A Dance With Dragons
2: After The Feast
by George R. R. Martin
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance. In King’s Landing the Queen Regent, Cersei Lannister, awaits trial, abandoned by all those she trusted; while in the eastern city of Yunkai her brother Tyrion has been sold as a slave. From the Wall, having left his wife and the Red Priestess Melisandre under the protection of Jon Snow, Stannis Baratheon marches south to confront the Boltons at Winterfell. But beyond the Wall the wildling armies are massing for an assault… On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all.
I’d like to say that the second half of A Dance With Dragons was just as exciting, mysterious and suspenseful as the first but that just wasn’t true for me. This one lost my interest throughout the middle while it re-introduced characters I’m not particularly fond of. I really don’t like Reek (even if he shows readers important information) but the first part was actually almost always told from my favourite characters so I was very spoiled and I felt the dragging feeling through this one. I also expected a lot more to happen but I guess because it’s telling the same story alongside A Feast of Crows and then slightly surpassing at the end to start into The Winds of Winter you really can’t expect anything huge since it will all really blow up in the next book.
“Not all men were meant to dance with dragons.”
The first chapter with Reek was enlightening but then the second with Asha Greyjoy was dull as a dark grey canvas. Perhaps it is an unpopular opinion but I really don’t care for her and her dreadful island. However, I am super interested in the Mormont family and the Bear Island because those ladies are so fierce and I’ll never forget the amazing burn Lyanna delivered to Stannis about only knowing one King of the North whose name is Stark, so sassy, so loyal. I’ll love her forever and always. Not a whole lot happened with the Lannisters that made me gasp in this book but Tyrion and Cersei both went through pretty wild, crazy things especially Tyrion. I’m glad he’s getting closer to finally meeting Daenerys and I hope she doesn’t just burn him right on the spot and takes a moment to hear him out because I could just see her raging at the word Lannister.
In this book, Daenerys is now only two days away from marrying a man she has no affection for but needs to secure peace in her city and she’s lapping up every moment she can with Daario, her lover. I do love their relationship even if I don’t really trust Daario because she’s so passionate about him and it’s nice to read that because things often go so wrong and sour for Dany. It’s been so long that I can’t really recall what she was like with Drogo in the earlier novels but I know that even if their relationship was real love it still isn’t on the same level as this one because Daenerys is so confident in herself and what she wants now so it’s an entirely different dynamic. It would be too good if we could have kept Drogo but I’m glad she can still remember him with fondness.
“Marry me, and we can have all the nights forever.”
Daenerys definitely has the most interesting plot in this book as well as on top of having to marry for her city she is also forced to reopen the fighting pits and chain two of her dragons away because of their behaviour. She has an incredible finish to this book and there’s so much speculation about events that happen with her. Dany also has a very big surprise in store for her whenever an unlikely person finally finds their way to her and offers a greater chance at the Iron Throne. I’m really interested to know where that will be going and I hope there’s a good amount of storyline from her in the next book.
Jon suffers a huge injustice at the end of this book that makes me super mad but also very excited if it goes the same way as the show went after it surpassed the book material. I was also ecstatic to have some chapters from Arya again because I’ve grown to love her character and her journey into the House of Black and White and where she left off in this book was exciting. One thing I am really disappointed with was that there wasn’t a single Sansa chapter in A Dance With Dragons because I just wanted to know how she was doing as well as if Lady Stoneheart is still around to make an appearance in The Winds of Winter although I’m not sure how she would treat them if they saw her.
“This will hurt but pain is the price of power.”
If I was reading A Dance of Dragons as a single book I probably wouldn’t have been so disappointed in the lull but opening the second part in that area just totally drained the excitement away for me. Luckily, I did feel the love again but the first two hundred or so pages took much more effort to sit down and read than the rest of the book. I enjoyed Martin’s writing style and ultimately no matter where the story goes I’ll always admire his skill and gift with words so I think that’s something everyone can note when reading his books. Now that I’m finally caught up and in for the same wait as everyone else and I’m really excited about the fact that when Winds of Winter is released I can read it straight away since I’m sure other people will be throwing around plenty of spoilers!
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– Kirra // Goodreads