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 A Dance With Dragons

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Calwyn
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PostSubject: A Dance With Dragons   Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:41 pm

Better than the last book, certainly. But that's mostly because it followed the better characters and storylines. I liked the book, I really did. But after I finished it I couldn't but feel that nothing of real consequence happened.

Spoiler:
 

I THINK that's all of the storylines. Most seemed to only have three or so chapters devoted to them, most interweaving with more main storylines/characters like Tyrion, Jon Snow and Dany. Of those three, it was all development and no landmarks.

In other words, it was the Wheel of Time all over again Rolling Eyes

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Last edited by Calwyn on Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Dance With Dragons   Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:39 pm

Calwyn wrote:
Better than the last book, certainly. But that's mostly because it followed the better characters and storylines. I liked the book, I really did. But after I finished it I couldn't but feel that nothing of real consequence happened.

These were my thoughts exactly.
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PostSubject: Re: A Dance With Dragons   Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:31 am

It's the middle books that these "epic fantasy" authors are really having issues with. They drag and NOTHING HAPPENS AT ALL IN THEM!!!

Brandon Sanderson talked about this several times around when Stormlight was coming out. How it would be 10 books. And he was specifically working on not having this happen to his series. I really hope he can pull it off. (Even though we probably won't see the first "middle" book in at least 10 years i bet. Ugh.)

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PostSubject: Re: A Dance With Dragons   Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:52 pm

If you think about it, nothing's really happened in ANY of the books. The only deaths that have mattered are Ned's and Robert's, and the only things of long-ranging consequence that happened occurred either prior to the books, or haven't happened yet. Don't get me wrong, Martin tells a good story. It's just that.....well, Goodkind's best book was Faith of the Fallen.

I've said it before, but it still holds true: A story, by its nature, must end. If it doesn't, it is not, by definition, a story. It's just a random bunch of events Maybe Martin will tie everything together. I'm just not sure it's worth waiting another decade or so to find out.
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PostSubject: Re: A Dance With Dragons   Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:35 am

I'd say Robb's death was pretty significant.

But I don't necessarily think that only deaths = "something happening".

It could be a battle, it could be an important encounter/conversation/revelation, it could be a long journey reaching a destination, or whatever.

In SOT there were certain key events, at the very least at the end of each book: like every individual book resulted in some climactic moment. And there were other such, lesser, moments in each book. Take WFR: Richard meets Kahlan, finds out who Zedd is, is named Seeker, Zedd and Chase knocked out and they go on without them, they find the Mud People and have the gathering, they meet Shota, they go to Tamarang, Richard is captured by Denna and is 'broken', the others are almost captured by the D'Harans and Kahlan enters the Con Dar, Richard meets Scarlett and gets her to help him, they all meet up at the end and Richard defeats Darken Rahl.

Those are key events in the book I would use to tell the story in a very short summary. I could do the same kind of thing with the others in the series, and with other books in other series.

But with Dance with Dragons it's harder to do, though thats for two reasons: the first is that it seems like there were far fewer (obvious) moments of import, and the second is that there were so many other storylines you cant really summarize the book as a whole, you have to do each storyline.

Take Jon's storyline, this is how I would summarize it like I did with SOT: he argues with Stannis, his Black Brothers, the Wildlings, Stannis' wife, the Queen's knights, then he's attacked.

Dany: She argues with her counsellors, doesn't trust anyone, sleeps with Daario, marries one of Mereen's nobles, flies off with Drogon.

Tyrion: arrives in Pentos, meets Illyrio, meets Griff and the Targaryen prince, taken by Mormont, captured by Slavers, joins a Sellsword group.

And so on. None of those moments really seem to have the 'climactic' impact like the ones I mentioned in WFR. And thats the kind of thing I mean when I say it feels like nothing really happened.

I agree with what you say, that a book can't always have SOMETHING important happening. But I say that, relative to other books and series out there, this one specifically seemed to have even less happening than usual.

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PostSubject: Re: A Dance With Dragons   Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:48 pm

Quote :
But I don't necessarily think that only deaths = "something happening".
Oh, no doubt--I'm just saying that the world hasn't significantly changed from the beginning of the series. There's a war, but that's been going on since the start.

Quote :
I'd say Robb's death was pretty significant.
Possibly in the short term, but not ultimately. There's still and heir.

Quote :

In SOT there were certain key events, at the very least at the end of each book: like every individual book resulted in some climactic moment.
The difference is that Goodkind wrote each book as a stand-alone book, with the exception of the final trilogy. Martin is making no such attempt. Which means that none of Martin's books are actually stories--they're all bits and pieces of a story. Combine that with the fact that it's going to be at least 10 years before we get the last two books (and the propensity of writers in this day and age to continue writing well after the series should have ended), and you have to wonder if it's worth it to follow the series anymore. Maybe in 20 or 30 years it'll be fun to pick up and read through (assuming he finishes it), but right now? There's not enough to keep people interested.
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PostSubject: Re: A Dance With Dragons   Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:38 am

It'll be hard for me if it takes another 5 years for the next book to come out. I didn't do a read through to refresh myself of everything that happens before this book came out, but I could get away with that for the most part because I only started the series a year ago.

From what I feel of the series, I don't expect I'll bother reading through it before the next one comes out either. Just don't like it enough to do so. So I anticipate there will be a lot I will have forgotten. Might have to cave and read through some of the online summaries Razz

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PostSubject: Re: A Dance With Dragons   Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:03 am

I'm still in the middle of reading it so I haven't read all of the posts just in case but while I am enjoying it, it does seem to be a little disjointed.
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