As I ponder my own review of George R.R. Martin’s latest volume in A Song of Ice and Fire, I stumbled across this interesting blog that chronicles Stefan Sasse’s experience as he re-reads A Dance with Dragons, a novel that’s found enormous success commercially, but a very critical response from many readers. It’s similar to what Tor.com’s doing with Robert Jordan’s A Wheel of Time, but looks more critically and in-depth at the novel on a chapter-by-chapter basis. It’s my own opinion that A Dance with Dragons (and, to an extent, A Feast for Crows) is unfairly maligned, and analyzing the novel without any of the anticipation and expectations that are loaded upon a first read might give a clearer picture of the strengths and weaknesses in the narrative.
Not only is this a decent way to re-cap the novel, Sasse has some good point about the narrative and it’s place in the overall scheme of A Song of Ice and Fire. He’s nearly done the novel, now, and I’ll be curious to see if he goes back and gives a similar treatment to the earlier novels in the series.