Song of Ice and Fire Book 5: Coming July 12th, 2011
The long-awaited next installment in the excellent Song of Ice and Fire saga by George R. R. Martin has been announced. For a little while there I thought HBO might manage to catch up with him at the rate they were being published. Apparently, Mr. Martin is still writing but the date is firm, so hopefully we’re not looking at an EA maneuver (where they set the date and then release whether or not it’s ready). I have faith though, since the Song of Ice and Fire has consistently been one of the best, and certainly the darkest, fantasy series I have ever read.
George R. R. Martin has a knack for avoiding the expected, and wholly embracing the idea that major characters aren’t special. It makes it a little bit more like real life when the good guys don’t always win; in fact, in the The Song of Ice and Fire the good guys more often than not end up beheaded.
I’m looking forward to seeing whether A Dance with Dragons will maintain this style or if George R. R. Martin has mellowed over time. I’m also a little apprehensive because it’s been at least six years since I read the last installment and I’m not sure I remember the plot. To compound the issue, Martin decided that there were too many characters to tell all of their stories in A Feast for Crows, the fourth book, so he decided to tell the full chronological story for half of the characters and tell the story for the rest of the characters in book five. While an interesting technique (and largely unsatisfying in A Feast for Crows), that could mean that book 5 is actually impossible to read in isolation.
Hopefully that’s not the case, since I’m destined to buy it anyway, and I’d rather that I get the excellent enjoyment out of it that I did from volumes 1-3.