In the aftermath of a colossal battle, Daenarys Targaryen rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way east—with new allies who may not be the ragtag band they seem. And in the frozen north, Jon Snow confronts creatures from beyond the Wall of ice and stone, and powerful foes from within the Night’s Watch. In a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics lead a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skin-changers, nobles and slaves, to the greatest dance of all. (from back cover)
This may be my least favorite of the five. I still highly enjoyed reading it, but it took me much longer to get through this one than it did the other four. One reason is that it is a little longer, but I also didn’t want to get to the end as I know that I now have to wait forever for the next book to come out. The suspense is going to kill me.
Yet, I think another reason it took me so long to get through this one was the fact that the characters’ stories were not as thrilling as the others. Much of the action is really drawn out and not much happens to a lot of the characters. At least Bran only has two chapters in the whole book, which is a relief as he doesn’t do anything but sleep and go into animals’ minds. After a while, that becomes eye-rollingly boring. (Look at that. I made a new phrase.) But even some of the most exciting characters, like Tyrion, don’t have much going for them in this book. Most of the time, Tyrion is traveling via various methods which is boring to read after a while. Martin also leaves a lot of annoyingly open-ended questions by the end. There are a couple of characters, like Jamie, that probably should have had another chapter but didn’t so we see him once, something happens in the end, and then there is nothing for the rest of the book. I seriously believe that the only reason this became a problem is because Martin now has way too many characters and is trying too hard to develop those who used to be minor characters or establishing new characters, which often forces him to spend less time on his original (and frankly, more important) characters.
I think Martin adds like four characters into the book which makes it hard to follow when we get to those chapters since for most of the chapter we are trying to figure out who the heck that person is anyway. I personally don’t believe that any of the characters he has randomly added in the book need to be there. There is enough intrigue as it is without them. Their only purpose is to further complicate the already complicated plot. Also, by the middle of the book, at least two of the characters are completely worthless, and we honestly see no reason for them being there since their original missions have already failed (which one realizes and the other still doesn’t).
In fact, nothing truly exciting happens until the end of the book, and it is the end that redeemed it in my eyes. Even though I’m angry with it…You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read it… I think if it weren’t for all the stuff that happens in the end, this book would have gotten an even lower score.
In the end, this was a rather disappointing place to have to wait for the new book. I’m still impatiently waiting for the next one, but I just wish we had been given something more exciting and a little less confusing. However, he does end the book with a classic George R.R. Martin twist, so at least there is that. A decent read overall but not the best.