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A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons 
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Lore Drake
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Post A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
I love the Song of Ice and Fire books. And those who also know it takes forever for the next installment. So much so that I haven't been to GRRM's webpage in ages.

Well went there today and FINALLY a real publishing date!

July 12, 2011... no not 3011... actually in this century.

I did read awhile back that this series was slated for only 5 books, but writing through; A Feast for Crows he realized it'd probably take 7 books. Man, I'm already putting myself in a holding pattern... ;)

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Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:35 am
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
I'm looking forward to it. I've read three books and on the fourth now. I started reading Book 1 in late April. I think I may have to slow my reading down a little...


Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:03 pm
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
I havent started reading these yet. I kind of wanted to let him finish the series and tackle it all at once but then this HBO series came out. I think the HBO series is not bad but I feel like the books would be a lot less jazzed-up to appeal to the wider audience (read: lowest common denominator) and now really want to start this series.

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Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:25 pm
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
I'm totally biased when I say this, but these books are one of the best Fantasy books ever written. There is so much to say, but much of what I could say... even the littlest bit could affect the reading the first go around. His writing style is such that it is easy to forget your reading. It is purely one of those series that you find it hard to put down because you want to see what is next. (He takes you down each plot line, interwoven into chapters. Each chapter focuses on that particular plot and the next delves into another plot and you don't get to read, what is next, till you get to their chapter again. It's an addicting use of chapters.) Character growth couldn't be better done... I suspect that is just one of the many reasons that you have some kind of opinion (good or bad) of characters, and may change your opinion later on.

Without giving anything away, both Jamie Lannister and Sam Tully were characters I didn't like early on. But I really like both now through their growth as characters. Some of the growth is appealing because of decisions made that may or may not be good but certainly adds depth and dimension to let you enjoy the characters more. (GRRM is not infallible, there is one female character, that hangs out with Jamie, that has not grown on me (Like many characters do) and I just wish she'd just get written out of the story.)

Except for one little scene, Tyrion is probably as close as you can get to a consistent favourite character, but in books like these, the "favourite" is a loose term. Other characters may start out, on the periphery and seem one dimensionable, but each chapter adds depth till they become breathing complex characters of the story.

The show is amazing, but like always you can say the books are easily 100X better. (I'm always pretty high on casting for shows and; Game of Thrones has done a wonderful job at its casting of the characters. I've seen, so many times, a show/movie, with potential, only get ruined through bad casting.)

Breakdaddy wrote:
I havent started reading these yet. I kind of wanted to let him finish the series and tackle it all at once but then this HBO series came out. I think the HBO series is not bad but I feel like the books would be a lot less jazzed-up to appeal to the wider audience (read: lowest common denominator) and now really want to start this series.

Like I said above, don't bother waiting for the whole series to be done... it could take forever, GRRM's isn't actually a specimen of good health and there are nervous laughter of just what will get finished first; A Song of Ice & Fire or GRRM.

This series is one of the few books I go back and read again, they are that good and with Dance coming out I'm starting a new reading to time it with the Dance's release.

An example, of his writing style, would be; A Feast for Crows. The original Feast was to actually have some of; Dance with Dragons chapters in it, but it was decided it made more sense to split the book and its chapters for a more coherent; Feast for Crows. Essentially half of what was suppose to be in Feast will end up in Dance. Feast was expanded on and GRRM said that with that half of Dance was written. But, anyone who knows GRRM's writing style, he is one of those that lets the story drive what is in the book, using only a very flexible plot-line. Using an already written "half" for Dance, he expanded and rewrote much of Dance to make it one of the larger tomes in the series. If anything GRRM is meticulous and will only publish something that can stand up to scrutiny. To hell with publication deadlines.

Edit: A Feast for Crows steps away from battles (somewhat) and focuses more on political intrigue. A lot of fans were a little disappointed by this, personally I really enjoyed the change of pace and really helped uncover more depths of characters that don't swing swords and shows that the politics of Westeroes is just as deadly as any war.

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Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:07 pm
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Your point is well taken. I'll probably get started on those books soon. Personally, I don't think the HBO series is that great, but like I said, it is just good enough to make me want to find out the books are much better. Tyrion is the only character I consistently wish to see more of. The choice of actor for this role was absolutely perfect.

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Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:28 pm
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Maukling
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Breakdaddy wrote:
I havent started reading these yet. I kind of wanted to let him finish the series and tackle it all at once but then this HBO series came out. I think the HBO series is not bad but I feel like the books would be a lot less jazzed-up to appeal to the wider audience (read: lowest common denominator) and now really want to start this series.


Well, the HBO series is actually pretty tame compared to the books. This is something of an objective viewpoint since, and this is going to shock a few people, I'm not really a big fan of either. :)

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:11 am
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Breakdaddy wrote:
Tyrion is the only character I consistently wish to see more of.

His is a favourite of almost everyone that reads the series. And, with good reason. If you like him in the tv show, you'll love him in the books.

Araya is another favourite of mine. Her travels and growth are probably the greatest of all the characters.

Like I said earlier, Sam Tarley was a peripheral character, that I didn't much enjoy, but has since grown on me a great deal.

Jamie Lannister... well lets just say I got to like him much better later on.

This is one series that characters do not get pigeon holed as much as others. You also get a sense that nothing is safe, either characters, situations or your own expectations.

Quote:
The choice of actor for this role was absolutely perfect.

All the casting was excellent. I was quite surprised. Especially the casting of the children that can dangerously follow the route of annoying kids. (I'm looking at you Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.)

gideon_thorne wrote:
Well, the HBO series is actually pretty tame compared to the books. This is something of an objective viewpoint since, and this is going to shock a few people, I'm not really a big fan of either. :)

Doesn't shock me. Different strokes and all that.

I find; Dune ponderous, slow and boring. Never got through the first book.

Ditto; The Wheel of Time series.

I read; The Dresden Files series, but find it a average series with some bad books. I prefer; The Nightside series for my light reading, but find all the other series by Simon Green unreadable. Go figure.

I love the original run of George R. R. Martin (edited by); Wild Cards Mosaic, but find the newer stuff boring and has gotten way to far from what made; Wild Cards so fun to read.

I clearly do not understand the popularity of any of the, Twilight books. It was hard even reading a couple of chapters.

I adore; The Malazan Empire series, where others find it difficult to follow/read.

I judge thee not, as tastes vary greatly for everyone.

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:31 am
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Maukling
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Sir Ironside wrote:
[

I judge thee not, as tastes vary greatly for everyone.


*smiles* I sense a pattern here. Clearly I like book series which are quite a bit lighter in tone than you do. I find everything by Simon R Green side splitting hilarious. Same with Jim Butcher and Robert Jordan. I've been through enough 'reality' in my life where I'm inclined to avoid it in my 'escapist' literature. :)

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:22 am
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Finished book 4 last night, so I'm caught up.

As far the casting for the show, I agreed with you Sir I until Ep 9. The girl they got to play Shae is wrong. In the book, she is a frivolous, mischievousness somewhat naive girl who understands her role (a prostitute), but is fine with it. She's not mysterious or foreign or smart. I don't know why they made her all those things in the show.

Also, I was really surprised how my opinions changed on some characters and it came as a pleasant shock. That being said, I would think about deleting what you said about a certain character so the change isn't spoiled. I will say I am a stickler for 'spoilers' so I may be taking it to extremes, but I know I wouldn't have want to know how my feelings were going to change. ;)

As far as Pete not liking the books or the show... well, they are wildly popular and seemingly have gone mainstream, so Pete is bound by his code to now dislike them. :)


Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:54 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
I have not even the interest in either the series or books to want to pick them up. Reading all the talk about them just affirms that opinion. :P

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:43 pm
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
AGNKim wrote:

As far as Pete not liking the books or the show... well, they are wildly popular and seemingly have gone mainstream, so Pete is bound by his code to now dislike them. :)


Sorry dude, you'll have to try again. I'm not nearly so predictable as all that. I like any number of things that are both popular and mainstream. ;)

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:20 pm
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
gideon_thorne wrote:
*smiles* I sense a pattern here. Clearly I like book series which are quite a bit lighter in tone than you do. I find everything by Simon R Green side splitting hilarious. Same with Jim Butcher and Robert Jordan. I've been through enough 'reality' in my life where I'm inclined to avoid it in my 'escapist' literature. :)

*grin* Man, if your reality even contains a sliver of what is in the books I read, please, please... can I come visit you?

All the books I mentioned are escapist. Sure there may seem to have a common theme, so I think it inadvertently pegged me as maybe a dower, emo type reader. ;)

Truth be told I like a wide range of books, which I read when the fancy strikes me. I love to read about Canadian military history as well as some selected Canadian history. (Yes sad that I don't want to know all of Canadian history.) I mix in some non-fiction if the topic strikes me. (Auto-biographies I usually stay away from. I really don't care about others peoples lives all that much.) The last awesome non-fiction book I just read was; Tiger: A Tale of Vengeance.

Well written humour is fun to; Discworld, Incarnations of Immortality series etc. etc. etc.

I read a good cross-section of different genre's, but admittedly a good chunk is taken up by Sci-Fi and fantasy.
AGNKim wrote:
As far the casting for the show, I agreed with you Sir I until Ep 9. The girl they got to play Shae is wrong. In the book, she is a frivolous, mischievousness somewhat naive girl who understands her role (a prostitute), but is fine with it. She's not mysterious or foreign or smart. I don't know why they made her all those things in the show.

As; The Lord of the Rings trilogy, showed us that sacrifices must be made when translating one medium to another. Sometimes things seem puzzling as to why they change things. But, if you sat down and had it explained to you, you'd certainly have an "ah" moment. In the extended boxed-set version of; The Lord of the Rings, the appendices does a good job of explaining why they changed things from the book.

I guess I'm lucky, in the sense, that I can separate the two different mediums and enjoy them for what they are, rather than compare. I learned long ago, if you go into a movie expecting an exact translation from the books, you are going to walk out disappointed. I was kind of bummmed that Tom Bombadil didn't make the movies, but completely understood why and it never took away my joy of seeing; The Lord of the Rings on the big screen.

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:18 pm
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Sir Ironside wrote:
All the books I mentioned are escapist. Sure there may seem to have a common theme, so I think it inadvertently pegged me as maybe a dower, emo type reader. ;)


Nah. Its just that the books you mentioned are clearly darker in tone, and more 'realism' than I generally care for. I actually have read the Game of Thrones novels, I just can't seem to get through them a second time without falling asleep. I'm one for epic series too. 8-)

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Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:27 pm
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Got ADwD (Book 5) last night. So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of it. Its nice to see old friends again. I should be finished by GenCon... and get to wait 4-5 years for the next one.


Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:08 pm
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Great series. Im almost done with Dance w/Dragons. I hope he finishes the series....
Im betting the next book wont take so long now, due to the show on HBO. I think he was waiting on releasing Dance w/ Dragons til the HBO show was out.

How many more books are planned? 2 or 3 ??


Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:43 pm
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Starslayer72 wrote:
How many more books are planned? 2 or 3 ??

I read (Over at his webpage), from his own mouth, that he had planned to have the story arc finished in 5 books. That obviously didn't happen. He said the reason is, when he writes he doesn't stick to a finished outline. He lets the characters go in a direction they want to and as he writes the stories get longer and require more books. He also said that his writing style means he often writes himself into a corner and is forced to revise chapters. A Feast for Crows had originally some chapters that now appear in; Dance with Dragons. He said, at the time that the good news was that because they split the book; A Dance with Dragons was half written. But, think how long; A Dance of Dragons took for it to get out. That being said, he admitted that he really didn't know how long the series is going to take. He estimated to have it all done by the seven books, now, but it could even go into nine books... in a nutshell he has no idea.

As far as the HBO show goes, there is probably a little motivation, now, to finish the series, but I think the exact opposite is true. Mr. Martin is heavily involved, in many aspects of the TV show, it takes time away from the actual writing of the books. And, if you have ever read his Not a Blog, blog you get a real sense just how busy he is. Tours, writing the HBO series as well as over-looking it (His direct involvement is why the TV show really captures the elements of the book. Unlike; The Pillars of Earth TV show that I couldn't continue watching.), writing short stories about Westeros, over-seeing the; A Game of Thrones and the; Wild Cards rpgs, other projects like editing the; Wild Cards series of books, the impressive amount of books he reads, his own life, traveling etc. etc. To me there is no real surprise that it takes him so long to write this one series. If you take into consideration that; Game of Thrones is doing one season per book and most series do not go past 5 years, That would bring us to the already written; A Dance with Dragons. The future of the television media is so murky that one never knows when it'll be cancelled or let it runs its own course and finish. Or, even if they announce a cancellation and the writers try to cram the remaining story into one season, (Which usually makes it suck.) he'd even be more heavily involved in the TV series.

Game of Thrones is doing very well, in the ratings, so that is encouraging, but again who knows how well that will carry over to subsequent seasons. Obviously Mr. Martin wants the series to continue which probably means his fingerprints are all over the TV series. Which goes full circle, back to the time he has to actually write new books.

Before, Mr. Martin would tell his readers that he estimated that book X was to be finished around a certain time frame. With the many delays of; The Dance with Dragons I think he learned to not do that again. This time on his Not a Blog, he not only did not say when the next book was estimated to be finish, he didn't even mention anything about the next book.

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Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:17 pm
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Skobbit

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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Maybe so, but Id still bet the next book will be out within 18 months at the most, instead of 3-4 years like this one.


Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:36 am
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Starslayer72 wrote:
Maybe so, but Id still bet the next book will be out within 18 months at the most, instead of 3-4 years like this one.


18 months? You're adorable.


Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:58 pm
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Starslayer72 wrote:
Maybe so, but Id still bet the next book will be out within 18 months at the most, instead of 3-4 years like this one.


Here is a progression of the last 5 books.

1. A Game of Thrones: Page count: 807 (704 hardcover); Published: August 1996
2. A Clash of Kings: Page count: 969 (784 hardcover); Published: November 1998
3. A Storm of Swords: Page count: 1128 (992 hardcover); Published: August 2000
4. A Feast for Crows: Page count: 976 (784 hardcover); Published: October 2005
5. A Dance with Dragons: Page count: (1040 hardcover); Published: July 2011
6. The Winds of Winter: (Forthcoming)
7. A Dream of Spring: (Forthcoming)

See the; A Song of Ice and Fire wiki for more information.

You'll notice that the time frame gets longer between books. The early books came so frequently because all he did was just write them, didn't have all the other distractions I noted above and it still took 2 years between books. Back then he was more beholden to the publisher. These days he calls more shots about the books.

Though I suspect that the books are the main bread and butter, they are no longer the only butter on the bread.

Believe me I wish you where right but, I'll gladly take you up on your bet.

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Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:21 pm
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Skobbit

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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Just gotta wait & see.


Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:35 pm
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Finished ADWD last night. Overall, I'm "meh". Could have been better, could have been worse. GRRM is a great storyteller, so that was good. The plot moved horribly slow for 1100 pages, that's not so good.


Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:13 pm
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Not many people like; A Feast for Crows. I actually quite liked it. I think it was because; A Feast for Crows was heavily in favour of political intrigue rather than bashing each other over the head. I found it a positive change of pace.

I'm about 2.5 books away before I'm going to read; A Dance of Dragons, so I will reserve judgement till then.

Of course if Peter says he really liked it, I'll begin to worry. ;)

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Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:44 pm
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Post Re: A Song of Ice & Fire: Dance with Dragons
Sir Ironside wrote:

Of course if Peter says he really liked it, I'll begin to worry. ;)


Oh, I'm sure I'll manage to grit my teeth through the series again at some point. Never did get past book 3. I've got book 5, but my dad's reading them right now. I really wish I could articulate why I just can't get into this series? I generally have no problem with epic in scope novels like these. 8-) :?:

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Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:04 am
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