Thoughtful Thursday: A Dance with Dragons Giveaway

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsNext Tuesday is a big day for many fantasy readers — they’re quivering with excitement over the release of A Dance with Dragons. After all the years of waiting, whining and crying, all the controversies, all the epic internet flame wars… After 5 years of waiting, the next installment in George R.R. Martin’A Song of Ice and Fire series is only days away.

Some readers have named their children after Martin’s characters, but I am, so far, not a huge fan. I enjoyed A Game of Thrones, but after hearing my brother’s cries of anguish over the waiting time between novels, I decided to stop with the first one. I’ll read the rest after they have all been published. I suspect I am not alone in that strategy.  I also suspect that some readers may not have started the series at all for similar reasons. But still, I look forward to the spectacle that is the release day of such of such an eagerly-anticipated novel.

What are your plans for Tuesday? Will you be getting your copy on release day? What about those of you who’ve become disenchanted with the series? Will you still buy a copy? Also, take a moment to tell us why you think this series is so special and why it gets so much attention. We’ll pick one random commenter to receive a copy of A Dance With Dragons.


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JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit's staff since September 2009) is a Cyber-Security Analyst/Network Engineer located in Northern Kentucky. Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on authors like Tolkien, Anthony, and Lewis. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. When he is not reading books he is likely playing board games or Tabletop RPGs. Justin lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife, their daughter, and Norman the dog.

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43 comments

  1. @McFrankline /

    No plans for Tuesday. Those of us in Africa will have to wait for an extra two months before copies arrive here. And to think we have waited patiently for 5 years, I’d say two more months is no big deal.

  2. The scope of the story is huge but it is when Martin is in the mind of his characters that the magic happens. His insight and brutal truth of the human condition is what makes these books special.

  3. This giveaway makes me want to fake-resign as a reviewer for a day so I can enter. ;)

  4. The big problem with the series, for me, is not the time between volumes (although what worries me the most about that is Martin’s age and whether he’ll ever finish) but rather the fact that he blew up the scope so large that its essentially impossible to keep track of where all the characters are and what they’re doing…to the point that Martin himself leaves them out of entire books. If I recall correct, A Dance with Dragons will largely run in parallel to Feast of Crows, meaning the overall story is not even going to progress beyond where Crows ended, but rather will inform the reader of what is going on with the other half of the characters and places which were missing from Feast of Crows.

    I tend to start to lose interest in super-epic series which blow themselves up to this extreme…Wheel of Time was horrible about this as well (although it was never anywhere near the quality of A Song of Ice and Fire). I plan on reading A Dance of Dragons, but have no plans on rushing out to do so. I’ll get to it when I get to it (it’s not like I need to rush to read it before the next book is published).

  5. Teri C /

    Ohh I cannot wait for DoD, but I have to wait for the end of the month since it is it carries a large price tag and payday is later ;(
    What will happen now? After the long wait and plus watching the HBO adaptation it has left me drooling in anticipation.

  6. Kaya H /

    I want to be reading DoD all weekend! The man is going camping with the kids and I hope to have a copy by Friday! My local store better not sell out.

  7. Asura C /

    For me this series has been slow, but I read on. I love the characters, but sometimes the story seems long…. But I am really looking forward to Dances with dragons to see what is in store for our characters this round.
    Winter is coming….

  8. @TINTMYLF, from what I understand, it parallels AFFC for a while and then moves on beyond it for the rest of the book.

  9. I think the mortality of “main” characters is a big reason ASOIAF is so special. It’s different, it’s surprising, and people want more. And some people seem to enjoy the grittiness.

    I actually think the long wait between books has helped the series. There is no bad publicity, etc. People complain about the books taking so long, vow to abandon the series and boycott Martin, and then preorder on Amazon. Other people who haven’t read the series just see a lot of talk about it, and when a new book comes out, they might try and see what’s going on.

  10. I’ve really got POed with Martin. I could have stood the ridiculously long wait between books, if he didn’t seem so arrogant about it. It always seemed like he was off doing conventions, working on games, collectibles, etc.. instead writing the books. And his whole attitude was like he was saying “screw you” to his fans. I still think the only reason he finally finished Dance of Dragons is because HBO wouldn’t stand for the series not being completed in time for the TV series schedule.

    Also it seems kinda heartless to say, but you’d think Author’s like GRRM would take a lesson from Mr. Jordon. Martin is neither young, nor does he look healthy. You’d think he wouldn’t want to leave what may be his life’s great work undone.

    But guess what; I’ve got the Amazon Kindle version on pre-order, so it should be ready to upload at midnight the morning of release. I have to give credit where credit is due. When I first read Game of Thrones, it really revealed to me a whole new level of what fantasy can be.

    GRRM is a great writer and story-teller.. A Feast For Crows is undeniable the weakest book thus far, but that’s only by comparison to the other books in the series. I think that weakest books still holds its own against some of the best by other authors.

  11. I’ll read the rest of the series once it’s finished. I’m done waiting for years for every new book. I look forward to reading the entire thing, which should be more or less when my 4 year old heads off to college.

  12. Melanie Goldmund /

    I’d heard of GRRM, but I hadn’t bothered to read the books until the HBO series came out. Except for the gratuitous sex scenes, all I can say is, WOW! Now I’ve borrowed the books from a friend, and am still in the middle of A Clash of Kings, so I won’t be doing anything on Tuesday except still trying to catch up. Also, I’m a natural born miser, so if my friend buys A Dance with Dragons, I will probably borrow it from him, otherwise, I’ll wait for a few months or even longer until I can get my hands on a cheap copy.

  13. I’m currently reading the series for the first time, and I’m in the middle of “A Feast for Crows” right now. So far I would say that I liked “A Game of Thrones” best of them all. I am one of those readers who doesn’t mind waiting for a new sequel as long as it’s good. The man has a life outside of writing his books so I say let him do what he wants and he’ll give us the next book when it’s good and done.

  14. What Stefan says is how I feel about it. I’m waiting, and then I’ll listen on audio.

  15. SandyG265 /

    I read the first couple of books in the series and then gave up on it. Between the scope of the books and the time lag between the books release I lost track of too many of the characters. I may go back and givethe series another try when it’s finally all been published.

  16. Can’t currently afford the rest of the series. Just finished Game of Thrones and absolutely adored it and I’ve got a copy of Clash of Kings but at £18 currently, it’s going to be a loooong time before I can get hold of Dance With Dragons which, with all the hype over it and how much I’m loving the series is making me a little sad!

  17. Years ago I read a novella by GRRM called “The Skin Trade” and was blown away by the writing. I also read some of the “Wild Cards” stories. Songs of Ice and Fire never caught my interest and it wasn’t until I saw the comments here that I was even mildly interested. (It might have helped if I had found out it was inspired by the War of the Roses.) I think I’ll wait for the whole saga before I start.

  18. I had originally planned to re-read the series when a release date was finally going to be set, but the news was put out there kinda suddenly, and I didn’t have time.

    I had re-read the first two, before Storm of Swords came out, but that was way back before I knew that there was going to be such a long wait between books..That’s how little I read Epic fantasy back then. I just assumed books in a series would come-out consecutively, more-or-less yearly..(I think prior to ASofIaF, all the series I had read must have been completed before I ever started them).. Little did I know what i was getting into.. :)

  19. erysimum /

    I was super excited about this series the first time I read it 10 years ago. Bought AFfC in hardcover and was disappointed, so I’m not going to let myself be burned again.

    I might get it from the library (we have 7 day, no holds copies) but I’ll probably end up waiting until the series is finished. That would also eliminate the bitterness I felt each time the publication date was promised then pushed back…

  20. Fran /

    I pickead up ASOIAF earlier this year and devoured them book by book until the infamous A Feast for Crows… stopped halfway and read two other books. Frankly it was pure boredom that spurred me to finish! The complete lack of my fav characters (Tyrion, Dany, Jon ) made it an exercise in tediosity (my own word!) But reading todaythat some people have had to wait 11years appeases me somewhat!

  21. I’m new to the series (I’ve only read the first book) and I loved it! It is now on my top ten books of all time list. I’ve been very tempted to pick up the next book in the series, but I have a self-imposed rule to not read series books one right after the other. One reason is other reading obligations, but it’s mainly because I know I will become less enamored, or maybe even bored, of a series if I read it back to back. So, no, I will not be buying a copy of the new book on Tuesday. I will get it eventually though because I want to own the entire series. And why do I think the series is so special? It epitomizes what I love in epic fantasy. Great characters and story lines with a touch of magic and a hint of historical fiction. And Martin really made me care about the characters. I haven’t been this emotionally invested in fantasy characters since Lord of the Rings. Great book and I know I will love the rest of the series too!

  22. Sabrina /

    I will be waiting to listen to the audiobook version as that is how I first got into the series. I am so happy that Roy Dotrice is back! Of course I will read it in print too but I probably will wait to pick up a hard copy until later.

  23. Neville Thompson /

    I have been following the series and I will probably but this one as well but not right now. I will wait until the price has dropped a bit.

    Waiting on series to reach the end has been something I have had to do with a number of authors. The Malazan Book of the dead, Glen Cook’s Black Company and The Wheel of Time come to mind. So I am getting used to waiting.

    For all of these I have promised myself that I will re-read the whole series once it is complete but you know what they say about good intentions.

    If the giveaway is open worldwide, please enter me.

    Thanks.
    Neville

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  24. i am from germany and apparently amazon.de messed up and i could have gotten an early copy. but i didn’t. shame on me.
    i started with the series just 3 years ago. so my waiting time for the new novel was not thaaaat long. i also paused between book 3 and 4 for a year…

    but there a lot of reviews out already , all saying the new book is better then the last one. thats good news, the last one was at times a drag…

  25. I’m definitely going to read the all at once, waiting drives me crazy. I’ve already watched the series on TV, which I loved, but still I’ll read the all once It’s finished.

  26. I appreciate George RR Martin for the complexity of the story and intricately woven plot. He’s definitely earned the moniker “the American Tolkien.” It’s one of the best fantasy series I’ve ever read! As a writer myself, he’s an inspiration. I know people have been frustrated by the length of time between books, but it’s a craft, and sometimes it takes time to make it come out just right. The best commentary I’ve read on this particular issue came from Neil Gaiman, who responded to a fan who felt let down by the long time it was taking for Martin to produce the novel. The link is here: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html As for me, I’ve had lots of books to fill the time, and am looking forward to reading A Dance with Dragons. :)

  27. I loved the first few books of the series, but when the last one came out, I had forgotten much of the plot and had to go back and re-read the previous books. Now that this one’s coming out after a long wait, I feel like I’ll need to go back and refresh myself again. I’m not really sure if its worth it. What I’ll probably do is go to one of the websites that has a chapter-by-chapter summary and read those to catch back up.

  28. Yes! I am so excited for this! Although, now I have to go back and re-read all the other ones first, so I remember everything – 5 years is a long time!

  29. I’m slowly rereading the entire series, finally bought a copy of the 4th book. Please please enter me in the drawing! :)

  30. I loved the first book, and ripped into the second. Now I’m halfway through the 3rd (Storm of Swords) and am taking a break. I kind of wish I’d taken notes along the way of who’s who. I have trouble keeping track of all the secondary characters. The endless descriptions of various sigils and houses I tend to skip over, most of those people never make another appearance anyway. As far as the lag between books, whatever. You write something when you write it. This is not some penny dreadful installment that gets cranked out on a monthly basis. I do intend to finish it, so am looking forward to ADWD.

    @Christine, yes! Gaiman is dead on.

  31. I agree that writing is a craft and I can appreciate that. But with GRRM, I don’t think the long wait has been about that, not completely anyway.

    I started this series in 98, not long after A Game of Thrones was first released and it hadn’t gotten the notoriety yet. So for years I anxiously followed any ASoIaF news.

    The wait between the first 3, was long but not unbelievably so. Then after an even longer wait for Feast for Crows, there was the whole half-book fiasco. Martin denies it now, but he did initially say that the 4th book was split into two parts because it was too big to physically print as one book, and that second part was all but complete. Years go by and no “2nd half”. Eventually Martin denies the whole two part book thing and starts getting all pissy when anyone ask when the next book will be complete.

    So HBO’s first season of A Game of Thrones and WOW, just in time for the TV series; we have a release date.

    Hey it’s all good if it’s about publicity and making money. I can appreciate that too, really I can, but keep it real. Don’t sit there and act like all this time has been devoted to the crafting a masterpiece.

  32. I’ve only read A Game of Thrones which I thought was brilliant. I’ve got the next two on my shelves and am planning to read them when I get the DVD of the series. I’m used to waiting for books in series so it doesn’t really bother me much. Plus there are so many other books to read in between.

  33. Naw, I won’t be getting my copy, but I know I’ll read it. I’ll hear the criticism from my network of friends, but we’re all going to read it anyway. It’s just a matter of time. It’s just too big to ignore.

  34. In the end it is the myths that Mr. Martin has created, the legends that permeate the land of Westeros. Martin does a fine job of characterization and telling the story but what keeps me coming back is the desire to learn more about the world itself.

  35. Séan /

    I will be down to my local small bookshop at get a copy as soon as they open. Sadly I will have to wait until 5pm to read it. Flargbuckets! Also, it’ll take me about a week to read it so I’ll have to then wait another 5 years. I guess I could learn to speak Dothraki in the I interim.

  36. I started reading the series a couple of years ago and have enjoyed it. I’ve liked that the characters are like real human beings (with good and bad aspects rather than simple caricatures of good/evil), which makes it hard to know just who to root for sometimes. It seems unusual for me to be unsure like that.

    I probably won’t buy a copy on the day it comes out, but I’ll probably pick one up the next time I’m at the bookstore.

  37. Can’t wait to read your review. I picked up Game of Thrones early, and have waited for each sequel eagerly. I really loved the HBO adaptation, and I’m willing to cut GRRM some slack on writing because he Ex.Produced the HBO version so well.

  38. I’m not in a rush to read the book. I know it will be a long time until the next volume arrives, and my to-read stack is already quite daunting. I borrowed the earlier books in ASOIAF from my brother; I may borrow it from him in some months, or I may simply buy the ebook since I don’t need to worry about a completed series on the shelf.

  39. Linda /

    I’m rereading the series right now and are at the moment reading ACOK, so I won’t start with DOD before I am finished with the reread.

  40. Joe57 /

    I am expecting a child soon, so buying new books got cut out of my budget
    :( very sad. I will have to wait for it to come to my library. Its agonizing.

  41. I live in the sticks so it will take me at least a week before I go into the city to get me a sweet sweet copy of Dances with Dragons, a weekend off and a case of beer. Good times await me hearties. SO don’t go spoilering it for me.

  42. Nick /

    I think one of its biggest draws is the unpredictability. No character is safe from death or a complete life change. Its a world that looks drastically different from the world that started the series and that kind of drastic change is hard to find while still maintaining any kind of coherency.

  43. The winner is……Bookish Hobbit!

    Woohoo! Send us your info via the Contact Form and we’ll get the book out to you ASAP!

    Congratulations!

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