Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review: "A Dance with Dragons"

Over the course of the spring I reread the first four volumes of George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series (well, reread the first three and read the fourth for the first time) so that I'd be able to pick up the fifth volume, A Dance with Dragons, when it came out in July. I was a bit delayed in that, but I've now finished up ADWD. This installment begins with the same chronological period covered in the previous book but from the perspective of different characters, but toward the end, as Martin notes at the outset, the two streams converge again.

The several major plot points of the series grind slowly forward in this volume, which barely references any of the major cliffhangers from the last book (and ends with more than a few of its own). There are so many little points and questions I have about what's happening to one character or another that it was frustrating to read a book of nearly 1,000 pages and not get some of those answers, but one lives in hope that the next volume might finally bring resolution to some of lingering plot threads.

What I love about these books is the realpolitik, the debts-must-be-paid grittiness of the world Martin has built. When a thousand pages isn't enough to satisfy me and leaves me wanting just another few chapters, I know I've just read a good book. Frustrating it may be, but I'll be waiting impatiently for my next chance to shiver at the Wall.

No comments: