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A Dance with Dragons
George R.R. Martin
Bantam, $35.00, 1040pp
Release Date: July 12, 2011

The majority of this tale takes place during “A Feast for Crows”. This is the tale of those who were not featured in that volume. Daenerys and her dragons, Jon Snow commander of the Night’s Watch, Tyrion Lannister, regicide, patricide, and drunk, and diverse others are followed during Crows.

Daenerys is faced with a choice of solidifying her power base or coming to the west to take the Iron Throne. Her dragons have possibly been eating peasant children and so she has two chained and the third escapes. The Sons of the Harpy are killing her troops within the city and her enemies are massing on her borders.

Jon Snow has King Stannis and his priestess of the red god along with multitudes of wildlings to contend with. Stannis wants him to declare the Night’s Watch for him in violation of their sworn oaths. The priestess of the red god wants him to place his faith in her relatively new god and abandon the gods of old. The wildlings want to pass into the south lands to escape the coming evil, things worse than the walking dead.

Tyrion Lannister is busy being smuggled out of the seven kingdoms. He is the guest of a fat “cheese merchant” who arranges transport with some smugglers that are more than they appear. Tyrion has a major problem with his transport, captain Griff insists he make the trip sober. The one problem I have with this passage is his lack of change, most drunks are different when they sober up Tyrion is still Tyrion, sharp tongued and conniving.

Bran the cripple continues his trek into the northlands. The winter never fully leaves this area and the plight of his band through snow piled high where villages use to stand. The never ending attempts to hide from the wights and follow the mysterious three-eyed crow make for intense, short chapters. We discover the meaning of the prophesy told to Bran “You will never walk again but you will fly”.

All in all this reminds me of strands of yarn skillfully being weaved into a cable. The various stories are slowly being synched up in time and heading for a monumental climax.

Highly Recommended ~~ Bob LaPierre

For other books by George R R Martin click here

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