A Dance with Dragons

“A Dance with Dragons” is the final published installment in the A Song of Fire and Ice Series by George R. R. Martin. As with the other books in this series, the reader will not be disappointed, except for the fact that there is not another book published. There are a few events at the end of the book where the reader is left dangling.

When first starting “A Dance with Dragons” the reader can be thrown off because they have to jump back in time. This book starts off with the characters not included in “A Feast for Crows”, thus starting off with where “A Strom of Swords” left them off. So, after adding more characters and events, the reader has to keep that in the back of their mind while they catch up with the rest of the characters. It can be a lot. The good thing is that towards the end everything comes full circle and all the characters are included when the timelines match up.

What can draw a reader to read this book in spite of the series being unfinished, especially myself, is that one finds out what the characters left out of “A Feast for Crows” were up to. It wouldn’t be complete if George R. R. Martin did not add in more characters, or give some of them their own focus. The various viewpoints portrayed can show the reader some perspective on what is happening in the story.

There are a lot of consistencies throughout the series that stayed true in this book. This includes the amount of detail that George R. R. Martin illustrates, and the amount of characters the reader has to keep track of. It takes an incredible amount of talent to create such a detailed, intricate story. It’s no wonder that this series was created into an HBO TV series.

Looking back to the beginning of the series, George R. R. Martin has outdone himself. In the beginning, there were hints dropped about some creatures, or magical beings that could make an appearance. Now, in book five more of the things are coming alive while summer is quickly nearing an end. When all the timelines line up in “A Dance with Dragons” the reader can get the sense that the books are coming to something big and epic that George R. R. Martin has taken his time leading up to. The story is finally getting good, and even more intense, and the reader is left waiting and withering for the next book in the series to be published.

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A Feast for Crows

“A Feast for Crows” is the 4th book in the A Song of Fire and Ice series written by the talented George R. R. Martin. What made this book different is that it focused on a certain part of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms, rather than all the areas. With this change, new characters were introduced, and it felt as though more happened over the course of the book.

While I enjoyed the introduction of the new characters, I felt that it slowed down my reading some. George R. R. Martin didn’t’ make it as obvious who they were, so as I began to read about them I would search for clues. After I found the clues to figure out who they were, next I had to find out how they fit into the bigger story, and who’s side they were on. Sometimes, I would still be mildly confused . I’m not used to so many new characters being introduced into a book that already seems to have a thick and involved story line.

George R. R. Martin amazes me with his writing. The characters are detailed, the plot is thick with drama, each character is an individual with a purpose while still having bigger part in the overall story. There are battles taking place, people on missions to search for missing children, and medieval times with magic qualities. I get the feeling that the events that have taken place are leading up to something epic, I’m just not sure what yet. Also, I can’t believe that somebody can keep a reader hooked for so long and not leave them bored.

There is one downfall as a reader, one cannot get attached to any of the characters. I am a typically supporter of the good guys in the story, and George R. R. Martin has turned it into a form of weakness. He has made them his targets, thus bringing out a range of emotions for me as a reader. I’m fairly positive that anybody who witnessed me reading could attest to this fact. I was definitely more vocal and animated reading this book, and the others in the series prior to this.

The Handmaid’s Tale

OQTS0538“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a simply written, thought provoking book. Margaret Atwood did a beautiful job writing a story that makes the reader wonder about a world created with such simplicity and purpose.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is set in a dystopian future where birth rates have decreased, and the Handmaids, like Offred, are able to leave the house once a day to do shopping, or for special occasions like births. The woman who are considered to be fertile are chosen for their role in society because the birth rates are so low.
Through Offred, readers are able to learn about the striking before and after difference of her world and how it came to be. As a result of this first person perspective the reader is able to have an idea of the impact of this new society and how one person feels about it. It may only be a part of the story, but it still tells a lot.
As I was reading I thought about what it would be like to be in Offred’s place. I’m pretty sure I would go crazy! There are times where the simplicity sounds nice, like less of a hassle than the present day. However, there are other things like the lack of individuality that I’m not sure I would handle well.
All in all I would recommend this book to anyone interested. For a simply written book there is a lot to the story and I plan on reading it again one day.