A Dance with Dragons
George R R Martin
I stand by what I said with my review for A Feast for Crows that the books should have been split differently, but ADwD was definitely more action-packed and entertaining than its predecessor. We still hear from some of the characters that were left off in AFfC, but that's more towards the end of the book. Now, to summarize what everyone's been up to:
Tyrion: One of my favorites up until this book, his wit amuses me as well as his ability to rise above those who look down on him (figuratively and literally), which is pretty much everyone up until this point. After fleeing to Pentos, Tyrion meets up with the Griffs to start a new adventure. He quickly realizes who the griffs actually are and then is snatched up by Jorah in a whorehouse on the way to Volantis. Once he's with Jorah, we can really start to see him weaken, or at least hold his tongue out of fear of being beaten. At some point, he runs into Penny, who was one of the jousting dwarves from Joffrey's wedding. This is where I really start to get annoyed whenever Tyrion's chapters come up. Penny is worthless and annoying in everything that she does. I understand that Tyrion pretty much feels bad for what happened to her and her brother, and that she believes that he was the cause since he wouldn't stoop to riding a pig and playing their game, but it still doesn't seem to fit his character to string her along on their mission to reach Dany in Mereen. After being sold to a slaver outside of Mereen and watching as their owner slowly dies of the bloody flux, Tyrion takes Penny and Jorah to talk to Brown Ben Plumm to discuss joining his forces. Overall, it was a confusing and pretty boring plot and I felt like Tyrion deserved more, the only good thing I saw is that he was humbled a bit by being a mummer slave.
Jon: Probably the only person in command of others left with some shred of decency (other than Dany). Jon struggles with doing what he knows is right and having his men obey his orders. As Jon well knows, the fight is not against the wildlings, but against the dead and he has a hard time getting others to see the truth of who their enemies really are. I love his relationship with Tormund, and really just Tormund in general, but we really start to see how close he becomes to the free folk. The more his sworn brothers see this, the more they resent him. Stannis and Selyse really piss me off because he has a hard enough time trying to get his men to listen and understand what he's trying to do and they just make it that much worse by trying to command him to give them land, men, and food (all of the things that he needs the most). It wasn't a surprise to me that his men turned against him, mostly because I watch the show, but also because you can tell how pissy the crows are getting about having to save and feed the people that they've fought against. You would think they would show a little humanity having seen the white walkers, but apparently not. And Wun Wun is just badass.