A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
Book 4 of A Song of Ice and Fire series
Unabridged, 33 hr. 56 min.
Random House Audio
Roy Dotrice (Narrator)
December 15, 2011
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fantasy
Source: Downloaded audiobook from Audible
“With A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth volume of the landmark series that has redefined imaginative fiction and stands as a modern masterpiece in the making.
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.”
So, I think this was my least favorite in this series thus far and it is due to the way the author chose to break up the story. Books 4 and 5 take place at relatively the same time, but address different areas of the kingdom – I believe book 4 is primarily in the south and book 5 is primarily in the north. The problem here was that we are introduced to so many new narration characters and see fairly little of the characters we have grown to love (or hate) throughout the first 3 books. We are introduced to the more of the Greyjoy’s of the Iron Isles and to the Martell’s of Dorne. I can say that I honestly did not care at all about these characters or anything that they did in the book. This is likely because they are hardly referenced in the first three books (especially the Dorne characters) and because we don’t have enough of the characters we are familiar with here. Jamie Lannister who has grown to be among one of my favorite narrators (the other two being Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister) was so boring in this book. Noticeably missing from this book was the wit and relief of Tyrion Lannister’s chapters. I found that the chapters I was looking forward to were the Cersei Lannister because things were actually happening in her chapters and I loved getting into her head – she is her own brand of crazy, that is for sure. And, I will say, I couldn’t believe what happened to her at the end of this book!!! The rest of the chapters felt stagnant and stifling. There are no chapters set with Daenerys or the Wall. I think I would have much preferred if the author chose to break the book up by time rather than geographic location.
My other issue is the obviousness of repetition here. In the last book is was about the song of the bear and the maiden fair. This time it was Jamie’s fixation with the men he believes are sleeping with his sister. The constant repetition of his exact words drove me crazy!
Throughout the book is the impression that everything is going to come to a head soon. The different kingdoms are shifting, opinions are changing amongst the locals, and those who were strong before are maybe not as strong now. I wonder who is going to come out on top!
I am looking forward to book 5 as this will likely include those characters who I love and missed in this installment.
You know what is funny? How different my opinion was of the narration on this book over the proceeding book when they are narrated by the same narrator. In my prior review, I called the narration “enjoyable”. I would classify it this time as “annoying”. I really didn’t like the narrator’s voice this time around. I was talking about the narration with a colleague at work and he described part of the narration as sounding like a “constipated old Scottish lady”, which I had to agree with. I really wish I had the time to read it in traditional book form.
Author George R. R. Martin has written these additional books in the series: A Game of Thrones (book 1), A Clash of Kings (book 2), A Storm of Swords (book 3), and A Dance with Dragons (book 5). The series has been adapted into a television series by HBO – which has been very faithful to the book. You can follow the production of the show on the following blog, Winter is Coming. You can also visit George R. R. Martin's website for additional information about the books.
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