Finally! I really dislike the print version of these books. Especially the Lithuanian ones. The moment I took an e-book into my hands – things got a lot better. A lot better, since first three quarters I read in probably same amount of time as it took me to read the previous two books. Or maybe fourth quarter was simply so much better it went by like a wind. Either way – here I am, done with so far the last George R.R. Martin book of A Song of Fire and Ice saga – “A Dance With Dragons” (eISBN 978-0-553-90565-6; 1125p; Goodreads). It was good, but seemingly very stretched out.
The first three quarters of the book kept me going only for the Arya stories. She’s becoming something brilliant and I just love it so very much. Tyrion jumped from ship to ship, used one name then the other, belonged to one man, got captured by a second one, went along to a third one. Dany sat on her bench, doing one job, and dismissing all the others, lay in her bed never sleeping, and nibbled on food, never eating, just thinking about her people, but not really doing much. Jon made all the good, but wrong decisions, and I understand why it ended the way it ended for him.
The fourth quarter of the book was heralded as a beginning of a new story (since previous book and this one overlap each other) by Cercei. She’s in a dearly tight spot, with friends she made enemies, with her brother far away, and her father dead. Jamie himself is as epic as always, I wish him luck. I missed Sansa a bit, but you can’t have it all. And I hope it all goes better for Theon. Ramsey Snow has made me think Joff wasn’t all that bad, truth be told. Oh, and let me just tell you, I always liked Varys. And that young little Dragon? You go, lad, you go.
So all in all, this book was very stretched. Too much sitting in one place, drinking, thinking, and merely looking. Too much doing absolutely nothing, just thinking about doing things. I said this before: I dislike when authors speak about what they’re going to speak about. Get to the point. And someone smarter than me once also said that every book over 200 pages smells of graphomany – I believe that. For Martin I can allow 600 pages, but after reading it all, I can tell you firmly, a lot could be taken out and non would be the wiser. Many things happened, and had absolutely no influence over anything later on in the whole story, not a damn thing. Yet I will still give this book a firm 4 out of 5, since it definitely is one of the best fantasy books I have encountered in the long run (others being books like A. Sapkowski’s Witcher Saga, J. Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy, etc). It is a good book, it is worth to go on with it.