August 11th, 2011


Book Report Thursday: A Dance with Dragons

It has occurred to me that it makes more sense to blog about what I read closer to the time I read it rather than waiting for the end of each contest period. I can still post the total lists for both T. and me at the end and announce who gets dinner each time, but the posts won’t be so enormous.

With that in mind, I came to talk about A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin’s latest. In preparation for reading it, I reread A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows. This was almost necessary because I had lost enough plot points that the new book was going to begin with me confused.

Upon further review, I don’t like the books as much as I did on first reading. I still like them, but I think that after the first two the quality dropped. There is a repetitiveness to the descriptions that seems a little, well, lazy. If I have to read about Melisandre and her great ruby one more time I might have to hurt someone. I get it; the ruby is important; move along. I am also tired of chapters that end with characters potentially dead. It’s an interesting technique once or twice, but seriously overused.

Without spoiling any plot points, Dance suffers from the introduction of too many new characters. What I have bought into with this series is that there is a story arc that continues from the first book to the last. If these new people here in the fifth book turn out to be major players, I will feel cheated. However, the development of characters already familiar has been strong. I have my favorites and they better have satisfying endings when all this is over.

T. is fascinated by one of the new characters. He thought the book suffered from lack of fighting. We have plenty to talk about in terms of speculation about where things will go next and both of us will, of course, read the next book if we are fortunate to live so long.