as I began to listen to it. Tyrion sounded like an Irish leprechaun with speech impediment. Danny also sounded like an Irish leprechaun with a speech impediment.

    I've been listening to books on tape, CD and ebooks for over 30 years and I have probably heard over 500 books. This is the WORST reading performance of a book I've ever heard. I just checked and it appears that Roy Dotrice read the first three books also. I wanted to purchase those and have the whole series in audio format but I guarantee that won't happen now!

    This is such a wonderful series and Martin is a wonderful writer. It is a crying shame that the experience has to be ruined by a bad performance. I'm going to finish listening to the book since I already purchased it, but my recommendation is to buy this one in hardcopy and enjoy the read!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KWomack Louisville, KY USA 07-21-11
    KWomack Louisville, KY USA 07-21-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Not the best"

    Ok, this isn't the best book in the series, but it's still better than many other books I've listened to lately.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elias MD - United States 07-15-11
    Elias MD - United States 07-15-11 Member Since 2004

    Jemidon

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "6 of one, half-dozen of the other"

    First off, let me say that I personally love Roy Dotrice. There were rumors that he was to play Maester Pycelle in the HBO Series. If he had to give that up to do the audio for book 5, I'd say that's a slim trade. Thankfully, they got Julian Glover to do Pycelle in the series so the role doesn't go flat. Book four with John Lee was a little jarring. The book was not up to the same standard as the first three and the voice was different so the two togethermade for a weird combination. I will say this for John Lee. I have a few of his other books and I can honestly say that I like him for Dumas. (3Musketeers, Monte Cristo, etc.)

    Dotrice has a voice that's so full of character that it feels like my grandfather is reading to me again. After so many hours listening to him it's comforting.

    Regarding the book... It's been a long time coming and there's been a lot of housekeeping done; there always is in a story of this magnitude.

    A little trivia: George R. R. Martin used to write & produce tv episodes of Beauty and the Beast (Linda Hamilton, Ron Perlman - 1987). Roy Dotrice co-starred and played the role of Father in the tv series. Pretty interesting, huh?

    5 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Somonauk, Illinois, United States 07-14-11
    Tom Somonauk, Illinois, United States 07-14-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "YAY!!! Roy Dotrice is back!!!"

    Well for some reason Roy wasnt the narrator for book 4...but hes back in book 5. (as well in the HBO series Game of Thornes) He does a awesome job reading for this series. And i am so glad to hear his voice again. im only 4 hours or so into this book so far..and am so excited.... Terrian Lasnister (the imp) is my favorite...and im happy to see him again...and only after 4 hours...im so excited. And i hate to say this...but i cant wait to goto work tomarrow..so i can put my cans on and listen to the rest of this book...almost 50 hours of pure enjoyment im sure. oh happy happy joy joy :o)

    8 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Shaeffer San Francisco, CA United States 07-12-11
    Jason Shaeffer San Francisco, CA United States 07-12-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Yes!"

    Roy Dotrice is back! It's amazing that at 49 hours I still want more. For everyone who has only seen the HBO show, start listening to this series NOW.

    16 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maine Mermaid Blue Hill, Maine 05-30-12
    Maine Mermaid Blue Hill, Maine 05-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Big disappointment"
    Would you try another book from George R. R. Martin and/or Roy Dotrice?

    Loved the first two books in Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. BOOK 3 was a waste of paper. Book 4 was back on track but Book 5 seems as if Martin will go on forever. My recommendation is to stop after 2 and imagine your own ending.


    Would you ever listen to anything by George R. R. Martin again?

    Maybe.


    Have you listened to any of Roy Dotrice’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Only in movies. Dotrice is brilliant.


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

    Martin is a good storyteller but he's lost in the world he created.


    Any additional comments?

    Too many plots, too many characters. No end in sight.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    "unknown" 09-02-11
    "unknown" 09-02-11 Member Since 2009
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    "roy roy roy..."

    Why oh why did you change the voices for all the women, did you forget the basic story and make all the female characters 70 year old Scottish ladies. Other than the abysmal performance of the female voices Roy does a good job, but certain parts are nearly unbearable. The story is great but a little slow, t I eagerly await the next book, just perhaps with a better narrator, the books make enough money that it should not be hard to hire a competent narrator.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Likes to Learn Omaha, Nebraska United States 08-27-11
    Linda Likes to Learn Omaha, Nebraska United States 08-27-11 Member Since 2002
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    "A 3-VOICE MOTTLEY MISHMASH - BE FOREWARNED!"

    If you enjoyed the TV series "A Game of Thrones", I'm sure you are looking forward to reading this most recent book of the (to date) 5-book series. DON'T. You will be totally lost in this mishmash of intertwining half-plots and the horrendous performance by Roy Dotrice. Mr. Dotrice has only 3 voices - his normal voice, a lower, rougher version of his normal voice, and a perversion of pseudo-female voices that all fall into one category: crusty crone. Don't expect to hear a seductive voice for Dani - or any type of female voice that is realistic to character. Male characters are similarly flawed - and you often hear the same 'voice' for two different characters - within seconds of each other! - in a conversation. It makes listening - and understanding the story - almost impossible, and totally frustrating. Add Mr. Dotrice's annoying habit of breaking sentences with a slight pause - in a totally inappropriate spot - and the frustration mounts. I enjoyed the earlier books - though that was a LONG time ago. I don't recall the reader making such a mess of the novel, in the earlier books. Other reviewers have praised his work - and I simply cannot understand how they could do so! I love books - I love the written (and well-read) word - and I was looking forward to 49 hours of listening enjoyment. But, it has been "forced labor" to listen to this book. Although I am on part 4, it has been sheer persistence that has kept me listening so far - and I can hardly remember any of the plot, because the characters seem to 'run together' to make a jumble of words. If you are really interested in this series, I recommend that you start with book #1, and work through the series. You'll have a much better understanding of the books and characters - and hopefully have embedded in your mind the important parts of the story, the plot, and be able to sort out the characters by name. Or - wait for the HBO series instead!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Coral Springs, FL, United States 08-22-11
    Brian Coral Springs, FL, United States 08-22-11 Member Since 2005
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    "The train is off the rails"

    What started out as innovative and entertaining has become a bore. I am sure many will stick it out because they finish what they start. I used to do that too and wasted way too much time on Jordan's book series as a result. I have learned my lesson. I jumped ship in the middle of the fourth audio file. I will pick up the last book if I have any lingering interest by then. It's more likely I will have died before then given this author's pace.

    Like many, I was also shocked by the voice used for Daenerys. It makes her sound like an old crone. What happened with that? Did the reader understand she is a young woman? Clearly not!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Concord, MA, United States 08-20-11
    Beth Concord, MA, United States 08-20-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Narration distorts & ruins the story"

    I am amazed that with all of George R.R. Martins concern that this book be well crafted and the years it took to get it done, that this audiobook was released. There appears to have been no quality control, no production oversight to ensure that it lived up to even the standard of telling the written story. The narration is so bad that much of the character's intent is swamped. The terrible pacing of even the descriptive text inhibits understanding. Roy Dotrice does an adequate job on the other books but there are so many great narrators out there - there is no reason this production should have be released. Shame on you Random House. We can only hope that George R.R. Martin steps up to the plate and insists on a new production that is worthy of the series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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