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A Song of Ice and Fire


Flare4War
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I just finished A Dance with Dragons. Overall it was good, but left me somewhat disappointed. It was much slower than I had hoped, with half the chapters being recaps of old events from new POVs, or else just not really going anywhere in general. Dany has far more screen time than she needed for what actually happened in her story, and Davos didn't get nearly enough. Jamie only got one chapter, and all it added to the story was that Brienne is probably still alive (though it might have been someone pretending to be her), while calling into question whether Jamie is still alive or not (since he's explicitly mentioned to have disappeared, and last we saw Brienne she was being given a choice between killing Jamie or dying). Jamie got way too much badass character development in the last book to not follow up on it this time around. Quentyn's subplot was interesting at first, but turned out to be entirely pointless, which made the whole thing seem like a retroactive waste of time. Bran's chapters didn't add much besides the fact that he's wargin' it up. Victarion's chapter was good, but there was only one. Jon had some good stuff, but ended on a cliffhanger.

Which reminds me. Dear George R. R. Martin. Please stop ending every single chapter on a cliffhanger, especially when they turn out to be bullshit at the beginning of the next chapter by that character. We are already emotionally invested in your characters, and the series is sufficiently entrenched that you no longer need those sorts of cheap tricks to keep our attention. All they serve to do is annoy those of us who actually want a bit of resolution now and again.

Major cliffhangers as of the end of Dance with Dragons:

1) Jon Snow

2) Stannis (plus Theon, Asha, and Jeyne with him)

3) Dany

4) Davos (okay, he's definitely still alive, but where the hell did Manderly send him -- and by extension, where are Rickon and Osha?)

5) Jamie and Brienne

Major cliffhangers resolved by Dance with Dragons:

1) Tyrion

4) Davos (sort of)

5) Brienne (sort of, maybe.)

You begin to see the nature of my complaint.

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I didn't really feel like I was left hanging with Daenery's. I thought he left his readers in a great place for temporary ending with her.

I didn't really feel a lot of suspense with Stannis either. Probably because he's not that exciting of a character. With Asha I felt there was a little cliffhanger but with Stannis... not so much.

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I just finished A Dance with Dragons. Overall it was good, but left me somewhat disappointed. It was much slower than I had hoped, with half the chapters being recaps of old events from new POVs, or else just not really going anywhere in general. Dany has far more screen time than she needed for what actually happened in her story, and Davos didn't get nearly enough. Jamie only got one chapter, and all it added to the story was that Brienne is probably still alive (though it might have been someone pretending to be her), while calling into question whether Jamie is still alive or not (since he's explicitly mentioned to have disappeared, and last we saw Brienne she was being given a choice between killing Jamie or dying). Jamie got way too much badass character development in the last book to not follow up on it this time around. Quentyn's subplot was interesting at first, but turned out to be entirely pointless, which made the whole thing seem like a retroactive waste of time. Bran's chapters didn't add much besides the fact that he's wargin' it up. Victarion's chapter was good, but there was only one. Jon had some good stuff, but ended on a cliffhanger.

Which reminds me. Dear George R. R. Martin. Please stop ending every single chapter on a cliffhanger, especially when they turn out to be bullshit at the beginning of the next chapter by that character. We are already emotionally invested in your characters, and the series is sufficiently entrenched that you no longer need those sorts of cheap tricks to keep our attention. All they serve to do is annoy those of us who actually want a bit of resolution now and again.

Major cliffhangers as of the end of Dance with Dragons:

1) Jon Snow

2) Stannis (plus Theon, Asha, and Jeyne with him)

3) Dany

4) Davos (okay, he's definitely still alive, but where the hell did Manderly send him -- and by extension, where are Rickon and Osha?)

5) Jamie and Brienne

Major cliffhangers resolved by Dance with Dragons:

1) Tyrion

4) Davos (sort of)

5) Brienne (sort of, maybe.)

You begin to see the nature of my complaint.

Methinks you're reading the wrong books. xD

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Sure, I don't expect absolutely everything to be wrapped up two books early. But the overabundance of cliffhangers that lead nowhere (eg, Tyrion drowning after falling into the river; nevermind, they just pulled him out) plus the complete lack of any sort of resolution when they actually end the book on those cliffhangers is annoying.

Good: Kevan's death. You know what happened, you know what the implications are, but you don't know how it's going to play out. It creates anticipation and pulls you further into the story without leaving you feel like you have no idea what's going on. Bad: Jon's stabbing. Is he alive? Is he dead? We have no idea and no reason to believe one way or the other. Kevan's death leaves you going "oh shit, what the hell is going to happen next?" Jon's stabbing leaves you saying "oh shit, what the hell just happened?" That's the difference.

That said, I did like the book. I just didn't like the ending.

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NJ is right - cliffhangers aren't bad, but the nature of the various cliffhangers, combined with the incredibly sluggish pace of the story, is mostly irritating. It wasn't so bad in the previous books, but this book was basically nine hundred pages of nothing happening, and then one hundred pages of empty cliffhangers and a tiny bit of actual plot advancement.

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I dunno...

I'll admit there is a lot of cliffhangers (Jon Snow's kinda pissed me off as well) but it's really just the way the guy writes. I didn't think it degraded the book that much really (again, with the exception of Jon's story) and saying it was bad is like saying he shouldn't write the way he writes and honestly I think he's just a fantastic writer so...

Yeah Bleck, you're right. There are more cliffhangers in Dance than the previous books but fuck; it's a really big project and I think the only short coming is that he takes way too fucking long to bring on more of the story.

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I'd be okay with that if it meant Brandon Sanderson finishing off the series. No, I don't mean that I hope GRRM dies. I just really like Brandon Sanderson.

Is Brandon Sanderson's writing similar or at least have some of the same characteristics? I've been wondering this.

What I'm asking is, does his writing the raw unnerving descriptions that GRRM's has?

Edited by Flare4War
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  • 1 month later...

This is why I am not going to read it yet. I've been waiting for a conclusion to it all really since I picked up the first book like fifteen years ago... I can wait 5 more without getting all back into that universe and then having to wait MORE AND MOOOOOOOORE. I'd rather just take it all in at once when it finally finishes.

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I was the same way after the second book but then the TV series started and I wanted to feel superior to all the TV show fans so I made sure to catch up with everything really fast.

Yes, there's something very entertaining about saying "You'll see" with a smug face as others speculate about what will happen next. All the more entertaining since so many people entered the TV series innocent without the knowledge of GRRMs general brutality with his characters.

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