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A Dance with Dragons

By George R.R. Martin

Bantam, 1,016 pages, $38

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It's the book everyone has been waiting for. At least it's the book every fantasy fan has been waiting for. In fact, they've been so antsy that they've been badgering Martin relentlessly on his website, imploring him to get off his, er … robust derriere. It has been six years since A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in a riverine series called A Song of Ice and Fire. If you haven't read any of them, the plot is far too complex even to hint at in this space, but if you've been watching A Game of Thrones on cable TV, you'll garner a good idea of the work of Martin, sometimes called the "American Tolkien." As for A Dance with Dragons, it doesn't release until July 12, but it's already No. 3 on amazon.com's bestseller list.

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