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 three thousand 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 Night’s 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. . . .
I'll keep this review spoiler free, as I know there are many still working their way through this long series.
A Dance with Dragons isn't a bad book, but it's not spectacular book, either. One of the most apt adjectives to describe it would be "slow." It plods along. Part of this is because Martin's already detailed world of Westeros has now expanded to include other continents with even more character viewpoints. With the characters spread out across massive amounts of terrain, that means there is a lot of time spent getting from point A to point B.
From the beginning of the series, I've had trouble keeping characters straight. Even with appendixes in the back, that task of who-is-who only worsens. Plus, there are so many new characters, I found myself not really caring about the newcomers. But then, if I could I'd have the series focus on Arya and ignore the rest.
There are several major revelations in this book, and a few big cliffhangers. That's to be expected.
I will read the next book whenever it eventually comes out, but I certainly won't be holding my breath as I wait.