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Book Reviews

Review: “A Feast for Crows,” George R.R. Martin

July 14, 2013
Review: “A Feast for Crows,” George R.R. MartinA Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice & Fire #4)
Written by George R.R. Martin
Published November, 2006 by HarperVoyager
852 pages
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Medieval
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four-stars

Crows will fight over a dead man’s flesh, and kill each other for his eyes.

Bloodthirsty, treacherous and cunning, the Lannisters are in power on the Iron Throne in the name of the boy-king Tommen. The war in the Seven Kingdoms has burned itself out, but in its bitter aftermath new conflicts spark to life. The Martells of Dorne and the Starks of Winterfell seek vengeance for their dead. Euron Crow’s Eye, as black a pirate as ever raised a sail, returns from the smoking ruins of Valyria to claim the Iron Isles. From the icy north, where Others threaten the Wall, apprentice Maester Samwell Tarly brings a mysterious babe in arms to the Citadel.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory will go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel and the coldest hearts.

The fourth book (well, fifth if you count A Storm of Swords cut into two parts – as I read them) in George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire series was just as epic as its predecessors. Considering when starting this series I thought it would be one big bore, I’m always so pleased to prove myself wrong with each book. Spoilers are in the full post.

A Feast for Crows focuses on (for most part) the stories on our characters in King’s Landing and Westeros. Of course there is the exception of Samwell – who spent this book travelling with Gilly and her baby from the Wall to Oldtown, stopping off at the Free Cities along the way – and Arya Stark – now called ‘Cat’, learning the ways of the Faceless Men in the House of Black and White in Braavos – we revist the stories of Brienne of Tarth, Jaime Lannister, Cersei Lannister and Sansa Stark. We also meet Arianne, Princess of Dorne, who brings something refreshing to the series from her homeland of Dorne – a place we’ve only heard bits and pieces about.

I’d have to say that my favourite stories this time around were definitely Brienne’s and Sansa’s. Brienne, our favourite female knight, is on the hunt for Sansa Stark. Joining her is Podrick Payne, past squire of the now-missing Tyrion Lannister. For the most part, Brienne is on a wild goose chase – but somehow this doesn’t manage to get boring. We’re always learning bits and pieces about her history and family, and my admiration for her only grows the more I find out. Sansa, however, seems to have transformed into quite a wonderful and strong character since becoming ‘Alayne Stone’, bastard-born daughter of Littlefinger and currently residing at the Eyrie after her Aunt’s death. Sansa’s relationship with the Lord of the Eyrie, Robin Arryn, is quite interesting although maddening. I quite like, however, how (especially during their descent from the Eyrie) she has evolved into a true Stark – I’m starting to see more and more of Arya in her.

Speaking of Arya; I hate to admit that I didn’t enjoy her chapters in A Feast of Crows as much. Her ‘training’ in the House of Black and White was just a little too dull for my liking and I don’t see much adventure in her future, as I did when she was travelling around with the Brotherhood Without Banners. Stuck in Braavos, Arya doesn’t interest me too much. J’aqen H’agar isn’t even there to spice things up. Coming in second would be Samwell’s story. I was pretty much ‘blah’ with that one, too, until Maester Aemon started bringing up Daenery’s towards the end and weaving little threads for the next book.

Without wanting to give too much away; things in the next book (after A Dance with Dragons, as that book is set in the same timeframe, just with the other section of characters) are going to be thrilling. I want to know who Arianne of Dorne was promised too – which Targaryen? I want to see if Littlefinger’s plan for Sansa’s reclaiming of Winterfell is successful (VERY excited about this one) and I WANT to see Daenery’s reunited with those of Westeros who believe she’s the answer to the ancient prophecy.

Things are looking up. And I can’t wait.

Recommended to: Fans of the series should be pleased with this addition.

About George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies, dramatic readings included. Later he became a comic book fan and collector in high school, and began to write fiction for comic fanzines (amateur fan magazines). Martin's present home is Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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