Saturday, 4 January 2014

George R. R. Martin - A Feast for Crows

So - moving on to book four of A Song of Ice and Fire and the book with the most misleading title so far. The storyline doesn’t venture to the wall so the reference to Crows, or the Night’s Watch, feels a little wasted.

We are introduced to many, many, many more perspectives and it is another monster of a book coming in at 776 pages. It was so long, in fact, that when I got to the end, I had to reread the first chapter again as the book has framing. In my opinion it seems a bit silly to frame a book of this magnitude, and if I’m completely honest, I still have no idea as to the relevance of Pate’s opening and his cameo appearance at the end, but I’m sure it will become relevant in some later book.

I also felt that the book was too long and makes the same errors as The Sword of Shadows series in that a chapter would get me interested in a character and as soon as I’m hooked, the perspective would change to another character that I wasn’t as interested in.

By now, we already have an established base of characters, most of which I enjoy, with the notable exceptions from my previous review. So I didn’t see the need to introduce yet more characters and also using generic titles such as, The Captain of the Guards. I’m also pretty sure (although it’s a little fuzzy) that a few of these characters only make the one contribution and I have to question the point of this. It seems that the author is keen to tell us every angle of the story whereas some readers would probably like to use their imagination and try to work out the bits they don’t know for themselves.

I don’t understand why the Greyjoy side of what’s going on is documented from three different perspectives in the book. I personally didn’t like this because I think the Ironborn side of it is boring. They seem to be a bunch of people living on a small island who think they are better than everyone else despite having nothing to show for it. If you honestly think drowning someone and then resuscitating them is a good way of making sailors, then you are clearly mental. Their saying, ‘What is dead can never die. But rises again harder and stronger,’ is stupid. What is dead is dead. And doesn’t rise again, unless it is a zombie. Or you are North of the wall.

Other than that, A Feast for Crows is an excellent book in an excellent series and I can’t wait to get stuck into the next one. A Dance of Dragons deals with the other half of the characters and chronologically runs alongside Feast. So that means no Ironborn (maybe) and the return of Tyrion Lannister!

A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin was published by Voyager in 1998. RRP £9.99 (Paperback)

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