A Dance With Dragons

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Warning: the below contains some mild spoilers in that I’ll be mentioning some character names, therefore revealing that those I mention at least manage to survive to the beginning of book 5 and therefore will be spoilers if for example you’ve only got so far as the end of book 3 (*ahem* Mr. Lacer). There will be stronger spoilers at the end of this review which I’ll flag with another warning.
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*Gulp*, since starting with A Game of Thrones this July, I’ve been working my way through the series and I’ve just finished book 5, A Dance With Dragons, I’m going to have to wait with everyone else now to find out what happens next! And George RR Martin has left us with some hell of a suspense load of cliffhangers but that was not before, unfortunately, a bit of a slow start. Concentrating on Jon Snow, Tyrion, Daenerys, ‘Reek’ and a certain girl in Bravos, we follow the characters across the globe. Some chapters are slower than others and I have to admit I still don’t care that much about what happens in Dorne. Jon is my favourite in this one, whereas Daenerys continues to be almost as annoying as Sansa.

I ‘read’ this primarily as an audiobook and the voices of the characters are getting increasingly patchy; Daenerys sounds like a Cornish fish wife instead of the sultry young thing she’s meant to be (and she certainly didn’t sound like that in earlier books) and Cersei is obviously missing her brother Tyrion so much she’s adopted his welsh accent (bet you didn’t know Casterly Rock was in Wales 😉 ). However I feel a bit horrible for being so critical, there is a long gap between each book and it must be hard maintaining a character’s accent.

MASSIVE spoilers, only read if you’ve read the book.

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My favourite bits of A Dance With Dragons was the three cliffhangers involving Jon Snow, the Prince of Dorne and Kevan Lannister. I loved how Martin played with convention; Jon Snow’s last scenes, where it so looks like he’s going to go off and kick some serious Ramsay arse, all very great storyline (come on, Snow soooo needs to go back to defend his family’s honour in Winterfell and Ramsay is in need of some serious arse kicking) but kinda conventional, you know, as the scenes playing out, as Snow is announcing his plans, you can kind of see what’s going to happen (arse kicking in the snow basically), it’s already playing out in your head and then something completely and utterly different happens. Same with the Prince of Dorne, whatshisname (sorry, like I said, not a big fan of the Dornish), he goes to rescue the dragons, it’s already been set up that dragons respond better to people with dragon blood and that he has some, so as he goes on his foolhardy quest, you can already see it playing out before it happens, the prince will tame a dragon and ride out into the sunset …… and then something else happens. And then to a lesser degree, we have the final cliffhanger with Kevan Lannister, I don’t know about anyone else but I thought he was a gonna as soon as he stepped in Cersei’s chambers but he survives, gets called to go see the Maester because a raven has arrived, you’re imagining some dramatic message from somewhere to end the book on ….. and then something else happens. How can I wait for the next one!!!!!!

From a writing perspective I am so interested to see how the next two books play out because some serious wrapping up is going to be needed to be done and it doesn’t really look like we’re anywhere near the end game yet.

****(out of 5) stars

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