Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Feast for Crows, by George R. R. Martin

A Feast for Crows, by George R. R. Martin

This entry in the A Song of Ice and Fire epic feels somewhat different than its predecessors. Apparently Martin had so much material for this book he split it into two volumes, each focused on a separate set of characters. This makes for a tighter, less sprawling narrative that made this the hardest volume to put down so far. (It also spared me from the monotony of Daenerys’ story, although I suspect that means the next novel won’t be nearly as enjoyable.) As an epilogue of sorts Martin explains this in a humorous fashion: “"Hey, wait a minute!" some of you may be saying about now. "Wait a minute, wait a minute! Where’s Dany and the dragons? Where’s Tyrion? We hardly saw Jon Snow. That can’t be all of it..." Well, no. There’s more to come. Another book as big as this one.”

The battle for Westeros is largely over, but winter is coming and with it the return of ancient magic and ancient enemies. A Feast for Crows goes to great lengths to show the ravages of war on the countryside and how unprepared for the long cold season everyone is, much less continued violence. The reader knows that disaster lurks to both the north and the east, making much of the desolation even more poignant. Arya is quickly developing the most interesting plotline, although her characterization seems to waffle between a young noblewoman and a seasoned commoner. Jaime’s quest for redemption makes him my favorite, however; regicide and incest are crimes for which the populace will never forgive him, but he recognizes this and strives for an inner peace.

While not quite as action packed as earlier entries, this was one of my favorites to date.

First Sentence:
“Dragons,” said Mollander.

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