a dance with dragons

A Belated Review of ‘A Dance With Dragons’

Author’s Note: I know, I know, this thing came out almost a month ago, but like many of you, I waited six damn years for it, so rather than plow through it in the interest of getting a review posted, I decided to savor it.

When the last volume of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, A Feast For Crows, was published in 2005, readers immediately began clamoring for the next book with the normal fury of fantasy fans. But this fury was exacerbated by Martin’s announcement that what they were reading was only half the story. A Feast For Crows grew so prodigiously during the writing of it that Martin split his narrative in twain, and sent the storylines of many fan favorite characters – among them Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow – into the next volume, A Dance with Dragons.

Years went by, and Martin continually promised that the book was on its way, and as those years stretched on some readers became downright nasty about wanting the next book right damn now. Martin was forced to defend himself publicly and still endure the wrath of internet trolls who continually implored him to just sit down and type them damn thing already, as if it were that simple.

Reading A Dance with Dragons, you become grateful that you only had to wait six years. Not only is the book a mammoth of a tome (it’s the second longest in the series and still clocks in at well over 900 pages), but it’s also easily the densest, most lushly plotted book of Martin’s career. At the close of this sweeping, multi continent, cast of thousands narrative filled with death, glory, travels and flights, you’ll be amazed that it didn’t take 20 years to write, and you’ll be convinced that a lesser writer could never have done it.

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Happy, happy news rang out in the world of fantasy literature Wednesday when George R. R. Martin finally completed A Dance with Dragons, the long-awaited fifth installment in his A Song of Ice and Fire cycle.

Martin made the announcement indirectly via his blog, posting simply a picture of the slain Kong from the 1976 King Kong film. Martin had been wrestling with the beast of a novel for so long that he had informally nicknamed it Kong, and longtime followers of the blog were immediately tipped to the news.

Martin’s editor Anne Groell confirmed the happy news via Suvudu, and noted that video evidence of the completion will follow soon.

It is true. Kong is dead.

There were a few moments of George in a spare office yesterday, cleaning up the last bits and inserting a few new bits in longhand, while I typed the changes into the electronic files, but we are honestly and officially done.

And there is MUCH rejoicing!

Fans of the series have been waiting for Dance for nearly six years, since the 2005 release of A Feast for Crows. It’s been particularly excruciating for many longtime readers of the series, as Dance is the essentially the second half of the portion of the story Feast began. The novel will take place in the same timeframe as its predecessor, but will feature different characters, among them fan favorites Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.

Dance with Dragons was already given a publishing date of July 12, 2011, but it’s nice to know the text is safely done and ready for binding. No doubt anxiety is already breaking out over how long it will take Martin to complete the sixth of the proposed seven volumes of the series, but let’s enjoy this moment while we can.

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There’s nothing more frustrating than being introduced to a wonderful book series which you devour quite hastily only to find out you must wait and wait and wait for the next volume. When the wait is six years it’s extremely frustrating. George R.R. Martin‘s fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire is one of the most popular fantasy series of the last decade with the first novel, A Game of Thrones, published in 1996. Daaaaamn. Okay, that’s over 10 years ago, man how time flies. Anyway, A Game of Thrones has been garnering a lot of buzz lately what with HBO producing a series based on the novel set to premiere in April 17th.

Game_of_Thrones_Iron_Throne_HBO_promo_01The series A Song of Ice and Fire is an epic tale of several families in the fictional land of Westeros all vying for control, and most importantly all hoping to have someone of their blood sit upon the Iron Throne. Which is kind of scary, have you seen this throne? It’s made out of very sharp blades and it one of the most uncomfortable seats ever. To the right is how the throne will appear in the HBO series.

The fifth book in the series, A Dance with Dragons will be released on July 12 and the hardcover will be around 900 pages! Meaning it’ll be close to the same length as the third book, A Storm of Swords which is currently the series’ longest book. Entertainment Weekly has an interview with Martin in this week’s edition about the new book and the new televisions series. Here’s the snippets they’ve included online,

What took so long?
I’m not sure I have a good answer. If I did, I would have taken less time. It’s enormous. It’s as long as A Storm of Swords. It’s very complicated. I have a lot of characters and points of view. And I’ve been doing a ton of rewriting, trying to get it where I wanted it to be. Some of these chapters I’ve rewritten more times than I can count before I’m satisfied with them.

Can you tease something from the book?
I don’t want to spoil any surprises. I can say all the characters people have been waiting for are there: Daenerys, Jon Snow, and Tyrion. There’s also new characters, and viewpoints from characters who did not have viewpoints before.

Seriously dude, what did take so long?! Not that I’m bitter or anything. It was a little annoying to see the development for the show take off and not have this fifth book published yet, but now all is good. 2011 will be a good year for all fans of the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens with a new book and really great looking TV series coming our way. Watch the latest trailer for HBO’s A Game of Thrones below the cut.

Was six years too long to wait that you’ve forgotton all about the land of Westeros? Well, get reading, you’ve got a lot of pages to cover before July.

source: Entertainment Weekly
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