Read and Read and Read As I Read
784 pages, baby!
In honor of George R.R. Martin, I'm posting this review late. After four years, A Feast For Crows has been the subject of much frustration, not only for internets-based fans, but also for Martin and his publisher. As Martin has said, this boulder of a book is only half the story he wanted to tell with the fourth installment of his fantasy series. After many edits and rewrites, he agreed to put half of his story arcs into this book, and the other half in book five.
If you put the time into the first three books, book four delivers more of what Martin is good at. Soul crushing fantasy. That is perhaps a bit harsh, but the gory, muddy realism of Martin's world is a refreshing change from a genre where the heroes can't die and evil is always defeated.
In the inimitable style of George Lucas (who stole it from Steve Allen), Martin jumps POV from chapter to chapter. Each novel ends up being a half dozen linked-novellas. Every chapter has its own cast of supporting characters and places. A Feast For Crows follows the separate adventures of Cersei (Karl Rove in the body of Pamela Anderson), Arya and Sansa (two daughters whose house is being killed off one by one), the Greyjoys (think hillbilly Vikings), Brienne - a freakishly large woman who has decided to be a knight, Jaimie - Cersei's brother who is trying to rediscover honor after a life of killing and sister-fucking, the Dornish princess (Hillary Clinton in the body of Carmen Electra), and Sam - the fat, bookish Watchman who must sail around the continent to study with the old Masters. And he keeps getting laid.
It is a fantasy, after all.
I am a slow reader, yet found myself paging through this book as helplessly as I did the first three. Due to the decision to publish something smaller than the Bible, there are a number of cliffhangers that need wrapped up in the next book. And I'll be waiting.
WireCan has the thinking man's book commentary.