Saturday, May 21, 2011
A Dance with Dragons
So it's almost here.
I read George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones in 2000, and was immediately hooked on the series. A vivid complex world, flawed and compelling characters, witty dialogue and plot twists that were both unpredictable and inevitable - it was the perfect fantasy novel for me. The next book in the series, A Clash of Kings, was even better. I bought A Storm of Swords just before I left the States for the Middle East, and the book was as wrenching as the departure.
A friend in the States sent me a copy of A Feast for Crows in December 2005, my last Christmas in Dubai. I dived into it, but this book is the sophomore slump of the series. A breathing space - or more likely, a convalescent period - would have been fine after the Red Wedding and Tyrion's trial. But AFFC introduced five new viewpoint characters and a host of minor ones (most of whom have the usual exotic monikers, though thankfully not their own catchphrases).
Meanwhile, the characters I'd come to care about in previous books were either absent or hopelessly wandering the land. If we know in advance that Brienne isn't going to find either of the Stark girls, it's difficult to take much interest in her search no matter who she encounters along the way. Cersei's descent into self-destruction was great (although the prophecy about her future came across as a new idea, rather than something Martin had in mind from the start) and I hope to see more of Doran Martell's plots in the future, but nothing about the book really stood out as amazing. Plus, I missed Dany, Bran and Tyrion.
But now A Dance with Dragons is going to be released. I pre-ordered it, and am hoping that this book will pack the punch its predecessor didn't. Just the fact that so many people (Tyrion, Victarion, Quentyn Martell) are traveling to find Dany makes me want to read it.
Anyone else planning to read ADWD as soon as it comes out?