3 out of 5
This novel is the fourth in the Game of Thrones series and the author notes in the beginning that it occurs during the same time period as the third novel, A Feast for Crows. A Dance with Dragons picks up the stories of several main characters that were not included in the third novel. The majority of the book occurs at the Wall, following Jon Snow’s attempts at forging peace and gaining allies and in the East as Daenerys Targaryen attempts to do the same. There are small parts about Bran and Tyrion’s stories but these are minor. While Martin continues to keep the quality of the writing high he seems to have fallen into the same trap that caused me to stop reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, too many plots. The large number of plot lines forces Martin to skip over events that occur, for example in one chapter Tyrion is heading to a port to find a ship in the next chapter concerning him, he is already on the ship half way through the voyage. His whole story becomes choppy. There are so many characters that it is easy for the reader to become confused especially with the way the chapters bounce around. The last third of the novel is probably the best part as various story lines actually begin to move forward. My own personal rant being please stop trying to create an exact replica of a real world and just give the readers what they want, a story with a beginning, a middle and strangely enough a conclusion.