A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) by George R.R. Martin

#readASOIAF Read-Along – Hosted by Riley from Riley Marie, Elizabeth from Liz Loves Literature, and Kayla from BOOKadoodles. β™₯

A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons cover the same period of time, but split the characters and their points of view up. I’ve always chosen to read them back to back, but maybe people enjoy reading them simultaneously. If you would like to read them combined, here is the reading order: Link!

β€œNot all men were meant to dance with dragons.”

At this point in the series, five books in, it would be almost impossible to talk about this book without heavy spoilers, so please do not read any further if you have not read this book or its predecessors.

Okay, so on this reread, the prologue actually blew my mind. First, we learn it’s a major no-no among wargs to skin change into other humans. You know, like what Bran has been doing to Hodor. Then, we find out the character in this prologue survives his human death by warging into his wolf. This is completely foreshadowing of Jon’s fate at the end of this book.

I mean, Melisandre tried to warn Jon of daggers in the dark, also, but like all Starks, he doesn’t listen too well. Melisandre and her past is always hard for me to read. People always view her as this sex symbol from the show, but she has such a deeper, and sadder, past in the books. One of the things I look most forward to in this series is seeing her development and what she makes of her trauma. Oh, and seeing if she ends up resurrecting Jon, like in the show. I can’t wait to see how important Ghost’s role really was with bringing Jon back.

β€œThe strongest trees are rooted in the dark places of the earth. Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother’s milk. Darkness will make you strong.”

Even though Melisandre is marching with Stannis and his men to see if they can defeat the Boltons so he will be one step closer to winning the throne, my favorite points of view were from Asha Greyjoy. Like, besides the fact she is a super strong woman, she represents how unfairly some people are treated just because of what gender they were born. Again, I know a lot of people read this series and deem it sexiest, but there are so many feminist themes throughout, and Asha is such a wonderful example that I can’t help but root for.

And Asha’s conversations with Alysane Mormont, while marching with Stannis’ army, just further proves the theory from A Storm of Swords, that Tormund is the father of Lyanna Mormont!

Meanwhile, on the Bolton side, Ramsey is really trying to out-do Euron for my most hated ASOIAF villain. The chapters inside of Reek/ Theon’s head were some of the most disturbing things I’ve ever read. I know Reek/Theon did some terrible things, but no one deserves the karma he has been dealt at the hand of Ramsey.

β€œWhen you have known the kiss of a flaying knife, a laugh loses all its power to hurt you.”

Also, if I were Jeyne Poole, Sansa’s old friend, I would have been singing at the top of my lungs that I wasn’t Arya, even if that meant my death, because Ramsey is that much of a sick fuck.

Cersei’s chapters were my favorite. Unlike Ramsey, her “villainous ways” make so much sense to me. Most mothers will do anything for their children, and Cersei will literally do anything. All her actions, both filled with hate or filled with love, are all because of what she thinks is best for them. There is something pretty endearing about that, and her chapters were honestly the best in this book.

β€œI am Cersei of House Lannister, a lion of the Rock, the rightful queen of these Seven Kingdoms, trueborn daughter of Tywin Lannister. And hair grows back.”

My favorite part of this whole book was when Cersei was reflecting upon the events that have happened recently, and was so remorseful thinking about how differently everything would have been if only Joffrey didn’t kill Ned in A Game of Thrones. It is crazy to think about how one terrible and thoughtless act can ruin so many lives. It is actually pretty heartbreaking.

I very much loved rereading Tyrion’s point of view, again! Oh, how I missed him! I completely forgot about Penny, but re- fell in love with her, too! Penny, Tyrion, and Jorah’s journey in this book sure wasn’t an easy one. Especially for Jorah, even though I low-key hate book Jorah.

Dany’s point of view starts with her being unable to control her dragons, but ends by leaving lot of mystery to where she will end up. I know that we have an unfair advantage with the show maybe being book-cannon, but I’m really looking forward to her meeting with Tyrion in The Winds of Winter. Like, I’m really, really, really looking forward to it.

And I obviously want a Stark meet-up more than anything. Bran is learning so much from the three-eyed crow, and him being a greenseer. I have always loved the children of the forest, and it was a joy reading about them again. Especially Leaf

I’ll be honest, for some reason I wasn’t enjoying this book as much as the previous four. I’m not sure if I just burnt myself out on ASOIAF by rereading a book a month or what, but I felt more determination to finish than enjoyment while reading. Obviously this series is in a league of its own, and deserves five stars because of the masterpiece that it is, but I’m happy to now tunnel my enjoyment into waiting for the release of The Winds of Winter.

β€œA reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

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