Tag Archives: George R. R. Martin

A Dance With Dragons: one more book in the flow of an imaginary history

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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.

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Lost in George R.R. Martin’s World

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I chanced upon the works of George R.R. Martin (or as my husband says, George R.R.R.R.R…. Martin ;-)) when I started looking for books to buy and load onto my Kobo last summer. So I bought the first four volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire and quickly chumped through them (in an electronic sort of way). I like a good, long story with many twists and turns and I quite enjoyed the ride.

The books feature the various quests made by a variety of characters: quests for power, love, lust, identify, meaning, fortune, safety, past, future, etc. As the story progresses through the books, these quests are interwoven into so many many plots that I am now getting lost in the fifth volume… There are characters that have not surfaced for quite a while and I am wondering when they will show up again. Stories on the internet say that the author has two more volumes planned… Not sure I will have to strength to follow him to the end.

Here are my unanswered questions (I am 40% through the 5th book at this point):

  • Is Theon going to get flayed again?
  • Is Tyrion going to survive the trip to Meereen?
  • Where is Arya?
  • Is Bran going to take root in that cave he is hiding him and will he ever come out again?
  • What’s happening with the black dragon?
  • Will the ghost of Caitlin Tully surface again?
  • Is Cersei getting older and what is she up to?
  • Is Asha dead?
  • What happened to Brienne again?
  • What’s Peter doing hiding at the Aerie?
  • Will Jorah Mormont be rehabilitated as a knight?
  • Is Sam Tarly still sailing around Westeros?

OK, I am sure you get the point… There are a lot of loose ends at this point. I am frustrated but I feel compelled to keep reading.