Thursday, 14 March 2013

Kim's Review : Song of Ice & Fire - Dance with Dragons (Dreams & Dust, After the Feast)

OMG! OMG! OMG! What a phenomenal book! What a suspenseful ending and absolutely no clue when the next in the series will be out. So many cliffhangers and no book 6 on the horizon.

At the Start of Book 5 of a Song of Ice & Fire, George Martin revealed that, he split Feast for Crows from Dance with Dragons, geographically rather than chronologically and that's why some characters were missing from Feast for Crows.

A Dance with Dragons is massive at 950+ pages and may seem daunting to begin, but after reading the first 4 books, there was no way I could postpone reading book 5

This is the first time, I finished a book and felt bereft. I was so engrossed in this series over the last few months (on & off), that now that I've finished reading every published book and the 3 chapters released by George R R Martin online (and read out to fans at comic con), I miss it. I miss the characters, I miss the storyline, I miss everything about the books. I guess this was part of the reason I waited over 4 weeks to write this review. Because writing a review, for me, means that I am done with a book. And I'm not ready to be done with the Song of Fire and Ice, yet.

Parts of me are still living in Kings Landing where Cersei's fate is unknown, on the wall where Jon Snow's fate is unknown, beyond the wall where Bran Stark's fate is unknown, in the North where Asha Greyjoy, Theon Greyjoy, Jeyne Poole, Roose Bolton, King Stannis Baratheon and Rickon Starks fate is unknown (Rickon isn't mentioned in this book either and I'm so worried for him). Catelyn Tully is missing in this book and Jaimie Lannister has gone off with Lady Tarth and no one knows where.

Princess Myrcella is hurt and the Prince of Dorne has sent his children and his brothers children all across the realm on their missions, how many of them will reach safely and how many of them will be able to fulfill the duties entrusted to them?

Beyond the narrow sea, Daenerys fate is hanging in the balance. Who are the 3 who will finally ride the dragons?

George Martin says that book 4 was a bitch & this book was 3 bitches and a bastard.

Since I've come to the end of book 5, here is my guesswork on what could be a possible plot line. ***(Spoilers ahead, don't read if you haven't read the previous books)***

Since book 2, I have suspected that Jon Snow is not Eddark Stark's son, but that of his sister Lyanna Stark who was raped by Rhaegar Targaryen. Making Jon of Targaryen descent.

Hence Jon Snow, Young Griff who is actually Aegon Targaryen (Rhaegar's son from his lawfully wedded wife Princess Elia of Dorne) and Daenerys Targaryen will be the 3 Targaryens who will ride the 3 dragons.

Jon Snow needs to die and rise from the dead so he can be freed from his oath to the Nights Watch. If this were to happen, then Jon will be free to marry Val and rule the North. While Daenerys & Aegon can be married to each other in true Targaryen style and rule the South.

Benjen Stark is Coldhands who led Bran, Meera and Jojen to the Last Greenseer.

Sam and Crasters daughter - Gilly have an important role to play.

Tyrion is obviously too interesting a character to kill off in book 6, but maybe in book 7?

I also heard an interesting POV that since Joanna Lannister was in love with Aerys Targaryen - Jaimie and Cersei could actually be his children. Since Joanna was a Lannister before marriage too and the Lannisters always have golden hair, it could be a gene more dominant than the silver hair and purple eyes of the Targaryens. This could also partly account for the streak of madness in Cersei.

This book was 959 pages long. Add on the cast of characters and it is 1016 pages long. George Martin has envisaged that books 6 & 7 will be around 1500 pages each. On the conservative side, he estimates that he will take 3 years to write each book. How can I wait that long? But wait I shall, and content myself with watching the diluted TV seasons as well, with Season 3 releasing later this month.

This book is epic and what makes it more epic than say a Lord of the Rings is that the characters all have shades of grey. No one is truly good or truly evil and Martin has done a brilliant job of telling tales from different perspectives, so the reader can empathise with the different characters. Its an extremely powerful kind of storytelling.

Should you read the books? Most definitely YES! But it may be a good idea to wait for the entire series to be out before starting to read them, because these hanging plotlines are too much to handle.

Rating : 4.5/5 (-0.5 for leaving me waiting indefinitely)

Also see my review of :
1. A Game of Thrones
2. A Clash of Kings
3. A Storm of Swords (Steel & Snow, Blood & Gold)
4. A Feast for Crows

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