Despite the very real possibility of having to wait several years before the next instalment comes out, I am glad to finally get this book done with.
As you may know from previous posts I’ve been unhappy with the last book and a half, it felt as if martin had lost his way, but the second half of book five has set him upon the path of redemption. The writing was excellent and there was much more development with the story, even if he is starting to introduce way too many points of view.
Although I’ve come away pleased with part two, I think that if I read it straight after the first half I would have still been disappointed, suggesting that it still has a way to go before recovering properly.
Anyway, the plot is finally back on track. None of the characters felt redundant and there was even an injection of excitement. Although I’m not a fan of Arya’s storyline, I hugely admire the depth the Martin has gone into to create her little world. With Arya’s story there’s attention kept on three different religions and I’m constantly amazed by how much Martin has invested into the book. As well as the Seven, the Red God and the god of Many Faces, there’s also the Dothraki and the beliefs of Meereen. None of it is just superficial knowledge either, there’s so much to each of them and they’re all really believable.
Speaking of Meereen, it’s good to finally see Daenarys out of it. She’s one of the best characters and she was getting boring, until thankfully fire rained down from the sky and she leapt to her freedom. There wasn’t too much of her, but if that was the price for finally getting her story to move along I am happy to pay it.
With everything that has happened in her story arc it’s easy to forget that she’s not much more than a child, yet she has more dignity and composure than Cersei and is already a much better leader.
And speaking of the golden-haired lion, she finally got her comeuppance! It was another of several twists that the author incorporated into the book. For all the rubbish that she’s put everyone through it’s about time karma caught up with her. However, this was the least evil of the twists. The fate of the Wall is now uncertain, thanks to a treacherous brother, and even though someone was about to put Westeros back on track, Varys came into it and lengthened the land’s torture. It wasn’t even entirely clear what his goal was, but it’s certainly not good.
As usual it’s been left on a cliffhanger and there’s not even any point in trying to guess where it’ll go, Martin will make sure that everything we don’t expect to happen, will actually come to pass.
Overall it was a good book and I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading more about Dany, Arya, Jaime and Tyrion as it’s their stories that seem the most ambiguous at the moment. Hopefully when the next one comes out Martin will be able to keep up the sense of intrigue and excitement.