A Feast For Crows – George R. R. Martin

Book CoverFrom Goodreads.com: 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.

Published: 2005

Why I Chose It: I’ve slowly been making my way through the A Song Of Ice and Fire series, and this is book #4!

Reviews of other books in the series:

A Game of Thrones

A Clash of Kings

A Storm of Swords

The Review:

I was actually super pumped to read this book, because I had been delighted with A Storm of Swords. I was looking forward to seeing how things in the kingdom would shift now that the war is supposedly at an end. The biggest and best surprise of this book? Cersei! I have been waiting for the last 3 books to get into that woman’s head and that moment finally arrived! I loved every minute. It was really interesting to watch how Cercei puzzled each situation out and tried to find a solution. I had always assumed her mind would be something like that, so it was also nice to read about the other side of her – the side that genuinely cares for her children and their safety, the side that is uncertain and questions herself, the side that she lets no one else see. I was super happy that Cersei was quite prevalent in this book.

So I was definitely happy with the characters that I already knew in the books, but I was not overly surprised to discover that multiple new characters were added in this book. It just made sense to me – with so many characters having died in the first 3 books, the introduction of new people is inevitable: however, I was unhappy with the manner in which it was done. At this point I’m very comfortable with a name in bold that quickly introduces the new chapter, and to whom this chapter belongs. In A Feast for Crows, Martin changes this up. Some of the chapters are titled with descriptions, such as “The Captain of the Guards,” “The Princess in the Tower,” etc. I found these to be a little disorienting because I didn’t really know who I was reading about. It would sometimes take me a few pages to figure out if I already knew this character and their companions. Plus these characters only had a handful of chapters throughout the whole book, so I found myself sitting and trying to remember what had even happened to them in the first place. While I was happy with getting new characters, and I quite liked the new characters, I simply didn’t like the way they were introduced or utilized in the story.

Book Cover Close Up

Because I was so caught up in the new characters and the delight of Cersei and Sansa, it actually took me a really long time to figure out that there weren’t chapters from other regular characters, such as Tyrion, Daenerys, or Jon Snow. I like all of these characters, and I thought it was a little odd that they weren’t in the book. I have since found out that the next book, A Dance with Dragons, happens simultaneously to A Feast for Crows. The missing characters feature prominently in that book, which is why they’re absent in this one. While I think it’s entirely strange, I actually kind of like it. A Feast for Crows is quite detailed, and I think having extra characters would make you jump around too much. I was able to focus on the politics occurring in and around Kings Landing without being distracted by the events of other places. (We’ll have to see if I still like this arrangement after I read the fifth book).

Actually one of the main complaints I’ve seen is that this book is too slow, that it focuses too much on the politics of the crown and not enough on everything else. I loved it. While the first 3 books were more about big moves – ie, an army moving across the map – this book focuses on the little moves. It felt like every one was focusing in on the details, trying to get people in the right positions to eventually make the larger events happen. I really enjoyed watching everyone play the people around them, and play the game of thrones. It was like watching an elaborate game of chess as everyone carefully maneuvered the people around them. I didn’t find the book slow at all, which I think is remarkable, considering I have been bored by Martin in the past.

All I can say is that I was really delighted by this book. While I didn’t quite like the method of introduction for the new characters, I did like the characters, and I’m totally interested in how they will fit into the future. I loved how calculating the characters were, the details of strategy, and watching all the tiny puzzle pieces fall into place. This book has definitely made me excited to read A Dance With Dragons!

Rating: 4 / 5

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