I’ve been MIA around here because I have been dedicating myself to A Dance With Dragons, the fifth instalment in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy masterpiece.
I literally just finished reading it, so I’m still a little breathless from the ending. The books in this series are all so long and so complex (the names alone…there are so many to keep track of that it’s a good thing Martin has an appendix of all the families and their relationships to each other to keep track of everyone) that sometimes you get a little lost. But the endings. The endings are always spectacular.
If you haven’t read the fifth one yet, this post will probably have some spoilers. I put off reading A Dance With Dragons for a long time because I wanted to buy it in paperback to match the Costco set of 4 I already had (hello? Paperback Princess?). But my friend ended up dropping it off for me to read, eager to share it with someone else so she could talk about it.
First off, even though this one is good, the 3rd book (A Storm of Swords) is still my favourite. That one was all twisty and turny and mindblowingly awesome. In terms of moving the plot forward, the third one was pivotal. I’m not sure that any of the others will compare with the brilliance of the epilogue alone. That said, A Dance With Dragons does deliver. And the dragons finally fly! Probably not the way we may have envisioned (namely with Dany riding triumphantly on one of them, on her way to claim the Iron Throne) but they fly. Here’s what I learned from this book: do not mess with dragons.
It is just another book in a series so there is a LOT left unanswered. Where is Sansa? What’s going to happen to Tyrion? Is Jon Snow OK? What is the deal with Arya? And Varys! Did not see that coming! It was also grotesque in parts. So grotesque that another friend warned me about eating while I was reading, namely: don’t do it. She was not kidding. This one chapter where Reek is still in the dungeons and he’s eating a live rat? Even now that makes me want to hurl. Martin has an obscene imagination complete with heads on spikes, dog soup, burning men alive, diarrhea and lots and lots of blood and guts.
I thought that the sixth book was set to be released this fall but it turns out that I was mistaken. It will be a while before I find out exactly what will happen to Cersei, Arya or Tyrion – the next book, tentatively titled The Winds of Winter, is still being written.
Make no mistake though, when it is ready, it will have been worth the wait.