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A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four (Martin, George Rr) (original 2005; edition 2005)

by George R.R. Martin

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Member:namaste22
Title:A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four (Martin, George Rr)
Authors:George R.R. Martin
Info:Bantam (2005), Kindle Edition, 694 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle
Rating:
Tags:Kindle, read in 2012, literature

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A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin (2005)

  1. 20
    Terrier by Tamora Pierce (KingdomOfOdd)
    KingdomOfOdd: 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.
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Showing 1-5 of 281 (next | show all)
While a great novel, it falls short of the previous three novels in the series. ( )
  dulcinea14 | Sep 18, 2014 |
The Basics

The drama of Westeros continues! This time with a particular focus on Westeros-based characters in the wake of A Storm of Swords. Particularly getting their story told are Jaime, Cersei, Samwell, and Brienne with a splash of Arya and Sansa and some others. We’re also treated to seeing Braavos and Dorne for the first time.

My Thoughts

When you get into A Song of Ice and Fire, you’re bound to see people talking about their favorite and least favorite books in the series. A Storm of Swords rightly holds the top spot for many readers, and I’m one of them. A lot of people then see A Feast for Crows as a weak follow-up. Strangely, I didn’t feel that way. I realize publication dates and long waits have something to do with some people’s gripes, and I’m not saying that’s not valid. But that wasn’t my situation.

I finally picked this series up after the show started airing. I’d been hounded by a friend of mine for years to just read it, and now that I have, I find myself screaming, “all the wasted years!” By the same token, if waiting for a book long enough can make fans hate it, maybe I was smart to wait. Because this book isn’t as weak as I hear people say. In particular, the arcs for Jaime and Cersei is some of the strongest, character-driven writing I’ve ever seen. Cersei especially. She slowly but surely plummets into a pit she dug for herself and can’t get out of, and it’s a delight. While Jaime slowly climbs out of his pit, which is also a delight.

Here’s where I think people who love this series get irked. A Storm of Swords was plot driven in a huge way. A Feast for Crows is more focused on character development and personal stories. Some don’t impact the greater story and some do, but everyone gets some kind of journey, even if it’s only within themselves. Some people don’t find that riveting, but I do. I find following characters and watching their progress a lot more interesting than trying to remember the names of houses and their banners and who is loyal to what king and who the hell is this guy again?

I like how this book felt like the quiet devastation after a storm, pun somewhat intended. After everything came crashing down in the previous book, now we have people just trying to get by, trying to survive, trying to figure out where their place is in this mess. Brienne’s journey exemplified this really well, in that everything they passed was a landscape full of mud and blood and death. Dead bodies hung from trees and choked rivers. That is the world that ASOS left these characters, and the way it’s dealt with is somewhat solemn and gray. I thought it was fitting and proof that Martin is a master at setting a tone for a book.

Final Rating

5/5 ( )
  Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
Where I got the book: audiobook purchased on Audible. **THERE WILL BE SPOILERS**

After the nail-biting events of A Storm of Swords, I suppose it’s inevitable that we’d have a bit of a transitional novel at this point. Or half of a novel, since A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons are chronogically simultaneous, and most of the characters who remain after the ASOS bloodbath are still wandering around pursuing separate aims and story arcs so you could almost see AFFC as an interleaved series of novellas…

I’ve learned never to discount anything George R.R. writes, as just about every little bunny trail seems to end up having some significance. Once I’ve finished the audiobook of ADWD I think I’ll have to start buying the paper books, and I do hope there’ll still be some bookstores left by then as I’ll want to find keeper editions with good maps. That’s one of the major drawbacks of audiobooks: no maps. The other is that you can’t easily flip backwards, of course, and I don’t know about you but I realized that in order to understand the ending of AFFC I really needed to read the beginning again…

Anyway, I can’t possibly encompass the story, what there is of it, in one review, so let me just tease out a few things that struck me.

Identity: several major characters are having identity problems. Jaime is struggling to cope with his new identity as a maimed knight, a commander who can no longer lift a sword in battle. Cersei attempts to secure her identity as a ruler in the face of a society that has one set of rules for men and another for women; her story is somewhat paralleled by Aysha’s. Arya is constantly confronted with the question, “who are you?” Sansa survives by jettisoning her old identity in favor of a more convenient one, something she doesn’t even know her little sister has done several times. Samwell is learning to be brave by assuming his Sam the Slayer identity as Jon has commanded him to do. The only character from the first three books who isn’t going through some kind of identity crisis is Brienne, who has a quest and an honor that she sticks to like a limpet on a rock. And much good it does her.

Being a Lannister: the scene of Tywin Lannister decaying in the Sept is one of my favorite images from this book. The smile… And then we’re told that the unsmiling Tywin did smile once, at the birth of the twins, who were alike as two peas in a pod except for between the legs. In AFFC that togetherness disintegrates—Jaime’s maiming means he can’t be the military leader his father was, and it arouses contempt rather than pity in Cersei, who sees herself as Tywin’s proper heir and is infuriated that her gender prevents everyone else from seeing it too. In a way they’re both maimed, because they each have something missing that Tywin didn’t: a hand and a cock. And then their aunt pronounces that Tywin’s real heir is Tyrion, because of his mind—the most maimed Lannister of all has, in fact, the proven ability to command, the requisite gender and, above all, the strategic intelligence to become Tywin Mark II.

Death, or possibly not: Tywin, at least, is well and truly dead. The White Walkers aren’t present in this installment. But we have the drowned men and Lady Stoneheart to keep the fantasy fans happy, while the crows grow fat on the bodies that absolutely litter this story—false death next to real death, symbolic of the two genres GRRM draws on to build his story.

The two new stories build toward Danaerys: it’s always hard to get into new characters, and I find the whole business with the Ironborn and the Dornish a bit tedious. But that’s typical of GRRM’s method: he piles on a whole load of tradition and legend and meaning and personalities and histories at first until you just want him to stop and go back to someone we know, but by the time you get to the point of these characters you do know them. And both of these newer stories are, by the end of the book, heading in Danaerys’ direction and heaven knows Danaerys needs more than a few thousand slaves to back her.

So there was a lot I found interesting in this novel, but absolutely nothing was resolved. The only death of any significance among all the crow fodder was Maester Aemon, and he belongs more to the past than the future. After the loss of major characters that occurred in A Storm of Swords, A Feast For Crows definitely comes across as a regrouping, a resetting of the board before we go on to the next really big movement of the plot toward its conclusion. I suspect that A Dance With Dragons will be more of the same, and that the real action will happen in Book 6. ( )
  JaneSteen | Sep 16, 2014 |
After everything that happened in A Clash of Kings, I kinda lowered my expectations for every book that comes after it, because I know that it will be very, VERY hard for any book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series to be as good as the third one. I think I did the right thing, because I honestly wasn't expecting too much from A Feast for Crows and, indeed, the book didn't surprise me, but I still had fun with it. I did cringe at some of Brienne's chapters though. Not that I don't like her. On the contrary, she is my second favorite character. I just thought that, at a certain point of the story, the sexism became so infatuated that it got tiring. I know that the universe of A Song of Ice and Fire is based on sexist medieval history and that, at least in my understanding, this book also kinda serves as a critique to the exaggerated misogyny throughout times (or not), but at a certain point of Brienne's arc I was almost screaming "OKAY OKAY I GET IT, ALL THESE CHARACTERS ARE SEXIST PIGS, LEAVE ME ALONE".
Other than this, it was very nice to see the story through Cersei's point of view, and also Brienne's. I still think that the Pyke arc could have had separated, named characters, just like the Martell family, but the way that these new characters were introduced (or re-introduced) to the story was very creative and interesting. Can't wait to read the next book! ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
BLOG POST: http://chaibooks.blogspot.ca/2014/08/review-feast-for-crows.html

Game of Throne's spoilers are almost a given now with our social media. I hate spoilers, so I avoid searching up anything to do with Game of Thrones online. Even browsing Maisie Williams (the lady who plays Arya) on Twitter can result in some major spoilers. Speaking of spoilers, there will be quite a few in the text that follows. Beware! Spoilers are coming!

(Disclaimer: This is a rant/review, without too much structure. It's more of my thoughts all bundled up in the form of a review.)

So, I went straight from Storm of Swords to Feast For Crows and can you imagine my surprise? There were some changes; In font, in layout, in typeface, ugh, oh, change. So basically, George R.R. Martin decided that instead of splitting the story in half, and leaving the story unfinished, he would finish the story of half the characters. It was quite the change. I dealt with it, though. And it was worth it! The book was magnificent. In Feast for Crows we focused more on Kings Landing. We focused on Cersei, Jaime, Brienne, Samwell, Sansa, the ladies of Dorne, and, although there was a frustrating lack of her, Arya. Now, Feast here, is known as the worst book in the series. I don't think it's the greatest, no, but I really loved it.

As always, the plot was complex and intricate, the characters were scheming and many-layered, and the setting was rich and immersive. I picked up traces of pro-Feminism as well which is really awesome in an epic fantasy. I'm making a seperate blog post on that, which I will link as soon as it's up.
I personally loved reading from the POV of Arya and Sansa. I know a lot of people will disagree, but Sansa is one of my favorites. I probably relate to her the most, while many people hate her. In Feast, both sisters undergo lots of changes, one of them being that both sisters change their names! Sansa to Alaynne, Petyr Baelish's natural daughter, and Arya to Cat, a street urchin running around Braavos.
Littlefinger was icky as always, and the amount of times he kisses his "natural daughter" in the mouth is pretty gross. Icky. But, I'll give the man props. He deals with the sickly and whiny Robin and get's Sansa a pretty sweet gig.
I LOVED BEING IN BRAAVOS FINALLY. I want to explore the Free Cities more. I loved Arya's chapters the best. Her remincising about Winterfell, and her fallen household is one of my favorite passages from all the books.

"Winterfell... I smell snow & smoke & pine needles. I smell the stables. I smell Hodor laughing, & Jon & Robb battling in the yard, & Sansa singing about some stupid lady fair. I smell the crypts where the stone kings sit, I smell hot bread baking, I smell the godswood. I smell my wolf, I smell her fur, almost as if she were still beside me."

And especially Arya's bit about Needle:

Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell's grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan's stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow's smile. He used to mess my hair and call me "little sister," she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes

Jon Snow is my favorite character, and the big brother/little sister thing they had going on was one of my favorite parts. Although that happy family part of the story was short, it was sweet. I obviously wished Jon was in Feast more, but we got Sam giving us some updates, and Sam is an absolute sweetheart, so I guess it's okay.

I hated and loved reading from Cersei. She is literally crazy. She believes she's so smart, and cunning, and I guess she is, but she truly is crazy. Although I hate her character, I was a little sad to see her fall (not death, but I mean, they caught her at her scheming game, so she's pretty much over). Hearing more about her chilling prophecy, childhood, and early marriage life was really great. I felt like I understood this sad little Queen Regent's life better. Her character is so fascinating to study. From her gruesome nightmares, to her outlandish schemes.

I loved Brienne and her travels with Pod and the rest of them. She's one awesome lady. I definietly felt for her. From the "contest", to her failing Catelyn and Renly, to her own ways of coping with her uncomely stature, I felt for this lady. Her story makes me so sad. The fact that people treat her so terribly. But it also makes me feel empowered. She's so strong and awesome and I love her.

Jaimie's chapter's were a little more dull, but Jaimie's voice is one of my favorite ones. I mean, he's the Kingslayer, he's supposed to be all tough and strong. But reduced to being a cripple, he's lost a ton of respect. I love Jaimie because he doesn't want to be King! He doesn't want power, or money! He just wants to be able to kill stuff with his sword, and to love the woman he loves (which is Brienne. Not Cersei. BRIENNE!).

Overall, this was a giant rant/review, but I love this series so much. It keeps me up at night, wondering what's happening in Westeroes. The sheer quality of the storytelling that comes from Martin is amazing. ( )
1 vote Naomi_ChaiBooks | Aug 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 281 (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)
 

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Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055358202X, Mass Market Paperback)

GAME OF THRONES: A NEW ORIGINAL SERIES, NOW ON HBO.

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.

A FEAST FOR CROWS

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:32 -0400)

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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)

(summary from another edition)

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