Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire

by George R R Martin, 753 pages

The 4th book in A Song of Ice and Fire is quite different from the first 3 in the series. The narrative voices of some of the major characters are not included, and new characters are introduced. I miss some of my favorites, but there was enough continuity in the story to get me through it.
Martin claims this a just half of what was to be book 4, and that book 5 (A Dance With Dragons) is the other half. I wonder since there were so many years between the two stories publication dates. While it's not really filler, there is quite a bit of background and stories from the outer fringes of Westeros. So that gives it a kind of "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..." feeling.

That said, I did enjoy the book and the variety of settings. We still followed Jaime, Cersei and Brienne through different parts of Westeros. To me, Brienne emerges as more of a heroic character, and Jaime reveals new facets of his dark and complex character. Though I will say some of the scenes on the Iron Islands and in Dorne didn't engage me as much because I didn't know or didn't like some of the characters there. I am assuming they will play a larger role in later volumes.

So, all in all, it's worth reading to keep in touch with all the plot elements but I just didn't find it as engaging as the first three books.

The library recently acquired 2 volumes of The Art of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. This image of Jaime Lannister in his King's Guard armor is from the first volume.  The picture below is from the new cover for A Feast of Crows, so there is a lot of interest in creating art to go along with the stories. It sounds like a beautiful new illustrated edition.

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