The fifth and most recent book in George R. R. Martin's engaging saga called A Song of Fire and Ice is entitled A Dance with Dragons. Most of the book's narrative actually occurs concurrently with the story arcs focussed on in the fourth book, A Feast for Crows. The main plot lines involve i). the queen regent of Westeros, Cersei Lannister, and her desperate grasp for power and subsequent trip into the schemes of one more conniving and clever than she, ii). the queen across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen, and the intrigue within her court and her marked maturation, iii). the sorrowful plight of the imp, Tyrion Lannister, as he is traded and kidnapped and enslaved, and iv). the new Lord Commander of the Night Watch, Jon Snow, one of the few moral and level-headed men in the kingdom.
Certainly the number of plot threads is numerous and, at times, I wonder if even Mr. Martin has a clue to how everything he has brought up and developed will end. There are just so many loose ends and so many posssible directions in which he could go. I read in a recent online interview that he has passed on major story details to his publisher in case of his death. Even after five books and nearly 6000 pages, this epic tale is a long way from being done. After being so ensconced in this world for several months and being a part of the lives of so many intriguing characters, it is a major disappointment to me not to be able to transition immediately into the next book in the series. The sixth book is rumored to be targeted for release in 2014 or 2015 and is tentatively entitled The Winds of Winter. I definitely give the first five books in this series my highest recommendation and eagerly look forward to the next release to see where things will go.