A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust is the fifth instalment in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series and this is Part One of the novel. It is very confusing when I try and explain to people that I am reading book five in the series but it is the sixth physical book I have read (I think!). This novel focuses on The North and the lands beyond Westeros, which means it focuses on some of my favourite characters, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. Jon has been made the 998th commander of The Wall and is torn between his fellow Brothers, the Wildings who survived the battle at The Wall and King Stannis and his Red Woman. Tyrion has added ‘kinslayer’ to the list of names he has hurled at him and has fled to the East. Here he meets various characters-most of whom see through his disguise- and makes an interesting and potentially game changing discovery about the Targaryens. However when he is captured by Ser Jorah Mormont and knows he will soon be before Dany he isn’t quite as pleased. Dany is struggling to keep control of the cities she has freed from slavery, beginning to realise that freeing so many slaves and stopping trade has only served to make people angry. To add to matters her dragons are growing and getting uncontrollable. Plans are also afoot in The North with Roose Bolton being wed to ‘Arya Stark’ and planning to take control of Winterfell, with the help of Theon Turncloak. Beyond The Wall Bran and co have made it to the Three Eyed Crow and Bran, realising he will never walk again, discovers he can fly. And the book ends there, with only Jon appreciating the threat the wights have on the Kingdom and no one making any dramatic moves for The Iron Throne.
It’s really hard to summarise the plot of any novel in A Song of Fire and Ice as they are so complex and you need to read them in order to fully appreciate and enjoy them. Add to that the fact I don’t want to drop any spoilers, especially as I loathe them whenever the TV series is being aired, you are left with an incredibly wooly synopsis of what happens. When I read A Feast for Crows at Christmas I moaned about the missing characters and wanting to know what they were up to and I felt much happier about this in this book. I feel a bit more understanding as to whyMartin divided the books in this way and because I knew what most of the characters around Kings Landing were up to I could fully enjoy this book.
Everything I want to say about this series I have already said. I’m not completely convinced where I think Martin is going with this, but I have one more (published) book in the series to read before I can properly think about this. I know my friend has already read all the books and has her own theories, so I’m looking forward to discussing it with her. A good read and now I’m debating whether or not to read the next book soon, or should I wait? Especially as Martin has revealed the next book will not be published in 2015.