Last night, instead of following my carefully planned to-read list I ended up reading a chapter from A Dance with Dragons. It's the chapter where a certain exiled knight walks a certain fled kinslayer through a city. I was hoping that it would enlighten me, engage me, draw me in, but alas, it didn't. Compared to the first three books, this stuff is so lackluster, event-less and simply less believable. Essos just isn't anywhere near the splendid medieval brutality of Westeros. I am sorry for this. I wish it was just as good. But even objectively speaking (as objectively as possible with regards to entertainment), this is technically not so well written either. It flounders. It bores. The dialogue doesn't feel natural. The characters they encounter seem less real. The fact that these characters meet (with a third character that has been met before) feels wrong, somehow, maybe because in the previous books characters were certain never to meet (Arya/Sam excepted, but even that one was just an 'almost' event). The third character may be the least interesting of Martin's creations, too, for reasons that would take too long to delve into right now. There's no sense of urgency. Me sad. It's so much harder to buy into this chapter than any given chapter in books I - III for me.
That being said, I hear there's a new sample chapter from The Winds of Winter doing the rounds, one featuring a certain former Kingsguard Commander. And it sounds as if people think it is good and that it builds up to actual excitement (which frankly, is lacking for most of the two last books). Ten years ago I'd buy a paperback A Dance with Dragons for it, Mr. Martin. Now? /shrug
In other Ice & Fire-related news, there really isn't much, is there? A few new faces cast for Game of Thrones Season IV. No news about that MMORPG (maybe it's dead). Nothing on the blog. Which is kind of weird, it's almost like a dry spell after years of something icy/fiery coming up. Oh, Dangerous Women is getting closer, of course. Can't wait to read that treatise on Targaryen history.
And with that rant, I have to do the fricking dishes before I'm off to represent my work at a quiz evening. Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing. Or rather, why. Teehee! I should have had Tyrion with me.