The fifth volume of A Song of Ice and Fire offers fans of George R.R. Martin a continuing journey with their most loved (or hated) characters. What it does not offer is resolution, for any of the many strands of the plot. It even introduces new view points at the end of the volume, which makes quite obvious that a continuation is needed. Unlike series like the seven Harry Potters where each installment wrapped up neatly at the end, this one seems to be written to leave the reader hungry for the next installment…unless readers like this one are suffering from anticipation-fatigue and would have liked something else than a dozen open-ended plot lines at the end. One of my colleagues at work has finished the fourth book and was looking forward to reading the fifth, but also somewhat suffering from the same fatigue. So I am not alone.
It seems that George R.R. Martin has given up trying to construct a novel that can carry his readers forward. And his editor does not seem to contain the creative juices and channel them into what could be considered a well-written book. Some scenes are in quite bad taste and merely sound like the comments of a late teenager, unless that what is intended given what the expected audience is for the book. However, given the variety of people I see reading these books on public transit; the audience seems to be quite large. Many people like an enticing story. However, this enticement may have run its course, after so many twists and turns; it is not so much that “winter is coming” but “winter has arrived” and I feel left out in the cold.
So at this point, it is just as well that the sixth volume will be some time in coming. I need a break from Westeros and its power struggles and I need to think about something else.