It’s been a long wait for George R.R. Martin’s “A Dance with Dragons” ($35, Bantam), and most fans may not find it entirely satisfying. This, certainly, is not the best or most exciting of Martin’s books, but it was a necessary volume to get the series back on track.
“A Dance with Dragons” runs in parallel time to the last volume, 2006’s “A Feast for Crows.” It focuses, primarily, on three of the myriad characters of the series, the dwarf kinslayer Tyrion Lannister, the exiled princes Daenerys Targaryen and the bastard son of the beheaded Lord Eddard Stark and captain of the Night’s Watch Jon Snow. When I discovered that, I was excited. For me, these three are the most interesting characters in the book. I’ve always found Tyrion, in particular, to be a fascinating character. In a worrying move, Martin also opens a few new subplots, giving me bad Robert Jordan flashbacks, but for the nonce, I’ll keep my faith in him.