*Spoilers* – Review of “A Dance with Dragons” .. Referred to as ADWD throughout …

 

I’ll keep this short and sweet, and try not to ruin it for those that haven’t yet finished or read ADWD.

As the title states – this is a review, so there may be some spoilers, please don’t read if you might get upset.

 

So then, ADWD … Well, I think it’s important to explain the structure of the book. GRRM had a nice little preface before the start of the book explaining that A Fear For Crows (AFFC) and ADWD are actually to be viewed as one book, the former concentrates on the South, Kings Landing and those pesky Lannisters whilst ADWD focuses primarily on the North, the free cities and the wall.

So right up until halfway through ADWD the timeline matches that of AFFC and we are seeing the events unfold from a different  prospective, however the timeline and story then progresses – along with what I felt was a BIG revelation.

I have to admit, I missed any reference to this phoenix (raising from the believed dead) character in AFFC but good ol’ Tyrion fills us (the reader) in and my eyes became saucers. It seems we have another Targaryen in the midst!

I did feel a little cheated by GRRM at this point if I’m honest, our author has a brutal way of killing off characters that we have grown to love and care for but on this occasion he reintroduces someone we’ve believed to be dead from the start without the proverbial trail of treats. I do hope that he progresses this character along nicely and it isn’t a red herring, else I fear my head might explode.

I think it’s fair to say (along with trawling forums) that we, the readers all have a good idea who Jon Snow’s parents really are. So much emphasis is but on Jon being a Stark bastard, being offered Winterfell and turning it down, along with his musings and pain of not knowing who his mother is for there not to be a big revelation, I refuse to accept that Jon is Ned Stark’s bastard. Jon is Ned’s nephew, Lyanna’s son. This is my personal view, not part of the review or spoilers I hasten to add – however I do believe that the promise Lyanna asked of Ned refers to her son Jon, Ned is an honorable man and would never have betrayed his sister.

Jon’s father? Rhaegar of course, Jon was no product of rape. He was the product of a love affair between Rhaegar and Lyanna, please trawl the web for confirmation. There are far far too many clues to this for me to type now and frankly, I can’t be bothered.

 

Back to the review, I admit the pacing of the book was a little slow to start with, but I soon got back into the swing of it and fully pictured myself in Westeros, in Dorne, on the seas and in the free cities. I particularly like the way GRRM fails to describe places in great detail, he allows the reader to picture their own world. As an aspiring author this is something I like to do as well, if the reader can picture and create their own world they are more likely to engage in the story.

I love the pace of the dialogue between characters, I love the POV characters and we are introduced to a few more. Including “Reek” – I had a lot of sympathy for Reek and through the clever use of words I slowly realised who he was. Regardless of what a complete idiot he is, I really felt for him. His POV changes from Reek back to his “real” character further on. After all the chances this guy has had – I hope this time he learns his lesson and repents. Failing that, I want him to die a quick death – he deserves that much after what has happened to him.

Personal faves? Dany, Ayra, Jon and Tyrion – GRRM knows that his readers enjoy these characters so I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of them is killed off….

That leads me to Jon. Don’t worry, I’m not ruining anything for the reader here but Jon is gravely injured. In typical GRRM fashion we are left to believe he is dead but something tells me he won’t be. Again, there are so many clues that Jon is really Azhor Azhai reborn that it’s getting silly! I want to shake Melisandre at times when she gazes into the fire, asks to see AA and all she can see is snow. I may be wrong again, but at this moment in time, I’m pretty confident JS isn’t dead, if we find he is I think I shall cry. He makes the books for me.

Mentioning the North and Jon leads me onto Roose and Ramsay Bolton …. If there was ever a family in Westeros I hated – it’s these guys. Human pain and suffering seems to have been their specialty, there is a line in the book that defines them to me  ” …Get the keys and remove those chains from him, before you make me rue the day I raped your mother.”

GRRM leads us down a dark path with the Bolton’s, the wedding of the “fake Arya” and the subsequent claiming of her virginity and the use of Reek at this point made me cringe. Perverse yet compelling. I hope this family is obliterated, but I doubt it.

Arya is amazing as always, typical Stark – full of grit that girl and we really need more Arya time, I was thoroughly disappointed with the lack of “Arya-time” in this book. but the small amounts we had were great, she has grown so much in the 3 (it is 3 isn’t it?) years the story plot has been progressing.

There is so much to discuss and mull over that I don’t want to ruin it all here, if any of you readers are interested then check out the following group http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Dance-with-Dragons-spoiler-filled-discussion-group/215985345113329 set up by a fellow fan we hope to chat about the book and argue over our thoughts!

After all … Nothing is ever easy when playing the game of thrones …

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Bookworm Orgasm

First off, apologies for the lack of updates, I guess not much has happened in my life in the last few weeks that bears mentioning!!

Work seems to be “same old same old” – my shift partner leaves for greener pastures at the end of this week 😦 Sad times.

My iPad arrived – yay! It truly is a good piece of kit! The absence of adobe and a flash player is slightly annoying but the incredible kindle app and social networking capabilities excite me greatly!

I downloaded my first book – Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Wise Man’s Fear” – was released in March but I had deliberately been waiting for an e-reader before I read it.

WELL WORTH THE WAIT! Mr Rothfuss has such an interesting way of telling his story.

The journey started with ” The Name Of The Wind”  and continues with the above.

Kvothe (our hero) has started a new life as Kote, a humble innkeeper. He is tracked down by a chronicler who has figured out who Kote really is and is desperate to hear his tales, so the whole two books start from Kvothe as a young boy through to him being fifteen, check out this paragraph and tell me that it doesn’t reek of awesomeness!

***

“I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.”

***

I devoured the book in two days, all 998 pages of it, my speed reading left me incredibly sad 😦 I’ll probably have to wait another 2 years for the next one.

My only saving grace …

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS IS RELEASED TOMORROW!!!!! OH YES!!!

I have it set to auto download on my iPad and I will hungrily be reading it every chance I get!!!!

Best be worth it GRRM!!!! ………

I cannot believe how many free books the Kindle has to offer, tis incredible. My geeky little heart practically explodes with joy each time I see a new free title pop up on my “recommendation list” – I’m a book whore, I’m sorry.

I have over 300 books in my bedroom and gave away over 150 late last year, I seriously cannot buy many more paper books, electronic all the way from now on!!!

My own writing is coming along well, I’m slightly torn though, do I finish writing my story to absolute completion, edit and split into three OR do I work at polishing the first third to perfection and send it off to an agent??

Thoughts greatly appreciated, especially from those who have any idea how the agent/ publishing world works!

I know some people will probably sneer and raise an eyebrow at me being so enthusiastic about my work, but I’m a great believer in “if you don’t try, you’ll never know”. I’m my own biggest critic and I lack a lot of self confidence, but I have grown to love my characters and my tale has progressed and is maturing at a good rate.

Away from the writing talk now and back to my real life!

Hospital appointment on the 20th … I have an ultrasound and have to drink a LITRE of water before hand, anyone who knows me will understand my anxiety at this. I have the world’s smallest bladder. Fact.

I cannot even manage a full cup of tea, how I am going to manage that much water is beyond me …. Arghhhhhh

My 3rd wedding anniversary is coming up on the 25th, where has the time gone??? I was reflecting the other day and realised that I will be 29 in February, my 20’s have flown past. Not happy, time for me to make my mark on the world!

With that, I’m off.