Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

A Feast for Crows is book 4 in George R.R. Martin's Epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. It's unlike its predecessors in that it focuses on a subset of characters and has no chapters at all related to several others. I forgive it, it's still awesome.

The rest of this review will contain minor spoilers in that I will mention characters who are still alive to have a point-of-view (POV) (at least in the beginning) in book 4.

The coolest thing about this book is that we finally get chapters from Cersei's perspective! She is as evil and stupid as before, but now it's from her perspective which motivates it in interesting ways. I love it! Her chapters were among my favorites, because she just moves from one remarkably stupid folly to the next. At this point in the story, any sane reader will love to hate Cersei! In contrast, Jaime just gets better. Jaime and Brienne's relationship gets more interesting and Jaime becomes less of a dick. It's awesome. I really can't wait to see what happens with Jaime.

There are some new POVs in book four as well that show parts of the seven kingdoms that are not fleshed out much previously such as the Iron Islands and Dorne. I wasn't all that entertained by the Iron Islands stuff, but the Dorne chapters were really interesting and I can't wait to see what happens down there.

As I have mentioned before, every time I read these books I get more out of them. The relationships between characters reveal subtleties I had missed, plotlines converge, plots thicken. I noticed something for the first time this read through that made me really happy. In the chapter "The Kraken's Daughter" Martin has a sneaky reference to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series!
Archmaester Rigney once wrote that history is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging.
James Oliver Rigney, Jr.'s pen name was Robert Jordan. His real name was generally unknown to fans before his 2007 death. So clever, Martin! I got so excited when I read that and noticed the reference that I had to tell my fiance about it. He totally didn't care.

This book is probably the best in the series since Game of Thrones. Maybe the strongest in the series so far. Nothing in it feels like filler, it all feels relevant, fast and exciting. I highly recommend the series, and can't wait for the fifth book, A Dance With Dragons, to come out in July!!


  1. Oddly, I totally realized that was a Robert Jordan reference, but completely missed the "Ser Jordayne of the Tor" one!

    Due to your overwhelmingly positive review, I am now the proud owner of the Nook Simple Touch(It's the black and white 139 dollar nook that came out really recently) and it's covered in epub books now, easily recouping its cost many times over, haha!

    Now it's time for me to reread Game of Thrones, Clash of Kings, Storm of Swords, and Feast for Crows before the new one comes out and if I like the e-reader experience as much as I hope, I can even pick up the new book on it and read a lot easier without a huge hardbound book in my hands!

    I completely agree on the strength of the fourth book too, the extra time he spent on it was totally worth it and I'm hoping to see the fifth one meet or exceed it in quality. The metaplot of the stories is coming to a head and it was impossible to put Feast down from the moment I walked out of a Borders carrying the cumbersome hardbound thing in both hands, reading as I walked through Mill ave, heedless of my own safety!

  2. I missed the Ser Jordayne thing too... where was that??

    I can't wait for Dance with Dragons... I realized I am a little depressed because I don't have any Martin to read for a month. Then I thought about how depressed I'll be after I've read Dragons in a month and will have no Martin for like 5 more years.

    Also, yay Nooks!

  3. In A Storm of Swords:

    Bronn scanned the ranks of the approaching Dornishmen. “The last’s a golden feather on green checks.”
    “A golden quill, ser. Jordayne of the Tor.”

    Tor's the publishing company of Robert Jordan, hee hee! On top of that, at some point he mentions a House Vance which is a reference to Jack Vance, an SF legend!

  4. Weird! I totally failed to notice either of those! I think I would be really upset if he decided to make a reference to Goodkind.

  5. Terry Goodkind's an asshole!

    Here's an excerpt from an fan Q&A with him:
    Haddonfield, NJ: Second Question - I've noticed similarities between your Sword of Truth series and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series...(Black Sisterhood vs. Black Ajah; The Order vs. The Seanchan; Richard vs. Rand both discovering their powers, both have Nameless evil Gods...etc.) I've often voiced my suspicion that these two series might be occurring on the same crazy am I?

    Terry Goodkind: If you notice a similarity, then you probably aren't old enough to read my books.

    He also goes to great effort in ANY interview he's in to denounce the entire genre of fantasy and state to anyone who will listen that he is writing quality books, unlike everyone ELSE. The whole fantasy writing community seems to ignore him, from what I can gather, haha!

  6. hahaha wow... I suspected from reading his books that he had a serious mental illness, and that sort of confirms he is delusional! What an ass.


    FINISHED. I just finished my reread a couple days ago! I skimmed most of the Iron Islands parts, I have to admit. This read-through was very different for me! I don't know why, but the TV show made me love the Daenerys parts way more than I did when I first read the books.

    I also love the introduction of Dornish characters in the fourth book, but that's because they're important! On the Iron Islands side, only Victarion matters since he's planning on hooking up with Daenerys to give the shaft to Euron.

    Asha's plans are doomed from the beginning, so her segments are just disappointing, and the Drowned God Priest segments are just basically reading maaadness. If he continues to write Asha, I think I'll enjoy it more if she gives up this "becoming the Queen" nonsense and goes and does something more awesome. We get enough 'desperately trying to hold onto power' from the Cersei chapters!

    And Cersei! She's the kinda madness I love to read. She's just going crazier and crazier with paranoia through the whole book. She honestly thinks Tyrion has a hand in -everything- that vexes her. AND SHE BURNS DOWN A PORTION OF THE CASTLE TO SMOKE HIM OUT....and then gets turned on by it.

    FOUR MORE DAYS, and I can't tolerate it. There's huge Daenerys, Tyrion and Jon shaped holes in my heart that have been growing for 8 years now!(Thankfully, I got introduced to the series in 2003 instead of earlier, haha!)

  8. Four more days! And then in 6 1/2 days depression because we'll have to wait another five plus years for more...

    My only disagreement with you is Asha... She's going interesting places and her perspectives are nothing like Cersei's!


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