[ I don’t want to ruin anyone’s reading, so I will warn you when the spoilers start.]
I finished reading the long-awaited A Dance With Dragons recently, and am now left with a multitude of doubts. There were some surprises, a few deaths, plot twists, … all you could wish for in a Song of Ice and Fire novel. As what happened with previous books, the last few chapters and the epilogue, leave us with plenty of cliffhangers.
I hope George R. R. Martin takes less time writing the next one. I decided to wait until the publication date for Dance was confirmed before I picked up A Feast For Crows, because the first half of Dance is temporally parallel to Feast. I think that was a good choice, as I would undoubtedly forget a ton of details about the previous book’s events.
It happened with A Storm of Swords. I couldn’t remember that a certain character had died, and it only came back to me while reading Feast.
Before I head on to some details, if I had to give A Dance With Dragons a rating, I’d give it 4.5/5. Why the 0.5 cut? You’ll have to read the spoilers for that.
Anyway… onward to the spoiler-filled bit. Proceed at your own risk.
Let’s get what I didn’t like out of the way:
Just like what had happened with A Feast For Crows, the chapters centered on the Iron Island folks were plain boring. The good part? There were much less of those chapters in Dance.
The Stannis plotline seemed to drag on forever since he started heading for Winterfell. I get it, there is a huge storm. Everyone takes ages to get anywhere at all, if they don’t die frozen. However, and especially considering how that particular plot ended, was it really necessary to write so much about the ‘getting there’ part and then just end it with a letter explaining what happened? Mind you, I don’t even particularly like to read about extensive battles, so I’m not complaining about the letter part, just about the time it takes to get there. Hum…
Those two paragraphs are the grand total of ‘things I didn’t like’ in Dance. Onwards to the rest.
A plot twist that I did not see coming: Aegon Targaryen lives. What? Wait… WHAT?!
That was masterfully done. We’ve been reading about the horrible death the two babies had at the hands of Gregor Clegane since A Game of Thrones. And not once did I suspect that the baby who had its head crushed was not Aegon – I just thought it was a conseguence of Clegane being true to himself.
This might mean that Daenerys will die, because she is no longer the last Targaryen alive. Although her chapters in this novel weren’t very appealing, her character’s evolution has been one of the richest and it would be a shame if she didn’t fulfil some sort of destiny. I don’t mean the prophecy they talk about, I just mean that I hope that if she dies, it is after she achieves relevant accomplishments. It hasn’t happened a lot in ASoIaF – everyone seems to die just when they’re about to make it happen.
Some questions I was left with:
Taking into account how the Stannis storyline ended, I wonder what Melisandre is doing. Did she fail to predict how horribly wrong it would go for her king, or did she let it happen for a reason?
Is Jon Snow dead? Or is Melisandre going to save him? And if so, was that her plan all along? To bring him to her side, after she gets rid of Stannis? I don’t see Jon surviving that ordeal without some kind of divine or magical intervention.
Will the Dornishmen attempt to marry Arianne Martell to Aegon? It would seem only logical, after what happened to Quentyn.
Have you finished the novel? What are your thoughts on it?
( If you comment here, instead of talking to me, please include spoiler warnings. Thanks! )