Updated on October 10, 2016
51. ‘A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust’ by George RR Martin
Read my review of A Feast for Crows.
[SO MANY SPOILERS]
At last, I’ve almost caught up with all the books that are currently out in this series! I have to get a shift on though, because my housemate (who is a much quicker reader than me) is reading the series and catching up. So here it is, the first part of book 5.
Asha: Quickly becoming one of my favourites, Asha is an ass-kicking wannabe queen who knows when to give up and flee, and when to stand and fight. I love her, but in this book she almost meets her end in battle, but is saved at the last minute by the arrival of Stannis. Oh yes, he’s left the Wall to start claiming lands in the north – poor old Stannis, he’s the rightful king of Westeros, but at the moment he’s in one of the weakest positions.
Reek: You also know him as Theon. Whilst I was watching the latest TV series I had my fingers crossed that all the horrible things happening to Theon didn’t take place in the books. They do – and worse – and he’s so traumatised by it all that he’s kind of retreated into himself and become a snivelling wreck called Reek. I didn’t think anything could make me feel sorry for him after the shit he pulled at Winterfell, but nobody – NOBODY – deserves Ramsay Bolton.
Daenerys: Hooray, we’re back with one of my favourite characters! Last time we saw her I did complain that everything was going right for her and it all seemed rather too easy. Well, trust George RR Martin, it won’t stay like that for long. Now she’s discovering that the repercussions of abolishing an entire slave trade in one fell swoop aren’t that great, and also raising dragons isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Dany has a lot of shit on her plate this time and not even a roll in the hay with hot sellsword Daario will solve her problems.
Tyrion: He’s fled Westeros after killing his father (bound to make things awkward at family gatherings) and now he’s been kidnapped by Jorah Mormont to be taken to Daenerys. And Tyrion’s not the only one who wants a piece of the dragon queen. Along the way he meets Dany’s nephew, Rhaegar’s son, supposedly killed as a baby but actually alive, kicking and on his way to marry his aunt. Tyrion continues to be a sarcastic delight, pissing off everyone he meets, including a lady dwarf called Penny who actually turns out to be quite lovely.
Quentyn Martell: Yet another bloke hoping to marry Dany. He joins a troop of Yunkai’i sellswords that are going to attack the city she holds, but he turns his cloak to go and propose to her instead. I can’t really get behind him because I want her to say ‘Fuck it all’ and just keep sleeping with Daario.
Jon: Speaking of characters who have a lot to deal with, with the title of Lord Commander of the Wall comes a lot of responsibility and tough situations for Jon. He has to send Gilly away with a baby that isn’t hers in order to save the child’s life, and he has to turn his back on ‘Arya’ (or rather a girl who is being passed as Arya) when he learns she’s about to married to flaying madman Ramsay Bolton. Whoever said that living in the snowy northern wastelands with a bunch of cutthroats would be fun?
Bran: I always found Bran a bit boring. Well, he’s not that any more, but I still can’t say I like him. Bran’s chapters are just weird. He goes beyond the Wall to find the three-eyed crow and ends up in an underground burrow, talking to a man with tree roots going through his face, who teaches him how to ‘see’ through the ‘eyes’ of weirwood trees. It’s kind of cool when he looks into the past, but for some reason I find the magical chapters less appealing than the more realistic ones.
Melisandre: She’s not all bad. She’s misunderstood. She sees things in the fires that mess with her head. I still hate her.
Davos: There were mutterings in the last book that Davos had been killed. Happily that turns out to be a ruse! He’s being sent on a secret mission by Lord Manderly to find Rickard Stark. He continues to be loyal and lovely and I love him.
“Mother of dragons, Daenerys thought. Mother of monsters. What have I unleashed upon the world? A queen I am, but my throne is made of burned bones, and it rests on quicksand. I am the blood of the dragon, she thought. If they are monsters, so am I.”
Read my review of the next book, A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast.
If you enjoyed my review, why not buy the book and let me know what you think?