Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book #52

A Dance with Dragons, by George RR Martin. Unabridged audio.

Wow, that was a long wait. And for it, we got a long book. A really long book.

Yes, I know the first four were long, too, but my recollection is that a lot more happened in those books. This one had just a few events, at least as far as I could tell. There was a wedding, a trial, a revelation or two, and a major character death (which just for the record I don't think is permanent). Martin may have sprinkled in key facts and plot points amongst the rest of the novel, but at this point in the series, I doubt it. The characters and plot are firmly in place, and Martin seems to have a direction in mind for the overall story.

The strength of this book was the atmosphere. Snow is falling, and we are seeing the consequences of Winter coming. He have been warned in prior books that "Winter is coming," but this book finally showed us what this ominous warning may bode for the Seven Kingdoms and her inhabitants. There was a particularly emotional scene of a forced march and siege, and the changing weather had a definite effect on that strategy.

There was certainly some wonderfully-written scenes in here, and Martin has a firm control over his prose. And there were some interesting character moments in this volume, but the lack of major plot advancement disappointed me. But I am still a fan of the series, and my faith in Martin's ability to bring the series to a satisfying close has not been shaken.

I hope the wait for books 6 & 7 aren't as long as the wait for this one is. And perhaps if Martin produces the next manuscripts quicker, there will be a little more time for editing.

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