• Published a book you want to tell us about? Uploaded a YouTube video you want to share?

    Normally you'll need 100 posts to self-promote, but with an upgraded membership you can do so with your first post.

    Find out more here: Become a Supporting Member

A Feast For Crows - George R R Martin

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
22,750
Location
Highlands
First of all, drop your expectations of this book before you read it, or you could end up disappointed.

For a start, there's no Jon Snow, Daenerys, or Tyrion points of view in this -you have to wait for the next "half" - Dance of Dragons - for that. The only original point of views characters from the first novel are Arya and Sansa.

Also, the book is focused on the politics of Kings Landing - so expect no major plot progressions relating to the storylines already introduced to us.

But...if you can get past that, what we have is a potentially very enjoyable book.

Center stage to it all is the Cersei and Jaime points of view - a literal Dance of Dragons in themselves - along with the politics centered on the still ongoing wars across Westeros.

George introduces a new Point of View method in AFFC - he gives us a series of viewpoints of the Ironmen, but instead of focusing on a single character, we see three different ones.

He does the same with Dornish points of views - a range of characters to show us what is happening there.

Both the Ironmen and Dorne can appear as initially irrelevant world-building - but once finished, you realise exactly why George has included them in the novel.

Is AFFC a good novel?

In some ways, no - there's no real focus on driving plot - instead, the story looks to tie up loose ends and weave them into the wider political framework.

In other ways, yes - it's a great piece of literature by way of how George can skillfully bring characters and individual scenes to life with simple detail.

There are some aspects that were more violent that I would have liked -for those who've read it, I only need say "Biter and Brienne".

Also, while George's scenes are vivid and full of life, there are areas that disappoint - Brienne has a point of view throughout the book, but rather than achieve anything herself, she spends more time helping tie up our connections to other names mentioned in earlier novels.

Ultimately, though, if approached without prejudice, this continues to work well within the classic "A Song of Fire and Ice" series. It serves almost like a prologue for those things to come, and promises much.

Overall, this was my favourite book of the series after A Game of Thrones - less reliance on magic and a focus on politics requires less of a suspension of belief, and I felt it eventually worked well, once you could see the way the scenes tie together.

Although initially disappointed by the failure to address major existing plot elements, the finish was satisfying, and left me hungry for more, despite that I felt before starting that I may have had my fill already.
 

Boaz

Happy Easter!
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
5,924
Brian, AFFC is one of my friend's favorite book in the series. Jon, Dany, and Tyrion are omitted and Arya has left the country. Jaime is concerned with politics. The Greyjoys and the Martells have their own agendas. My friend contends this gap is only filled by Brienne's POV. She's the only one left who gives us insight into the common folk. She's the only one trying to do the right thing. Her agenda is helping a lost girl without regard for personal gain.

I've mentioned, in the GRRM forum, that I can like a POV, yet dislike the character. Jon and Catelyn exemplify this. The Night's Watch and Catelyn's dipolomatic status are good stories, yet they turn me off. And likewise... Brienne. I don't really dislike her, but she does not really inspire me. GRRM writes her as unimaginative, brooding, and straightforward... good traits in a cow, bad in a protagonist. But her companions are all far more interesting. Nimble Dick is a talkative redneck... uneducated, yet honest. Ser Hyle, a former suitor of Brienne, is now a hedge knight looking for a paying gig. Septon Meribald is a kindly circuit priest who shows mercy to every living soul. Dog is dog. And Podrick Payne, Tyrion's former squire, joins Brienne as her new squire in hopes of finding Tyrion.

Mayhaps it's childish, but I got a huge kick out of Pod's sayings... "Puh, puh, puh, Podrick. Puh, puh, Payne." "Ser? My Lady?"

I was not the first to figure it out, but Brienne just might run into someone we all presumed was deceased.

Jaime's potential change of heart... I like how GRRM has strung this out. Jaime has so many strands pulling him back to King, Country, Family, i.e. Evil. It's too delicious to rush.

GRRM has so many ideas for characters. He introduced eight new POV characters in AFFC.

I understand people may want something less grandiose, more streamlined. Fevre Dream, The Curse of Chalion, The Eyes of the Dragon, and Best Served Cold are all very enjoyable stand alone novels.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
22,750
Location
Highlands
It's funny reading this and seeing how positively reviewed it - not least as when I look back I think of it as the weakest book in a weakening series.

Perhaps I was in denial then? Or perhaps I became bitter with age? :)
 

oganalp

very epic new member
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Toronto
Although I enjoyed the book as it added to the depth of the world, it was the hardest one to finish in the series. Too much micro-detailing in family politics, even for GRRM. A Dance with Dragons was a most-welcomed relief after book 4.
 
Top