August 23, 2013

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

How much can a crown be worth, when a crow can dine upon a king?
-from A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4

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 Please note: this review contains spoilers for A Song of Ice and Fire Books 1-3

George R. R. Martin continues his epic tale of war for the Iron Throne in A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in his series A Song of Ice and Fire. This book and its sequel, A Dance With Dragons (book 5), actually take place over the same span of time; A Feast for Crows follows the story mainly of those at or related to King's Landing. As war continues throughout the realm of Westeros, new characters are introduced who vie for the right of King of the Seven Kingdoms. The most important new characters include the Greyjoys and the Martells of Dorne. While Martin continues to weave an intricate web of stories replete with ulterior motives and deceit, this book falls a little flat compared to the previous installments.

I think the biggest disconnect for me with this book is the overabundance of new characters that I didn't have any connection to. I feel like Martin killed off the heart of the story in A Storm of Swords and did little to repair the brokenness I had as a reader. Perhaps it was that I failed to trust Martin and therefore didn't want to get to know the Greyjoys and Martells; I have surely learned that GRRM does not have any desire to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside with happy reunions, so why grow attached to new characters? Sure, there were entertaining twists and turns, subtle nuances that kept me on my toes and interesting perspectives from new characters, but overall the lifeline of love I had for the first 3 books was hit or miss this read.

Speaking of interesting perspectives from new characters, the best part of this edition was definitely the point of view of Cersei, everyone's favorite evil queen. Getting a glimpse into Cersei's mind helps the reader gain insight as to why she's so crazy and what motivates her to be so evil. I gained a lot of empathy for her by learning her back story and the emotions she felt that drove her toward her actions. Similarly, I really enjoyed Jaime's continued chapter point of views; both are testaments to how incredible George R. R. Martin is at developing complex characters that jump off the page. I am constantly amazed by how transparency and realness of every character Martin creates.

Clearly you can't read this far into the series without continuing on, just don't be surprised when there is less life in this book as the previous three. I still gave this book four stars because the worst book by George R. R. Martin is still the best book out of a group of 100 at random, in my opinion at least! The best way I got through this book was with audiobooks, which I never thought I would be able to listen to. But this helped my southern California commute tremendously. Overall, not my favorite book in the series, but worth the read for Cersei alone!

Bottom Line: You can't stop reading the series just because this book is often referred to as "The Ugly Stepchild of A Song of Ice and Fire". It definitely isn't as intense of a read as the first three books in the series, but take your time and read this one anyway. It's worth it in the end! 4/5 Stars.

Next week's book is A Dance of Dragons by George R.R. Martin

1 comment:

  1. the more i get to know jamie, the more i understand his action too. could you do me a favor? tell me what happen with sansa and the hound. please.....i just can't wait to know


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