Sunday, 24 April 2011

Book #24 A Feast For Crows by George R.R Martin

A Feast For Crows

This, the fourth book in the A Song Of Ice and Fire series really divided me if I'm honest and I think due to the fact I can't write about the plots in a way which doesn't involve spoilers, this will be a fairly short review.

A Feast For Crows is essentially, by Martin's own admission half a book, he intended to write in other plots and characters as well but then the sheer length of the manuscript got too large and he decided to move the second half into a new book A Dance With Dragons, which he tells the reader in the Authors Note will be published 'next year'. He wrote said Authors Note in 2005, A Dance With Dragons is due for publication in July 2011. Martin has had hate mail from his own fans as a consequence. Personally I'm glad that I got into the series late as I only have to wait about three months, I don't know how early fans of the books survived!

A Feast For Crows tells the story of events picking up from where A Storm Of Swords left off using primarily the viewpoints of Arya, Jaime, Samwell, Sansa, Brienne and for the first time Cersei. It also throws in point of view narratives from members of the Greyjoy family and the Martell family and it was the latter I was disappointed with. Attached to an already large cast of characters I found myself failing to care about these others. There are several chapters devoted to decisions over the Seastone Throne that to be honest could have been axed and appeared as a couple of paragraphs of news and information via other characters. Though interesting things happen at Sunspear we don't know these characters enough to have a vested interest.

I think were Martin does have a problem in his writing is with editing and knowing what to leave in and out he seems to be unable to stop himself and the counterpart A Dance With Dragons is apparently equally long. A Dance Of Dragons will be taking place in the exact same time period of events as A Feast For Crows but will focus on the adventures of Jon Snow, Daenerys, Tyrion, Stannis and others, whilst the events in this book took place. This means that Martin has written over 2,000 pages about one section of time in Westeros. Although I enjoy the novels, I find this a little excessive and I had trouble again with an overflow of characters and remembering whom was whom particularly when minor characters from earlier novels were mentioned again.

Many major things happen in A Storm Of Swords, but this is not the case with A Feast For Crows when only one or two truly significant things happen. If A Dance With Dragons proves eventful I am afraid to say that when looking back on the Series as a whole, fans may say that A Feast For Crows was one of the weaker books.

I'm quite glad that this series is on hiatus for now because it means I can get back to putting variety into the blog, and blog more often, the sheer size of these novels meant they took longer to read than most.  

7/10 but nearly gave it 6.5

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