A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

adancewithdragonsA Dance with Dragons is so far the last published book in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire. The sixth book, The Winds of Winter, is set to be released in 2021. I hope George R.R. Martin has something far, far better than the TV series.

I enjoyed this fifth book in the series a lot more than the fourth one because this reconnects me to my favorite characters once again but it’s abomination all the same. I don’t know why I still enjoy this series after the author has killed almost all of my favorite and other likeable characters. Ha! But I have to say that I’m also starting to like those characters whom I used to loathe before.

As I have said, I enjoyed this book but well, as usual, it’s too long and it was a bit slow-paced. It took a lot of meandering subplots but maybe GRRM needs to do that to prepare us for the next events in the series or probably for the ending. Just like the other books, it was written from different POVs and it annoys me every time it ends with a cliffhanger and moves on to another. Oh, George! However, the voice of the characters this time are way stronger than the previous books. The character development of some characters were quite notable, too. Jaime Lannister is strongly gaining my favor/admiration as he was the most changed character here, or, shall I say most misunderstood?

So, I have finished the first five books in the series. Still, the future of the seven kingdoms is uncertain. There’s Daenerys with her dragons in the east. Jon Snow in the North guarding the wall against the enemies beyond it. There are threats on every side of the seven kingdoms. Who will stop the wars? Who will stop the chaos? Who will rule the seven kingdoms? Will there be anyone left to rule at all?

I’m sad that I’m caught up for now and I don’t know for how much longer but well, I’ve got this far, right? I guess, the wait begins.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

“A man might befriend a wolf, even break a wolf, but no man could truly tame a wolf.”

“Not all men were meant to dance with dragons.”

“Men live their lives trapped in an eternal present, between the mists of memory and the sea of shadow that is all we know of the days to come.”

“Men’s lives have meaning, not their deaths.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

feast for crowsA Feast for Crows is the fourth book in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire. It tells us the aftermath of the war of the five kings and focuses on the main continent of Westeros. From what I’ve read, the fifth book A Dance of Dragons is this book’s counterpart that takes place at relatively the same time outside of Westeros.

Well, this was the least entertaining among the 4 books I’ve read so far. This introduced a lot of new characters and there were very few of those we’ve known, hated and loved from the previous books. I got bored with the chapters involving the Greyjoys.

I, however, enjoyed Cersei’s chapters for sure. There was a great emphasis on Cersei here that I was really looking forward to her chapters because getting into her head was just so fun. I love her ruthlessness and her chapters were eventful. It makes me sad to think, though, that she won’t probably be in the fifth book as her character was mostly explored here already.

Jaime’s chapters were sympathetic to read. I’ve learned to love Jaime for a long time and it’s sad reading about him searching for places where he could fit in.

It was also nice to read Sansa and Arya’s mirrored plots, having to find themselves in need to take a second identity to survive. It wasn’t really surprising to find Arya in this situation but Sansa? As we know, these two sisters have very different personalities. But seeing how both of them are surviving in sort of the same way, they really are more alike as sisters after all.

I find the entertaining part of the book lost for me (except for Cersei’s chapters) but if viewed as a whole series, this is still a good read with George R.R. Martin’s established tradition — a book immensely rich in detail and extremely clever complexity. I am still determined to finish reading to the end. I’ve invested enough time to make it this far, why stop now?

Quotable Quotes:

“My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.”

“History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again”

“We all dream of things we cannot have.”

“Men have scars, women mysteries.”

“Sometimes there is no happy choice… only one less grievous than the others.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

My Top 5 Reads of 2015

I had a wonderful reading adventure in 2015 and I managed to read 55 books! And so today, in no particular order, I would like to share the top 5 most memorable, most entertaining, most touching and most awesome books I have read:

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand 

This is the story of Louis Zamperini, a young and promising Olympic runner from Torrance, California and served as a bomber crew in the Pacific during the second World War.

As a bombardier, Louie was in-charge of locating the targets while in flight. He and his crewmates had terrifying experiences during their missions until one day, they had to fly in the crippled plane Green Hornet in order to save their friends. The plane went down in the Pacific and only three of them survived thus where the real story started.

What Louis went through as the plane went down in the Pacific and as a POW would have broken other people but not him. He remained “unbroken” to the very end.

This is an amazing story and very well-written. I highly, highly recommend it to everyone!

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I read this while I was vacationing in Vietnam and it was really the perfect time and place to read this book. It was recommended to me by one of my friends in Goodreads and bought it right away when I saw it in the bookstore. I’m not a big fan of fantasy novels but I definitely enjoyed this.

The Night Circus is about magic, love, desire & imagination. The main story is about two magicians, Marco & Celia, who were committed by their guardians to a mysterious competition designed to end in death.

The circus known as Le Cirque de Reves felt so real and alive, it makes you feel you are there in that magical world.

This is a real page-turner and yes, I definitely recommend it to everyone, old and young! 🙂

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

I think everyone knows the plot of this book already so I don’t have to bother describing and yes, it’s one of my top reads this year! I love Amy! Funny and smart bitch! Haha!

This is the kind of book that’s nearly impossible to put down. I enjoyed every page of it and surprisingly, I liked the movie, too! I’m no fan of movies based on books because I’m often disappointed in them (except for LOTR) but in the case of Gone Girl, it was okay.

So if you haven’t read this yet, read it. It’s twisted & disturbing but irresistible.

4. Stoner by John Williams

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Stoner is a plain and realistic human drama. Nothing much happensin the story and it lacks that “excitement” most people look for in a book nowadays BUT it is so deep, significant, captivating, saddening & depressing as hell.

This is not a big, life-changing kind of book but it might be a good reminder to everyone that people are important and that your contribution to the world doesn’t have to be something huge, it just have to be relevant and meaningful.

5. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin 

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I have only read two epic fantasy books, The Lord of the Rings (of course!) and this! I regret that I didn’t read this right away. This is just so awesome! The many different plots will keep you want to read more, not to mention the multiple POVs. George R.R. Martin was so adept in giving life to all the characters and for me, the direwolves are the coolest! 🙂

I’m quite surprised at how much I love this book, really! That feeling while you read this book is just different, I don’t know, like you’re transported to another world, excellently made world! I just love this book to pieces! A Clash of Kings? Yes, please.

Honorable mentions go to:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

How about you? What are your favorites this year? Any recommendations? I’d be glad to hear from you!

Happy new year homo sapiens!!!

A Game of Thrones

Okay… so who haven’t heard of A Song of Ice & Fire series, or at least the first book, A Game of Thrones? I think everybody knows or heard something about it already and I’m probably one of the last few to read the books. Well, I’ve just finished the first one last Friday and I regret not reading it as soon as I’ve heard of it!

I haven’t read epic fantasy books except for The Lord of the Rings (of course!) but I received these books as a gift last Christmas. I started reading the first book a few months back but some books just got in the way.

I liked that the book was told in multiple POVs and George R.R. Martin was so adept in giving life to each of the characters. There is always something going on in each of the chapters so it won’t bore you reading. I specially enjoyed the chapters of Eddard, Daenerys & Tyrion.

I feel really glad to have read this and now I understand why people enjoyed both the book and the series (the first book & the first season). Awesome read! A Clash of Kings, I’m on my way!

Favorite quotes : “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

“The things we love destroy us every time.”

“Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.”

“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.”

Rating : 5/5 stars