Thursday Review: A Feast for Crows by George R.R Martin

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The blurb:
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.

My thoughts:

So I mentioned in my review last week I’d read three and a half of the GOT books before giving up. Upon re-reading I found the stories more interesting, the who is who of the characters much easier to keep track of, and the pacing super tight.

Then I caught up to book four. I absolutely remember why I didn’t finish the book the first time. A Feast of Crows ditched all the POV’s I was most interested in, save Arya Stark. Gone is my familiarity with the names as it seemed like every new character sounded like they had the same name. The pacing slowed down significantly as finances and politics took over the narratives. There’s lots of stuff I didn’t like about this book compared to the first three.

But I did finish it this time. And toward the end, I found myself getting past the confusion and caught up in the world again enough that I started the next book immediately upon finishing this one. I’m glad Martin delved into Cercei’s POV. I hate her as a human, but as a character she’s fascinating. Brienne on the other hand was much more interesting filtered through another POV than she is in her own head. Her method of searching for Sansa Stark left much to be desired from a character I’d been led to believe was clever and strong and interesting. I want to like her, I really do, but to do that I need to get past her sob story of how unfortunately ugly she is and into her character. Yes, being a woman like her back then would be really hard and it would shape your personality but does *anything* make her happy? Does she I don’t know…enjoy fighting? Being strong? Swordplay? Doing the right thing? Every action she took had this…put upon feeling with it. A poor me victim syndrome and that’s so not who I thought she was and not at all how she’s perceived through anyone else’s POV.

The writing was, as always, very well done. The world building, unbeatable. I’m incredibly impressed by Martin. And thus far, very much enjoying A Dance with Dragons. I regret not finishing book four way back when, because I really cheated myself out of the better part of the book.

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