A Song of Ice and Fire, book four
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.
MY RATING: 4 STARS
I would have liked this a lot better had it not come after A Storm of Swords. I needed a breather after all that action, but Martin seems to have responded here with a lack of action. Don’t misunderstand me, a lot happens (in a book over 900 pages long, something better happen) but it was more plots and intrigues and searches than the battle scenes that were all over Book Three.
Quick rundown: The escapades in Dorne were the hardest to get through; they felt like deadweight. I get how they could be important later on, but at the moment…and Cersei’s plotting against Margaery, while fascinating, slowed me down. I’ll say this, though, I loved learning more about Cersei herself through her eyes. While I still don’t like her, I understand her a little more. My favorite political machinations were among the ironborn and the kingsmoot. Asha Greyjoy shot up to the top five as far as my favorite characters go. Brienne of Tarth is up there as well, but number one is definitely Jaime in Tyrion’s absence. I’ll be damned, the Kingslayer does have honor!
Quick question: What the hell is Arya doing in Braavos? And when is she going to be reunited with Nymeria?!
I think it bears repeating that I would have liked this better if it didn’t follow Book Three. I didn’t exactly need a whole book to illustrate how everyone in Westeros is picking up the pieces after the War of the Five Kings, and while the last book was so good I was prepared for the next to fall short, I at least expected more from it. The series is still amazing, but whereas its predecessors came across like a sucker punch, A Feast for Crows was more like a nudge. When stacked up against A Storm of Swords, I really want to give it just three stars, but to be fair I’ll tack on the last one anyway. It’s still a good read, and I’ve wasted my time with worse.