George R.R. Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally since then. He spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer-producer, working on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made. In the mid '90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he's allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with the lovely Parris, a big white dog called Mischa, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula, who think they run the place.
Nearly six years after A Feast for Crows was released, Martin's long-awaited installment in his epic fantasy series will satiate his huge and hungry audience, as it picks up the action with favorite characters missing from the previous book. (LJ Xpress Reviews, 7/15/11) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A few images recur in the enormously complex fifth installment of Martin's massively multicharacter epic: the chess-like game cyvasse, small rivers flowing into larger ones, ships and armies battered by terrible storms. These themes suggest that readers should think strategically, be patient as the story grows, and brace for a beating. Martin's fans, however, are hungry for more action and purpose, their appetites whetted by a six-year wait and the recent HBO adaptation of A Game of Thrones. Dance was originally the second half of 2005's A Feast for Crows, sometimes criticized for shifting from battles and intrigue to slow trudges through war-torn, corpse-littered Westeros. The new volume has a similar feel to Feast and takes place over a similar time frame; Martin keeps it fresh by focusing on popular characters Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and Jon Snow, all notably absent from the previous book. These three are generally thought the most plausible riders of the titular dragons, but plots within plots abound, and two strong new candidates for those scaly saddles emerge as a powerful enemy threatens Daenerys's captured city of Meereen, Tyrion is kidnapped by slavers, and treachery undermines Jon's command of the undead-battling Night's Watch. More characters are revived than killed off and more peace accords signed than wars declared, but the heart-hammering conclusion hints that the next installment will see a return to the fiery battles and icy terror that earned the series its fanatic following. Even ostensibly disillusioned fans will be caught up in the interweaving stories, especially when Martin drops little hints around long-debated questions such as Jon's parentage. Author tour. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Filled with vividly rendered set pieces, unexpected turnings,
assorted cliffhangers and moments of appalling cruelty, A Dance
with Dragons is epic fantasy as it should be written:
passionate, compelling, convincingly detailed and thoroughly
imagined."--The Washington Post
"Long live George Martin . . . a literary dervish, enthralled by complicated characters and vivid language, and bursting with the wild vision of the very best tale tellers."--The New York Times
"One of the best series in the history of fantasy."--Los Angeles Times