Friends this is my review of the book A Dance with the Dragons 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin, which I read recently. This is the continuing saga of the Seven Kingdoms, book five. Evidently when the book was written it was split into two parts due to it's size and complexity.
Well yes – it is better than book four but if it had been the first book of the series I would not have bothered with the rest. The trouble is the cast is so large, there is an appendix of over 50 pages explaining who everyone is, Along with this the story does not follow one plot line but multiple plot lines weaving a truly multilayered story that is just about comprehensible. Yes I am all in favour of an author keeping the reader ins suspense, it is just how long that suspense should be is the question.
The book has murder, death, dragons, slavery, outlaws, priests, nobles, and of course lots and loads of treachery. Added to this there are lots and lots of battles. The incredible thing is that the world described is believable whilst being amazing at the same time. George's imagination is incredible creating a world of such amazing complexity.
This book carries on from part 1 and book 3. If and when George finishes the saga I will read them all again in succession one after the other and I am sure this will make the story much more intelligible and enjoyable. Ideally one should reread book 3 before reading this if you were like me and read it quite some time ago. I read book four between the two. Also some form of synopsis of what has happened to get to the start of this book would have been a helpful reminder, as it just carries on expecting you to have remembered what has gone on before, which is not always the case.
I do know I am not the only person to have made these kind of comments, and I do hope that the next book starts to tie the plot lines together and to bring some form of conclusion, as I am sure it will take more than one book to tie up all the loose ends.
But that being said the snapshot that the book represents, of the world being described is amazing. So that was book 26 week 20 fiction 23 (5 on audio) non fiction 3
So we come to the next part in the Song of Ice and Fire Saga, and we meet up with our favourite characters again. Ones that we have grown to love and feel for over the hundreds of pages that we have read previously. To this end this book overlaps the previous book in time frame. - A Feast of Crows
One of the quotes on the cover of the book says “Colossal, staggering... Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome” and this does really say it all. It is so much better than the last book.
Evidently one of Martin's favourite themes is causing chaos at a wedding, as this is a plot line that he has used frequently. It is a good time to get rid of awkward family members.
Living reasonably close to Hadrians Wall, and with a bit of imagination it is quite easy to put one in the place of Jon Snow commander of the Night Watch trying to defend the wall, even though everyone seems to be trying to plot against him.
I now notice that the helpful character guide at the back of the book has reached 60 pages, and was one of the must thumbed bits of the book trying to work out who, was who.
I am looking forward to reading part 2 of a Dance with Dragons, though it will be in a few weeks time so as to allow time to enjoy it.
This was book 12, week 7 fiction 12 (5 on audio) non fiction 0
This is book four in the series, (actually book five as book three was split into two), consisting of over 750 pages. Sadly if this had been the first book that I had read in the series, then I would not have bothered reading any others. George seemed to largely exclude from the story all the characters that he has spent over 2000 pages previously building up and getting us acquainted with.
I found it very hard to have any sort of affinity with any of the main characters portrayed in the book. I suppose the title should have been a clue as to what it was about. I did read it hoping that the characters I had already met would come back, but sadly they did not . Finally at the end there is an Authors note about this – maybe it should have been at the start.
Also it was probably a shame that I read this so soon after the book on The Reivers By Alistair Moffat. He is describing an historical period that has lots of death and destruction but does so in a way that is described in a lighter vain. Lets just hope book five is more enjoyable than this one, as I would have only given this book one star out of five if I was awarding stars..
So this is book 34 week 27 – novel 23, poetry 1, study 2 audio 8
Book 10 week 11 – I am beginning to think that the length and complexity of my book choice is becoming important in this process, as I am now behind my target. This book certainly did not help. It continues with it cast of seemingly hundreds. The appendix that lists the characters and their respective families covers 54 pages! Fortunately during the course of this book lots of the main characters were killed off, though he did have an unexpected recovery in the final chapter.
The worlds described here are truly breathtaking in there detail, and totally believable, even if the odd helpful bit of magic comes along to help the plot along. I can't wait until I start the next book, which is waiting on the side, but it will not be for a few weeks yet as need to give myself plenty of time to read it. I will also have to get ahead in the book number to week ratio as it will knock this back due to the time required to do it justice.
This is book 3. I must admit that I have forgotten to update this so am a little behind compared to my reading still - The 7 kingdoms continue their battles, leading to magic cunning and cruelty. This being the third book in the characters are more alive. Very hard to put down
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.