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)
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.
Addicting, interesting, well-done
I can't pick one
The narrator did an excellent job, I though
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,
Jon. So courageous. So young. So head strong yet full of hidden and unknown potential.
Lack of depth. His characters became confusing - possibly because there are so many. Hated his vocal on most of teh female characters.
When the queen takes off on the dragon! I could see it and feel her exhileration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The saga continues...
If you've read the others, you know you're going to read this one as well!
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.
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.
I love the continuing story... no spoilers!
I particularly like Tyrion's voice and how all of the Lannisters sound similar. I think that is brilliant.
Please keep Roy Dotrice for the rest of the saga!
Need 6th Book
Excellent, except for some of the woman's characters who seemed to all have "old lady" voices even is they were young.
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.
no one who has heard the first three - all the voices changed - it's extremely distracting and unenjoyable.
i think i will opt to read a dance for dragons..
by constantly changing the voices from the 1st-3rd books of the series to the last 2 books. This is truly the worst of all.
I understand that the narrator is elderly and he did do a great job on the 1-3 books - but they should have given the task to someone who could be somewhat consistent for these last 2 books. even the pronunciation of the names changed. terriblydistracting.
How a professional writer can develope characters and themes that captivate a reader and then end a story without completing those characters or themes is beyond me. While Martin is exceptional in setting plots and building excitement and anticipation, the climax of the much awaited Book 5 is much like the puff of a soggy, rain soaked Dragon...
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