TITLE: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book Five
AUTHOR: George R.R. Martin
It's hard to review individual books in this series, because, really, they all form one story. A long, complex story. A long, complex, multi-layered story that hasn't been finished yet. Individual characters might have had their stories concluded, but the overall story continues. Or will continue, if Martin ever gets book six finished, and then book seven.
This one leaves a lot of loose ends. Most of the book, at least the first half if not a bit more, runs concurrently with book four, relating what's been going on with characters not seen in the fourth book. Then time moves forward once more, and we see some though not all of the characters who populated that fourth volume.
Winter is close now, very close. Blizzards make the business of war in the north difficult. New alliances are made, while others are shattered. And there are dragons. Dany's dragons grown bigger, wilder, independent. And that's pretty much all I can say, because now I'm a member of the legion of fans who are reading the books and watching the HBO series who know more than the fans of just the TV show know. And I will not spoil anything for those watching the show only. Suffice it to say there is bloodshed, new characters to root for and against, and WTF moments this series is known for. And if you're not reading the books, just watching the show, you're missing a lot. Though the show, after the first season, has deviated a bit from the books, I have no idea how much that will continue. The show has mostly collapsed or combined characters and scenes from the books, while adding in scenes only referenced in the books. They really do complement each other nicely.