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A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

A Feast for Crows (2005)

by George R. R. Martin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
17,733418142 (3.99)454
  1. 30
    Terrier by Tamora Pierce (swampygirl)
    swampygirl: Reading this book made me feel like I was rereading all of Pierce's books over again, and this one probably matches up the most closely.
  2. 01
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Sandwich76)
    Sandwich76: Something ludicrous to cleanse the palate

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» See also 454 mentions

English (398)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (5)  German (4)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (419)
Showing 1-5 of 398 (next | show all)
Finallllllly finished this one-only took me over two years and many many breaks. ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
Probably my least favourite characters are the Lannisters so this has been my least favorite game of thrones so far. took a break from it in the middle and I am glad to have finished it. ( )
  CharlotteBurt | Nov 24, 2018 |
(no explicit spoilers herein, but certainly broad ones, and discussion of the plot of previous books.)

I read the first four books in Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" cycle over a three month period, and - as someone who had barely sampled fantasy before this - it was certainly an overwhelming experience! The first and third books were unrelenting in their ingenuity and entertainment, and the second book - although at times slightly slower than the others, due to its initial conception as the middle half of one book - was a worthy intermediary. I went into this, Book 4, aware that once I finished it I'd be waiting impatiently alongside the millions of other readers for the forthcoming Book 5 (thankfully, my wait turned out to be only nine months).

"A Feast for Crows" suffers somewhat from its nature. Books 4 and 5 were originally one book, and that one book came out of an intended five-year-gap in the narrative, which Martin decided to tell. And it feels like it. Many of the storylines here - Brienne, Arya, Sansa, Samwell - feel like they could have been told in flashback without losing any of the important plot points (indeed, I'm not sure there are any important plot points in Brienne's tale this time around. And of the others, the tales of the Iron Islands and that of Jaime, seem again like marginal additions to the story. Only the events of Dorne and King's Landing (as told through the eyes of Cersei Lannister) propel the plot forward.

Of course, that is talking at a basic level. On the other hand, Brienne's tale is in some ways the most expertly told: it is thoughtful and autumnal, one of many examinations of haunting post-war society that we see in these books. This feels like a meditation in the middle of the series, which is fine. The problem is - of course - that it had been five years since the previous book, and another six (hopefully!) until the next one, which itself will probably prove similar, since it is a companion piece. When you know that it will be a hundred or more pages until you see the next, say, Samwell chapter (and thus until you see everyone in his part of the world again), you hope that what you will get will be a worthwhile trip. And while very little happens in this book, it must be said that they continue to deepen the already rich texture of the world of Westeros. It's a pity that Martin found himself struggling to write the stories, as I expect these books would have been more well-received if they had come out on schedule.

Anyway, there are many positives: the rises of some characters, and downfall of others, are appropriate and heart-stopping. As usual, Martin deftly describes the new locales - Dorne, Oldtown, Braavos - and further proves his mastery of rendering a whole world beyond belief. And the complexity of his plotting, particularly in the politics at King's Landing and the Eyrie, is brilliant. His characters and characterisations continue to defy the predictable, and he can still get the better of you with his mischievous surprises. I don't really want to comment on the 'surprise sex' nature of some of the chapters, but if Martin wanted to prove he was more than just a stereotype, maybe he should expand the same-sex intercourse beyond women. Apparently every woman in Westeros will give it up for another at some point in her life, but men are either exclusively straight or gay, and the gay ones (Loras Tyrell, for instance) don't get a point-of-view, or any lovin'.

There are perhaps two major flaws in this book, and both - surprisingly - lie in Martin's literary style. His overwhelming descriptive passages, so appealing in previous books, sometimes come across as self-parody here. Entire pages abounding with descriptions of the banners of every single knight in the room is testing patience enough, I think. But now, characters themselves will do it. One character, for instance, has just been arrested and thrown into jail but - on seeing the first friendly face since her ordeal - takes the time to explain the colour and stylings of the dress she had ripped from her body!

The other issue is that Martin seems to have discovered "medieval-speak" all of a sudden. When the words 'jape' and 'nuncle' started appearing, I thought perhaps it was a linguistic feature of the Iron Islands, which we had never explored in detail before. But suddenly, everyone was using it all the time. (I may be forgetful, but I swear Jaime Lannister has never called anyone 'nuncle' before in his life!) By the end of the book, everyone is 'japing' 'thrice' no matter where they live. At one point, Asha Greyjoy uses the phrase "half a groat". Fair enough. Then, in the next chapter, Cersei uses that phrase at least three times! My feeling is that this book may have been less proof-read than the previous, and it's not as if I'll stop reading the books on account of this, but these words felt like a textural detail that had been suddenly added to the world, and not for the better.

So, I realise I've written a review worthy of Martin's verbosity itself. In closing, I can't really analyse this book until we see its companion piece, "A Dance with Dragons" sometime in (pretty please?) late 2011. It's mostly well-written, and continues to fascinate me. This is a world like no other imagined, and I can understand why it takes the author a long time to render it in glorious detail. But I do hope that once Martin starts on Book 6, getting back to the race-to-the-finish plotting, that he'll feel compelled to publish the books a little quicker. I very much desire to know what is to happen to the Starks, the Lannisters and the Targaryens, but I don't want to be in my dotage before it happens. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
The saga continues:

This book concentrates on the happenings at King's Landing, Dorne, and the Riverlands.
Tommen is king but Cersei rules. Margaery Tyrell tries to undermine her. Jaime is waking up to what his sister really is thanks to Brienne and Tyrion. He is even looking inside himself.
Lady Brienne is still on the search for the Stark girls. Meanwhile, Littlefinger controls Sansa (for her sake of coarse). And Arya across the sea learning all kinds of new skills.

This book is great, just as exciting as expected. But I miss Jon Snow, Daenarys, the dragons, and Tyrion. I want to know what is going on with the others and white walkers. We are promised to catch up with them in the next book: A Dance with Dragons.

The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because of the missing characters. ( )
  pamkaye | Oct 21, 2018 |
Should have finished the series BEFORE watching the show! A lot of things different in this one. I think someone told me that they combined the last 2 books for the show instead of how the books were actually written. I believe that. Danaerys and others weren't even in this one. ( )
  emeraldgirl68 | Sep 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 398 (next | show all)
In the wrong hands, a big ensemble like this can be deadly, but Martin is a tense, surging, insomnia-inflicting plotter and a deft and inexhaustible sketcher of personalities... this is as good a time as any to proclaim him the American Tolkien.
added by Shortride | editTime, Lev Grossman (Nov 13, 2005)

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Stephen Boucher wizard of Windows, dragon of DOS without whom this book would have been written in crayon
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"Dragons," said Mollander. He snatched a withered apple off the ground and tossed it hand to hand.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Characters you miss
Replaced with plotless boredom
Brownian motion

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055358202X, Mass Market Paperback)


Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.


It seems too good to be true. After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears. . . . With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King’s Landing. Robb Stark’s demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist—or they are held in hands too weak or too distant to wield them effectively. The war, which raged out of control for so long, has burned itself out.

But as in the aftermath of any climactic struggle, it is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.

It is a time when the wise and the ambitious, the deceitful and the strong will acquire the skills, the power, and the magic to survive the stark and terrible times that lie before them. It is a time for nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages to come together and stake their fortunes . . . and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:22 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce. But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces--some familiar, others only just appearing--emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes ... and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests-- but only a few are the survivors.… (more)

» see all 21 descriptions

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