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.
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.
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!
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.
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 🙂