Pros: A unique look at the world from other characters' perspectives
Cons: No Tyrion (yes, I know why, but I still miss him)
The Bottom Line: A meaty stepping stone from the last book to A Dance with Dragons.
I’ve been taking my sweet time with this series because Martin still has two more books to put out (that we know of…) and goodness knows that means waiting a while. But I finally decided to read this one before moving on to the next title.
You don’t actually find out until the end of the book (I think it would have been handy to know at the start, but oh well) that as Martin was writing, the story just got too big, hence A Dance with Dragons. He split the tale up geographically, which is why in this book you don’t get any Daenerys, Tyrion, Jon, or Bran. Instead, you get a very interesting array of various characters. So many, in fact, that I’m not even going to try and list them in this review. Suffice to say that you get some main characters like Jaime and Cersi, some characters that are becoming more important like Brienne, and others that may or may not be seen again and who don’t even have chapters named after them but instead by their nicknames like The Soiled Knight.
But that doesn’t make the book any less interesting. While you may be disappointed that you don’t get to hang out with Tyrion and Daenerys, you do still get to see Sansa and Arya from time to time. Likewise, because of the various viewpoints, you get to see what’s going on in all sorts of other parts of Westeros, such as down south in Dorne and over at the Iron Islands. And there are some interesting things going on in these locals. You still see people like Cersi makes mistakes that you know will be far-reaching (you’ll even be sitting there thinking, “Wow, how stupid are you?”) and naturally there are plenty of cliff-hangy moments with people, such as Brienne, Cersi, and Arya.
While it’s not the best in the series – as many have said – it is still a solid read. There isn’t as much action now that things have calmed down. Rather, I suppose things are slowly but surely working their way up again. We’re in that little lull in the rollercoaster before it starts clinking up again and then racing back down at breakneck speed. I didn’t do as much skipping ahead as I have in the past, though I do admit to doing so with Arya and Sansa. Everyone else either wasn’t that engrossing or just didn’t have enough chapters to bother with. No joke – some of these people have just one or two.
This is all primarily why I went ahead and gave this book four stars instead of five. It’s good, but not super fantastic. I’m willing to bed A Dance with Dragons will snatch up five stars without a problem. Keep reading kids – things are going to get interesting…not that they aren’t already...
Originally posted on Epinions.com
Notes from the playlist: "Reading In Bed 65dos Remix" by 65 Days of Static