A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four (Martin, George Rr)
If you like: Mayhem * King’s Landing * Surprise endings
A Feast for Crows is the fourth book of A Song of Ice and Fire. After the death of his brother, eight-year-old Tommen is now the king of the realm, and his mother Cersei is the acting Queen Regent. Much of the book is dedicated to her schemes to gain more power and eliminate Margaery, the beautiful wife of Tommen and widow of Joffrey.
The scope of this series is becoming daunting for the reader. The numerous characters, especially those with smaller roles, become difficult to recall at times without the use of the character index located in Appendix 1. The addition of the numerous would-be-kings of the Iron Islands only increases this. Many of the players at the Iron Throne have changed as well, but their names are hardly worth remembering since most expire by the end of the book. In the earlier books, this amount of turnover and treachery added intensity and suspense to the story, but now it is hardly notable. With no gold, jewels, crops, or valor the reader is left to wonder what about the Iron Throne is worth fighting for.
A Feast for Crows almost feels like a spoof of the rest of the series. It lacks the careful plotting and strategy that comprised A Game of Thrones. Now the story has become MURDER MURDER MURDER with little reason behind it. This is due in part to the change in focus of the story. When a plot would not be touched on for chapters at a time it would at least give the illusion of careful planning. When we revisit Ceresi every few chapters her mad ravings become all the more ridiculous. In fact, A Feast for Crows focuses almost exclusively on the least likeable characters, with few exceptions. After the final chapter it is revealed that reader is not imagining that something is missing – half of the book is. Rather than subject readers to a 1,600+ page book, it was split in two. Splitting it by time instead of location would have been preferable. The story would have felt more complete and contiguous with the previous books.
If you would do anything to wear a crown, read A Feast for Crows.
Martin, George R.R. A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four. New YorK: Random House, Inc., 2005. Kindle Edition.