Synopses & Reviews
Dubbed "the American Tolkien" by Time
magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the #1 New York Times
bestselling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.
In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again 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 three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.
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 yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.
And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon 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...
"A few images recur in the enormously complex fifth installment of Martin's massively multicharacter epic: the chess-like game cyvasse, small rivers flowing into larger ones, ships and armies battered by terrible storms. These themes suggest that readers should think strategically, be patient as the story grows, and brace for a beating. Martin's fans, however, are hungry for more action and purpose, their appetites whetted by a six-year wait and the recent HBO adaptation of A Game of Thrones. Dance was originally the second half of 2005's A Feast for Crows, sometimes criticized for shifting from battles and intrigue to slow trudges through war-torn, corpse-littered Westeros. The new volume has a similar feel to Feast and takes place over a similar time frame; Martin keeps it fresh by focusing on popular characters Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and Jon Snow, all notably absent from the previous book. These three are generally thought the most plausible riders of the titular dragons, but plots within plots abound, and two strong new candidates for those scaly saddles emerge as a powerful enemy threatens Daenerys's captured city of Meereen, Tyrion is kidnapped by slavers, and treachery undermines Jon's command of the undead-battling Night's Watch. More characters are revived than killed off and more peace accords signed than wars declared, but the heart-hammering conclusion hints that the next installment will see a return to the fiery battles and icy terror that earned the series its fanatic following. Even ostensibly disillusioned fans will be caught up in the interweaving stories, especially when Martin drops little hints around long-debated questions such as Jon's parentage. Author tour. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"What's A Song of Ice and Fire? It's the only fantasy series I'd put on a level with J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings....It's a fantasy series for hip, smart people, even those who don't read fantasy." Chicago Tribune
"Reminiscent of T. H. White's The Once and Future King, this novel is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal." Chicago Sun-Times
"Martin amply fulfills the first volume's promise and continues what seems destined to be one of the best fantasy series ever written." The Denver Post
"Riveting...a series whose brilliance continues to dazzle." Patriot News
"Of those who work in the grand epic-fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best. In fact...this is as good a time as any to proclaim him the American Tolkien." Time
"In 2005 I wrote a review of George R. R. Martin's novel, A Feast for Crows
, in which I called him 'the American Tolkien.' That phrase has stuck to him, which is what I meant it to do. I think Martin's fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is the great epic of our era. It's an epic for a more profane, more sardonic, more ambivalent age than the one Tolkien lived in. Tolkien was a veteran of the Somme, and wrote during Word War II, when it really seemed like the fate of civilization was hanging in the balance. Now we can't even agree on what civilization is." Lev Grossman, NPR
(Read the entire NPR review
About the Author
George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. As a writer-producer, he has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with the lovely Parris in Santa Fe, New Mexico.