My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A series about sex, scheming, and killing veers off into one more about managing unruly forces. While it’s interesting in the sense that all problems are essentially interesting, it’s also tedious.
I feel like a standard model chapter for George R. R. Martin runs like like this:
1. Describe the people and what they are wearing.
2. Describe the food. All the food.
3. Have a somewhat interesting conversation.
4. Have the characters leave and go to their respective rooms.
5. Interrupt them with something REALLY EXCITING, but leave this scene quickly for a new chapter. Don’t return until the reader’s forgotten what was so exciting about this part of the story.
The trouble with Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons is that often the cliffhanger ending wasn’t even very interesting. I used to console myself while reading the boring parts of these books by assuring myself that hey, at least there would always be something crazy at the end of every chapter. Not so a lot of the times lately. Some chapters really were just food, clothes, and exposition.
I’m also sick of two things: people traveling all the time (just get there already! GAH! I’m tired of boats!), and GRRM refusing to let his dragons spread their wings.
I did love the last few chapters, but I’m irritated that I had to wade through a thousand pages to get there.
The more I think about it, the more I love books like Clive Barker’s Imajica, which tell their whole epic story in one volume.
I’m still in A Song of Ice and Fire for the long haul (damn you, GRRM, and your cliffhangers! damn you, damn you, damn you!!), as overall it’s an amazing story and a fascinating world. But these last two books should have been better, or shorter.