Rating: 3 stars
A Dance with Dragons brings back our favorite characters, all of whom were missing from Feast for Crows. But, because it is so large and spans such a long period of time - we pick back up with some of the characters in Feast as well - causing the book to fall back into the pattern that George R. R. had set with his first three books. Those favorite characters were welcome and long (LOOONG) missed.
Still, while his story telling remains fairly strong throughout the book - the writing has suffered dramatically (in comparison to Game of Thrones, Clash of Kings, Storm of Swords). In fact, the book falls prey to some of the things I hate about mass market, serial writing. Character development doesn't just fall flat, it abruptly ceases to exist. Instead, the characters repeat the same thoughts over and over again, by way of the age old writing faux pas - TELLING us, rather than showing the reader how each character progresses through the books. It makes for pretty boring reading. Each character stays vibrant and alive only through the legacy created by past books.
But, I still love this series. And I'll still eagerly await the next book. And I'll still foolishly hope that Martin's contract with HBO means that he's also promised to write his books in a timely fashion. We'll see!
(Oh! Another annoyance for people who were fans of the book first - George R.R. refers to the Others as white walkers at least once in this book! Please keep HBO and your books separate!? PLEASE?)
Purchase Now from Amazon: A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)