|A Dance with Dragons is the fifth
book in the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series (though technically, for me, the sixth as in
the UK, A Storm of Swords was divided into two books). Tyrion is
travelling towards Queen Daenerys, who is having trouble with a rebel group called Sons of
the Harpy. Jon Snow is lord commander of the Night's Watch, and having to make difficult
decisions. Bran and Hoddor are travelling, stalked by men and direwolves.
And this is
all that has happened in the first 120 pages. For a series which is five books in, I
expect more excitement and action, and, after waiting so long for it to come out, I was
sorely disappointed. I love epic fantasy, I love books with warfare, blood and politics,
but the pace has to keep moving, particularly at this stage in the plot. It has taken me
over six months to write this review, because I was always hoping that I'd be able to
muster up the energy and will to keep going past the point where I ground to a halt. I'd
wanted to find out what happened to the remaining members of the Stark family, to know
what fate (or the author) had in store for them, whether they would all survive to the end
of the 959 pages. But, in the end, it was too much effort. A series which now has over 50
pages of Dramatis Personae simply has too many characters, and I couldn't muster up the
enthusiasm to wade through the different storylines a chapter at a time just to find out
what had happened to my favourites.
So if you want a review from someone who has read the whole book, then there are
many others online. For me, as far as I got was summed up in George R. R. Martin's own
words (in the Acknowledgements at the end) "This one was three bitches and a
bastard." Very sadly, it comes through very clearly that he did not enjoy the writing
the book, which stops it being enjoyable to read, and this is a great shame.