George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire was first intended to be a trilogy but, to the delight of fans, there have been five books so far in the series - A Dance with Dragons being the latest one. Like its predecessors, A Dance with Dragons is an exciting book, more so because some of the characters originally introduced in books one, two and three, including Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow, were skipped in book four and have therefore made a reappearance after six years. A Dance with Dragons debuted on the NYT bestseller list and was the second book in the series to do so, after the previous entry in the series, A Feast for Crows.
In A Dance with Dragons, Cersei's story continues as she is imprisoned for various reasons, including adultery and conspiring to kill her husband, the former king, Robert Baratheon. She only admits to adultery and is released pending trial. However, she must walk naked along the streets as punishment for her adultery and is pelted with fruits and vegetables, reaching her destination on her hands and knees.
Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen, who is ruling the city of Meereen, has lost control of her growing dragons. Although she keeps two of them imprisoned, the third one has been roaming free and causing havoc. While attempting to rein them in, Danerys also gets married to a nobleman for political reasons although she's having a torrid affair with a mercenary.
Tyrion Lannister, who we had last seen killing his father and escaping, is now on the road and has quite a few adventures. He is kidnapped by Jorah Mormont, who was banished by Daenerys; Jorah plans to take Tyrion back to her to earn her forgiveness. However, the two fall into the hands of slavers and are forced to become a part of a jousting dwarf company from which Tyrion eventually escapes.
Overall, A Dance with Dragons is immensely satisfying, taking us back to the action-packed beginnings of the series. The characters that this book deals with are intense and vivid, probably the strongest ones that Martin has created in this series. There's a sense of anticipation about what exactly is going to happen next, given that the War of the Five Kings has come to an end but there are still many political intrigues going on.
George R.R. Martin (or
GRRM for short as many of his fans affectionately refer to him) is originally from Bayonne, NJ where he grew up in the projects. He started writing stories at a young age and selling them for pennies to his friends. He went on to study journalism and started writing novels, segueing from this into screenwriting for TV. Finally, taking a break from TV, he went back to writing fiction and that's how A Song of Ice and Fire was born. The series is supposed to total seven books and Martin is hard at work on the sixth one, The Winds of Winter. The first two books of the series have been made into the HBO show A Game of Thrones.
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