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Publisher's Summary

Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.
In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again - beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has three times 3,000 enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.
To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone - a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Nights Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.
And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.
Enchanted? Check out the rest of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.
©2011 George R.R. Martin (P)2011 Random House
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Critic Reviews

"Martin has produced--is producing, since the series isn't over--the great fantasy epic of our era. ... his skill as a crafter of narrative exceeds that of almost any literary novelist writing today." (Lev Grossman, Time)
"Martin's love for sophisticated, deeply strange fantasy permeates Dance like a phantasmagorical fever dream…Martin seems poised in the last two books to bring home one of the best series in the history of fantasy." (Jeff Vandermeer, Los Angeles Times)
"Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire will surely think the wait was worth it. ... The great attraction of the story must lie in its panorama of a medieval kingdom: knights in armor, mercenary ‘sellswords,' tavern wenches, struggling and surviving inhabitants in all forms, from low to high." (Tom Shippey, Wall Street Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By J. Cano on 07-31-11

A tale of two publishers:

I bought and listened to all 5 volumes of this series recently. I was pleased to see that Roy Dotrice was returning as the reader for book 5. That was until I began listening. I can only assume that Mr. Dotrice and his director chose not to reacquaint themselves with the voices he used for various characters in the first 3 books. Is there a more egregious audiobook flaw than to have the same performer radically change voices for characters across volumes?

I wondered how this could happen. Looking back over the descriptions, I see the first 3 books were published by Books On Tape with Random House audio while books 4 (narrator change!?) and 5 (return of Dotrice but no voice / character continuity) were Random House only.

I give book 5 4 stars for story but only 1 star for shabby audiobook direction/production. I think Dotrice is a fine reader but the change in character voices is unforgivable. If I was in charge I would have Books On Tape re-record books 4 and 5 with Dotrice as narrator but make sure the director takes care to maintain voice / character continuity.

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506 of 533 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 02-04-12

Where do Whores Go?

This is the fifth book in the series, if you have not read them do not start here. This is the best Fantasy series being written today, so go to book one and enjoy.

For those that have read the earlier ones, I placed this third in the series of what I liked. Book 3 was the best then book 1. This is a character driven series and has some of the best characters of any series written. The book starts with Tyrion who is my favorite of all characters of all books. Tyrion is as witty or more so in this book, unfortunately he is about the only main character who does anything and even his character does not seem to have a purpose. There is no plot to this book, it just a tie-up of what each character is thinking. With the exception of Tyrion and Reek, everything else is just Wind. The exploits of Tyrion and Reek make this book worth the credits and 49 hours of listening. Reek is kind of a new character, you have to read the book to find out what I mean.

Daenerys and Jon two good characters are featured in this, but they don't do anything until the very end. Samwell is sent away early in the book, so has no impact. Arya and Bran are in this fleetingly, but are interesting when they are. Asha Greyjoy has a couple of good chapters. Cersei has a good chapter toward the end. We get to know Ser Barristan Selmy a little more in this book. Penny is a new character that could be interesting. There is some here on Sellswords and Free Companies, but I found them mostly a distraction.

G.R.R. M. likes to remind us that words are wind and there is a lot of wind in this. A lot of talk about things that happened hundreds to thousands of years ago. There is a lot of talk about who is related to who, etc. Boring stuff I wish GM would quit forcing on to us.

About the narrator. This is the first book of the series that I have listened to. I understand that this was a hard one to read with the dozens of characters that are in it. But I believe it to be a crime to screw up, one of the main characters and the butchery that the narrator does to poor Daenerys is unforgivable. She is supposed to be a young beautiful queen. (Check out her looks in the HBO series, which if you have not watched you should) The narrator makes her sound like a granny from the Ozarks. There were times when I not only was confused on which character was talking, but I could not even tell what gender they were. I have listened to hundreds of audio books and this the worst butchery I have ever listened to. All of the characters sound like they are over 70, with most of the men and some of the women sounding like pirates, I keep expecting him to end the sentences with RRRRR.

With all that being said, Martin at his worst his better then most writers at there best, so you want this book. You will want to become a part of these characters lives and you will thanks to Martin.

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117 of 123 people found this review helpful

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