By: George R. R. Martin
Review by: Alex Frank
As I have done in the past, so shall I do again. This section is a designated warning for those of my readers who have yet to read the first three books in The Song of Ice and Fire series. Please do not ruin details for yourself that you may wish to discover on your own. That would be quite sad for you, but I will not be held responsible. You have been warned.
*Read ahead at your own risk
War still ravages the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, but slowly seems to be drawing to a close. Sieges of great castles are ending and the Iron Throne appears to be taking back the reigns by which it leads its people. Rob Stark and Catelyn are dead. Murdered at the Red Wedding by the Frey’s and Roose Bolton at the Lannister’s command. Stannis is at the wall with Jon Snow, but his army is small and far away.
Just as all seems sure for the King Tommen’s reign, the Ironborn have come with a new king to lead them. The seafarers plan to take all they can of the Seven Kingdoms before the war’s end, and who knows what they might bring with them?
Tywin Lannister is dead. Slain at the hands of his own son, Tyrion, who has escaped (with Jaime and Varys’ help), and is nowhere to be found. Cersei assumes command as Queen Regent and takes matters into her own hands concerning her son and king, Tommen. War on the battlefield may slowly be coming to a halt, but the war for the throne is aggressive and rife with secrets and lies.
How do our characters fair? (I will not give details away from A Feast for Crows because spoilers are rude. This is meant as a review/ catch up with our beloved heroes (and despised villains) from Storm of Swords.
Pate- A boy of the Citadel in Oldtown
Cersei Lannister- Queen Regent to King Tommen, Jaime’s sister, and a conniving liar who will do anything to protect her son and status.
Brienne of Tarth- Sent by Jaime Lannister to find Sansa Stark and bring her to safety and keep her out of his sister’s hands. Now carries Jaime’s sword named Oathkeeper.
Jaime Lannister- Now handless and captain of the King’s Guard much to the dissatisfaction of his father and sister. Can no longer fight with a sword worth a damn (poor man).
Samwell Tarley- Succeeded in placing Jon Snow in the Lord Commander’s seat.
Arya Stark- Sailing to Bravos with the coin given to her by Jaqen H’ghar. Most likely trying to find him.
Sansa Stark- Escaped the city with Littlefinger who killed Joffrey, Jon Aryn, and pushed Lysa Tully out of the Moondoor.
Aeron Greyjoy- Balon Greyjoy’s brother who speaks for the drowned god and is the Ironborn’s Holy Man.
Victarion Greyjoy- Balon Greyjoy’s brother who is loyal and has always done what he is told when Balon was king. Now Balon is dead, and Victarion aspires to be a king of the Seastone chair in his place.
Arianne Martell- Prince Doran’s daughter. She makes plans for Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella, who is currently an honored guest in Dorne
Asha Greyjoy- Balon Greyjoy’s daughter and Theon’s sister. With her father dead and Theon assumed dead, she plans to take her “rightful” place upon the Seastone chair. She desires nothing more than to rule the Ironborn.
Areo Hotah- Captian of Prince Doran’s guard. He carries a large ax as a weapon.
Arys Oakheart- A knight of the Kingsguard sent to Dorne to protect Myrcella from anyone who may want to harm her.
For those of you readers who are looking at this list of characters and saying to yourselves, “where in the hell is everyone that I love and hold dear,” you are not far off. George R. R. Martin was kind enough to put in the very last chapter of the book a little message for the readers. In this message, he states that our beloved favorites are actually in the 5th book rather than the 4th. He did this for one reason. The content was too large to have contained in one book. He needed two. And rather than including all of the characters to write half the story, he said he instead wanted to split it up so that the reader gets the full story from half the characters. So, (I’m assuming) the 5th book will be taking place in the exact same timeline as the 4th book but with different characters. Essentially we will get the full story either way after reading the 5th book whether he had split it up this way or not.
The main disadvantage to the reader for his choice to write it this way is that we get boring characters that we won’t care about as much as Tyrion and Dany. Jaime and Brienne are great, Arya is cool, and even Sansa’s character has her interesting moments (mostly due to Littlefinger and his plots), but everyone else gets tiring to read after a while. Really tiring actually.
I’m just going to say it because I’m sure I’m not the only one to have thought this while reading the 4th book…this book is just so boring after everything that happened in the third. Seriously, how is Martin supposed to compete with the epic deaths and betrayals in the 3rd book with this cast of characters in the 4th? It’s rather sad actually. I will give A Feast for Crows this at least. Stuff really does pick up eventually…after reading about 70% of the way though the book. When things pick up, they really pick up, but it takes a long time to get there. And this was no small book at 778 pages for the Kindle edition.
Of course the book is still worth a read because it is essential for understanding everything in the story, but I will not lie to you by saying it can compare at all with A Storm of Swords. Oh hell no it can’t. I look forward to reading A Dance with Dragons, which I’m sure will be interesting. I miss my favorite characters.
Also I care to mention this next bit as a note rather than a piece of information you really need to know. We readers really seem to become sympathetic for a character once we are introduced their perspective. Our perception of them changes. Except for one character. Cersei. She is a bitch, and will continue to be a bitch until the day she dies. Which I truly hope will be soon because I can’t stand that woman. She is the biggest idiot to appear in this series and she thinks she has everything under control. Cersei= the biggest fool to ever roam Westeros. Even a bigger fool than Moon Boy. I hate her as I’m sure pretty much everyone who reads her perspective does. I hope her character dies a horrible death. End rant. *Phew (wipes forehead), I needed that.
Overall rating: 3.5
Also, in my last review, I put a comment at the bottom saying that I wished for a perspective from Brienne. She was my sunshine through this book. Brienne and Jaime. I thank Martin for their perspectives at least. I was so happy.