Review of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by GEORGE R. R. MARTIN
(fifth in the A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series)
While I loved this book, I’m afraid I may not have much to say about it, because it feels like more of the same (in a good way). This series skews a little from my usual taste, but I understand the appeal for hardcore fans and am filled with admiration myself for the scope of the work.
I waffle about my feelings on the extreme violence. I agree that it’s period accurate, but it nevertheless feels, for me, at times too gratuitous.
This series features a huge cast and, as a character-centric reader that sometimes frustrates me. I have difficulty remembering everyone or strongly investing in anyone. I tend to prefer a more focused storyline following on one or a few characters; in my opinion, the more character perspectives the less driven the story. More accurately, epic storytelling is a different type of story. By portraying a wide cast of varied people we get more of a sense of humankind overall. Whereas with my preference you form a stronger bond with one or a few fictional people and their individual struggles. That said, for all the names I forget, I’m impressed at how many Martin makes memorable. I know I'm not alone in listing Daenerys as an obvious favorite.