I’ve finally finished reading A Dance With Dragons, by George R. R. Martin, the fifth book in his Song of Ice and Fire series. It was a long wait between book 4 and 5, and there was grumbling. Okay, full disclosure. I was one of the grumblers. Not only was the author’s note in Book 4 rather misleading about the state of completion of Book 5, but it was also kind of unsatisfying. There was a lot of laying of pipe, a lot of page time devoted to characters that didn’t really seem that important to the story–just a lot.
It led me to believe that Martin had lost his way. That he was no longer in control of the story, and that further installments would be increasingly painful. I’m quite pleased, then, to report that A Dance With Dragons is well worth the wait and chock full of action, intrigue, plenty of time with favorite characters, and quite a lot of payoff for your investment. I felt more bereft than usual when I finished the last page, and am waiting eagerly for Book 6. (Let’s hope not another 5 years!)
Anyway, I felt like I owed Martin some props after all of the grumbling, even if most of it was in private to friends who had also read the same series. (I was appalled to hear that many impatient fans had gone beyond grumbling to harassment. Not cool.) Go ahead, give it a try. It’s a really fine piece of storytelling.