Review: Feast for Crows
Author: George R.R. Martin
Genre: high fantasy, adult fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
With A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth volume of the landmark series that has redefined imaginative fiction and stands as a modern masterpiece in the making.
After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce. But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors
I wasn't planning on reading this book. My entire review of the third book was pretty much me saying all the reasons why I wasn't going to continue this series. In a nutshell, almost everyone was either dead or drastically altered and I didn't care about anyone enough to keep reading their story.
And then my floor theme at my dorm ended up being...you guessed it, Game of Thrones. At first I was really annoyed. It seemed like a cruel twist of fate that I would be surrounded by the faces and banners from the Song of Ice and Fire world after I'd decided not to revisit that particular saga. But after much persuading from friends who had read the book (and, I admit, the lure of the slightest snobbery that comes when you've read farther in a series than there is of the show/movie :) ), I finally decided to read the fourth book.
And it was good.
I wasn't expecting to like this book, but it fixed a lot of what had bothered me in the third. By the third book, there were so many narrators and characters that I couldn't keep all their stories and timelines straight. I was always waiting for hundreds of pages between each character's snippet of story, and when it came, nothing really happened. Oh, and the fact that half the characters died. In this book, you only see about half the remaining characters, so the whole book is just more focused. You get to see more of characters that were on the periphery before, and I grew to like a lot of them more than I initially did. Instead of one big bloodbath, people began to branch off into their own personal quests. Simply put, there was more story.
I am now excited to read the fifth book, instead of wary of the thousand page tome. I know that I will get to see the other half of the characters and see what's been happening on the wall and across the sea while Cersei manipulates those around her for power, Brienne searches for Sansa, Dorne recovers from a crushing blow, Sansa adjusts to her new life, Sam travels across the sea, Jaime questions his loyalties, and the Iron islands search for a king. I did miss some of the characters - what happened to Daenerys? Where is Tyrion now? and that can't be the end of Arya's story, can it? - but I think that just makes the next book even more worthwhile.
I'm glad I gave this series a second chance, and am looking forward to reading on!