Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #5
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Random House Audio on July 12th 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Epic, Adventure, Science Fiction
Length: 49 hours
Format: Kindle, Audiobook
Buy on Amazon
A DANCE WITH DRAGONSA SONG OF ICE AND FIRE: BOOK FIVE In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance—beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.
Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever.
Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone—a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.
From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.
Warning: This article may contain spoilers for the current book and definitely for the previous ones.
My favourite thing about the audiobook, by far, is the narrator Roy Dotrice. I have this book in Kindle Edition, Paperback and my husband has it in audiobook, which we both have access to since we share our Amazon libraries. The paperback edition’s print is very small, I wish it were a little larger. The Kindle Edition has some of the same elements as the paperback, i.e., the elegant chapter headers.
Alas. Although I love this world, it’s so hard to love the plot in this 5th book. I feel like Martin is purposely stalling. Much of nothing happens to Daenerys. I think we have all been waiting for something to happen with Daenerys but no, nothing really happens.
Interestingly the person with the most intriguing story happens to be our most beloved Theon [sarcasm – for those who missed it]. While in Winterfell he will play a huge role. I don’t know if the show will be taking it along that line, so I will leave my spoilers for the show/book comparisons.
A lot is happening with Jon at the wall [granted that is probably because we didn’t hear anything from him in all of the last book]. Melisandre keeps hinting at his power which we believe to be his warging that he is not embracing. He is struggling to be Lord Commander while also protecting the realm from the Others. However the two seem to be working against him. As he mingles more with the wildings, he creates issues among the men of the Night’s watch.View Spoiler »There are widely popular fan theories about Jon Snow. One is that he is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. The problem I am having with this theory is that, if this is true, Jon is still a Snow bastard. I don’t know how this really helps. The second, less popular theory, is that he is really Azor Ahai. Now this theory I do like, and I can see how it will benefit the story. There is a theory that Dany is it, but with her never making a significant impact in Westeros, it makes less sense. Jon is in the north, where it matters in the fight against the Others. Although, the book ends Jon’s story with him dying or at least stabbed several times. « Hide Spoiler
Tyrion’s story is just all over the damn place. He travels from place to place, and encounters many different changes in circumstances. But for all of this, nothing really happens for him. He is mainly used as a vessel to observe what is happening where he is and with whom.View Spoiler »Tyrion’s different roles include escapee, friend and ally, prisoner, and slave. « Hide Spoiler
Bran’s story is somewhat interesting but we don’t hear from him for about half the damn book. He is finally going to start the training he has been struggling to reach.View Spoiler »There are hints that he is now present in the weirwoods but I guess we will have to find out in the next book « Hide Spoiler
I really hate how the story was split down the middle in bad way. I constantly feel the need to go and look up what happened in the last book. This book was a whopping 48 hours [and many minutes] long.
We get one chapter here and there from some characters who were mainly in A Feast for Crows such as Cersei, and Jaime. Both have very interesting endings to their stories. Especially Jamie.View Spoiler »Brienne shows up and they ride off together. No one hears from him again. « Hide Spoiler
Overall though, most of the story takes place in the North of Westeros and across the Narrow Sea. And as usual, it is a lot.
Arya is one of the few characters that are in both books, although none of her chapters are actually named “Arya”. She is in the process of becoming a faceless man, but she struggles with letting go of her past.View Spoiler »She finally gets to change her face. « Hide Spoiler
There is war [of course], lots of sex, and overly vivid descriptions of festering wounds. In fact, as I was listening to this book, I am wondering if I didn’t pay as much attention to how graphic the books were, or if it’s just this one, and the show used this writing style as inspiration for the show.
The book ends on a bad note to me though.View Spoiler »Varys returns to kill Pycelle and Kevan Lannister, in hopes to turn the Lannister men and High Garden against each other, while the newly discovered and much alive, Prince Aegon takes Storm’s End. « Hide Spoiler
I particularly don’t like this change because it will continue to keep Cersei in a position of power.
As with all previous books, all our characters are fleshed out very well. Although the world is so vast, you get a clear understanding of what each of your main characters are experiencing. Besides Theon and Cersei, and maybe Sansa, I think I like most of our characters.
The writing as I have said is amazing. Martin makes it seem like you are right there in the story. He has the ability to create cliffhangers that just make you want to scream. But it does it’s job in getting you to come back and read more.
About the Author:
George Martin has been a writer for many years. A Song of Ice and Fire is by far his most popular work. The novels have sold in many countries and the stories are known by many.
About the Narrator:
Roy Dotrice is a British actor, audio-book narrator, and father to actresses Michele, Yvette, and Karen Dotrice.