Finally it has arrived! The long awaited fifth novel “A Dance with Dragons” of the epic fantasy“A song of Ice and Fire” was released after six long years on 12th July 2011. This series of George Martin inspired the HBO series, Game of Thrones. This title was originally scheduled to be the second release of the series, but the wait has finally proved worthwhile. Critics have appreciated the writing style and the direction the story has taken.
Martin has publicly stated that this book is intended to tie a number of seemingly diversified story-lines together. The previous titles to this fifth publish include “A Game of Thrones” “A Clash of Kings” “” “A Feast for Crows” and now “A Dance with Dragons”. The other two titles following this are “The Winds of Winter” and “A Dream of Spring”.
There are board games based on the books available, as well as a collection of artwork based on and inspired by the series. The French video game company Cyanide has announced that they have partnered with Martin to create a video game adaption of the books.
The thing that readers are extremely happy about is the fact that their favorite characters Tyrion, Danny and Jon Snow feature in several chapters of the book and there is an unexpected return of one of the characters which creates the twist in the story. In fact the book has been so eagerly awaited that some die-hard fans have photographed it page by page and uploaded it on the internet!
The story in this edition picks up where A Storm of Swords left off and runs simultaneously with events in A Feast for Crows. The War of the Five Kings seems to be winding down. In the North, King Stannis Baratheon has installed himself at the Wall and vowed to win the support of the northmen to continue his struggle to claim the Iron Throne, although this is complicated by the fact that much of the west coast is under occupation by the iron born. On the Wall itself Jon Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, but has enemies both in the Watch and beyond the Wall to watch for. Tyrion Lannister has been taken by ship across the Narrow Sea to Pentos, but his eventual goals are unknown even to him. In the far east, Daenerys Targaryen has conquered the city of Meereen, but has decided to stay and rule the city, honing her skills of leadership which will be needed when she travels on to Westeros. But Daenerys’ presence is now known to many in Westeros, and from the Iron Islands and Dorne, from Oldtown and the Free Cities, emissaries are on their way to find her and use her cause for their own ends.
“It’s safe to say that no work of fantasy has generated such anticipation since Harry Potter’s final duel with Voldemort. Filled with vividly rendered set pieces, unexpected turnings, assorted cliff hangers and moments of appalling cruelty, ‘A Dance With Dragons’ is epic fantasy as it should be written: passionate, compelling, convincingly detailed and thoroughly imagined” as quoted by the Washington Post
It is a challenge for authors to ensure that each sequel that they pen down captures the fans with even more enthusiasm than the last time and also should be worthy enough of attracting a new set of readers in addition to the already existing fans. With competition from epic series like Harry Potter and The Twilight Series, novels these days are expected to live up to a certain high expectation and A Dance with Dragons seems to have done just that.
If you haven’t got your copy yet, you can catch up with it online or read a few reviews before finally laying your hands on it.