A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) – George R.R. Martin

A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) – George R.R. MartinTitle: A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) by George R.R. Martin
Publishing Info: July 12, 2011 by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: December 31, 2013
Related Posts: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1), A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2), A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3), A Feast For Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4)

    In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance — 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 thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.
    Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys's claim to Westeros forever.
    Meanwhile, 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 Night's Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.
    From all corners, bitter conflicts 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.

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A DANCE WITH DRAGONS was my very last read in 2013, closing out the year epically! I’m so glad I got to finish this in 2013 to totally finish the read along for A Song of Ice and Fire all in 2013! PHEW!!!! And now that I’m finished… Can you say series hangover?

So A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. It’s a toss up between that and A STORM OF SWORDS to name a favorite of the series so far because both were pretty epic in their own rites (although for the love of Pete, these are all flipping epic) but A DANCE WITH DRAGONS felt a bit more anticipated simply because of the full-length novel set-up that was A FEAST FOR CROWS. As stated in my review for AFFC, this was more the “part two”, focusing back on the main characters that dominated the first three books and boy, was I happy to see them again!

First things first: THE DRAGONS. WOOOOO!! Loved seeing their prominence in this book and consequently, how badass (yes, even more so) that Dany became because of her dedication to them. She’s also pretty badass on her own and she’s still one of my favorite characters! I loved how much the dragons affected the characters themselves as well as the overall plot of the book.

One thing I notice looking back from when I first picked up A GAME OF THRONES is really how different these characters are from when the series first started. The villains have shown their softer side and they’ve suffered their own plights as well. Many people that started off the series as antagonists had me feeling quite a bit of sympathy for them! Also, of course, spending so much time with all of the characters has really instilled a place in my heart for them. We’ve been reading these massive books for ten months now and when I finished…. I honestly didn’t know what to do. Sometimes I still feel weird that I’m NOT reading them because I hadn’t taken a break for ten months!

As usual, GRRM throws in a few insane twists that you did not see coming. And I love it. At times, sure, I still want to throttle him (as I’m sure most of his readers do), but I also appreciate that the heroes of these books are never fully safe. I find something realistic about that because hey, bad things happen to the good guys too.

The way this plot has grown from the first book is incredible too. There are so many different layers of the story — from one character to the next and multiple characters being involved in many different big events. Even the smallest things they do can turn out to have a big effect on the entire story. It’s quite fascinating how detailed this world is and yet how well GRRM keeps it all together and constantly moving.

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Dany // Character Obsessions: Dragons, marriage, peace.
I think Dany may have it the hardest of all the characters as far as personal decisions go. The weight of a kingdom is on her shoulders and she’s still a young girl, thinking about marriage and if that includes love. Managing dragons. Protecting her followers. Bringing peace to warring nations. It’s a lot of one person to take on and she’s totally kicking ass.
Ayra // Character Obsessions: Changing identities, swapping names, livin’ it up at the House of Black and White.
Arya — or I guess “not Arya” as she goes by many different names — is perplexing. I’m really enjoying her story line and how different it is from the other plots at the moment although… I’m not entirely sure where this is going! She’s so far removed from everyone (or so it seems) that I think I’m the most anxious to see how she comes back into the story. I honestly thought it would be in this book!
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Kept Me Hooked On: Westeros. I’m loving this world. Since I’ve been reading the books for ten months straight, it was almost hard to see how invested I was until I stopped and I felt that longing to read the next book… Except it’s not out yet. Although now I DO have the show to watch! 😀
Left Me Wanting More: Action. As with A FEAST FOR CROWS, I still wanted a bit more action. Not to say that things didn’t happen in this book because boy oh boy did they — It’s just SUCH a massive book that there are so many details and I tend to lose myself in the slower parts. There are some chapters that are just slower than others so the pieces that don’t involve a lot of action are sometimes harder to push through.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

Come on. If you’ve read the first four… And honestly, this is one of my favorites of the series so far! If you’re iffy on the series, this one really pulls it together and I think they’re all worth your while anyway 🙂

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE A DANCE WITH DRAGONS

        Prophecy     Graceling

6 thoughts on “A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) – George R.R. Martin

  1. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    So glad you caught up on all of these. So many pages to have read! I really enjoyed this one too and of course it left me sad that who knows how long we’ll have to wait for the next book. Thank goodness we can watch the show and love the series that way too. Martin is the best at villains imo. So glad you loved these 🙂

  2. Pamela D

    I am glad to hear how much you enjoyed this book. I typically don’t read super positive reviews of AFFC or ADWD. I am listening to ADWD now, and so far it has been pretty good.

  3. Tina

    This is a great review! I’ve only read A Game of Thrones so far, but A Clash of Kings is on my shelf just waiting to be read! I just keep putting it off because of the size, but I shouldn’t because I LOVED GoT!! And I know I will love the others as well. Maybe I’ll pick that up next to read (: Can’t wait to get to this book in the series!

  4. Rebecca @ The Library Canary

    I think I’m going to start this series this summer and hopefully get through at least the first two before the end of the year! They’re super intimidating, but I love the show and really want to read the books. I know the show leaves out a bunch of stuff.

  5. Miranda @ Tempest Books

    Wow, congratulations!! I finished this series (well, the published books) back in the Spring and I had such an awesome time reading them! I really want to do a re-read before the 6th book comes out (if that ever happens, oh my god, waiting is so hard). A Dance With Dragons was probably my least favorite book of the series, but the second one wasn’t the best either. I mean, they’re both still AWESOME, but compared to the rest of the series, I felt ADWD was lacking a little bit. A Storm of Swords was obviously amazing, and I ended up really, really liking A Feast for Crows even though I didn’t expect to. But then I had a really hard time getting into ADWD. Like the first half of the book went by SO SLOWLY for me and it was really aggravating. But I ended up really enjoying the second half of the book, so it was strange. But I feel like shit is going to go down in the next book and I’m so super excited for it!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks!! I really did like AFFC but I think I expected not to like it as much so it sort of self-fulfilled haha! I cannot wait for book six. The wait is going to be agony!!!

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