Harumph. I did not like this one at all. At all. Boring, wordy, and slow of plot, A Dance with Dragons should have been left out of the series, as was apparently the author’s original intent. Nothing happens! (Except ’til those one or two things happen at the end, but still, those could have been tacked onto the previous (also useless) book or the next one! Really! That…that was just 1,000 pages of nonsense! If you don’t believe me, you probably won’t want to read the spoilers ahead…grr.
I do not buy Cersei Lannister submitting to anything that leaves her naked or bald. I do not believe that Theon suddenly has given up being Reek with the threat of Ramsay around. I do not believe Stannis and the rest are dead at Winterfell that fast. I do not believe that Tyrion just became a dwarf freak-show participant, slave, or sellsword and still managed to keep his smart-ass (but oh-so-lovable) mouth shut long enough not to get beaten or killed. I don’t buy Dany’s marriage to the Harpy guy or her connection to Meereen. I don’t believe she’d walk away from her damn freed slave “children” or chain up (and thus enslave) her dragon-children. I don’t believe castle walls improbably shut out plagues across the Narrow Sea and that all these starving folks all over Westeros will suddenly be able to BUY food elsewhere.
And, I just don’t get shocked anymore when the author uses the same “surprise” tactics over and over. For instance, “Wow, let’s kill-off-the-main characters you love, but then show them to be alive a couple chapters later!” or “Let’s bring back some long-dead character you didn’t know you were supposed to care about to complicate things and make you suspicious!” It just doesn’t work anymore to shock me, Martin. You’ve used these tropes too much. And those three other MAJOR things with Jon and Dany and that other maybe-Targaryen prince? I don’t buy them either…but worse yet, I just don’t CARE.