Today happened to be one of my rare days off that wasn't piled high with chores and running-arounds to do, so I managed to finish off GRRM's A Dance with Dragons. Despite my new kittens' most desperate attempts to dissuade (see: annoy) me, I can say I read all 5,000 pages or so of Martin's epicly epic series thus far. What I can't say is how much I enjoyed it.
Previous books were filled with espionage and backdoor dealings and usurpers and murderers, knights and whores. While this fifth entry did name these characters, it did little to put them into any sort of action. Nothing happens. One thousand pages and, yes, nothing happens. At the end a character gets killed, but who isn't expecting (one of the many) main characters to be killed off by the end?
Maybe I'm being negative. My personal life is struggling to stay afloat and I've been really down lately. So I thought I'd take a piss all over this book. I can't help but think back and try to look at the facts of the book and remember scene by scene if anything of importance happened and, no, nothing. It builds and builds and builds... and then it's to be continued.
I guess T7H is somewhat guilty of this same thing, but at the same time it isn't. Yes I cut it short right around the 50,000 word mark, but that was my goal. During that time I introduced new characters, killed a multitude of people, two sex scenes, a full-out fist fight and a dramatic conclusion of sorts. ADWD introduced nothing new, had no wars, and no more than a dramatic scene or two. There was just a lot of travelling. Thank god he cut out his laborious and tedious descriptions of every damned crest on every damned flag and tabard. Well, not 'cut out' per se, but we don't have to trudge through whole pages of it anymore.
Sure, if you've been reading or have thought of reading A Song of Ice and Fire (or more well known to the television addicted peoples as A Game of Thrones) then obviously, read the damn book. But really, if you've been a fan of the series and you've been waiting and waiting and waiting all 6 or whatever years for the "What happens next?!" - you can take your time. There's no need to rush out to get this one. None of the answers you're looking for can be found in book number five.