bookspluslife

October 17, 2014

Book: A Feast For Crows by George RR Martin

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 10:51 pm

imagesA friendly warning in the beginning: Due to the complex nature of the story, there are a lot of details presented in this review. If you do not want all the details of the story, just read the first two paragraphs and skip to the rating at the end of the review.

 

My, this is already the fourth book in the Song of Fire and Ice  series! Each book is big, with a lot of pages and when you get it in your hands, you think ‘Nice. I can have fun with it for a while yet’ and when you start to read it, the pages fly and before you know it, you are at the end of the book and worry that there are only a few books left! This happened to me in the Harry Potter series too. I know that as of the time of writing this, there are only five published books and so you are left with a bit of sadness that there is only one more book to read.

 

We have reviewed all the earlier books, starting with The Game of Thrones, The Clash of Kings, and The Storm of Swords in this forum.

 

By now you are used to the great style of storytelling, and even getting used to the fact that major characters, in whom you have invested a lot of time and therefore created a bond, are apt to die off in the middle of the books. This book continues the tradition of all of that.

 

The prologue is interesting as in all the other books. This time it is about an alchemist who wants a coin.

 

In the main story, Aeron Greyjoy, the Prophet (priest of the drowned God) hears of Balon’s death. He drowns and raises men who will then be faithful to the Drowned God. He rushes back to Gorold Goodbrother. He denies the next brother, Euron Crow’s Eye, as the king because he is not pious enough. Balon wanted Asha to succeed him and not Theon, to Aeron’s dismay. Victorian, another broker of Euron, contests the throne rights and claims it for himself. Urri, a brother, lost fingers when playing finger dance but the Maesters ruined it by trying to grow a new finger and he died. Aeron has no respect for Maesters. Aeron’s own past is unexpected. He has a boisterous youth, drinking, debauching, pissing farthest, until he was drowned and reborn as the priest. He wants Victorian to be king. Makes the people want a kingsmoot (election) to determine the rightful king.

 

Obara is the king’s daughter but a whore’s whelp. She wants revenge for her father’s slaying by the Mountain to save Tyrion, as narrated in Book Three. Look, there it is, new characters entering the story. There are more to come. So, if you are easily confused by the turns this story takes and a constant flow of new people coming in, you perhaps do not want to start reading the series.

 

. Areo Hotah, the Captain of the guards is with Doran Martell, the brother of the slain Dornish. Ser Arys and Areo are headed for a mortal conflict, Areo can feel it in his bones. Areo was sold to bearded priests when he was a boy by his own family (no ability to feed another mouth), branded with axe and trained with longaxe and then sent to guard, where he rose to be the captain.  Doran orders the sand snakes, Obarrah, Lady Nym and one other sister Lady Tyene, imprisoned to show his loyalty to Tywin. Meanwhile, Cercei tries to deal with the fallout from  the death of her father.

 

Brienne goes in search of the missing Sansa. Arya in the meanwhile reaches the isle she has been sent to but has to go into town knowing no one at all. She takes refuge among the dead in a protected place.

 

Cercei in the meanwhile finds that her uncle Kevan is unwilling to be the Hand.

Brienne gets the trail of Dontos from a dwarf in an inn.

 

In the meanwhile Asha decides to go to the kingsmoot and make it a queensmoot against the wishes of her own uncle who feels a woman will never be elected.

 

Ser Arys Oakbridge is in love with Arianne even though he is a kingsguard. She tells him not to transport Myrcella to the Water Garden as her father the king of Dorne contemplates as she is the true heir to the Iron Throne and not Tommen and he agrees.

 

Cersei plots to kill Jon Snow and disgrace Margery. Asha seems to lose the Queensmoot to Eugene who is her uncle called Crow’s Eye. Brienne tracks down Nick, who promises to take her where Ser Dontos went with Sansa. He dies in a fight but Brienne thinks that the Hound took Sansa to see her uncle.

 

Arianne of the Dorn wants to make Myrcella the queen as a rival to Tommen!  Ser Arys, who agrees to take Myrcella to Dorne is killed as the plot is discovered by the king and Hotah comes with an axe. Meanwhile, Arya is sent out of her sanctuary (a monastery for the God with Many Faces) out to learn Bravos tongue better.

 

Cersei is plotted against by Margery the upstart queen, through Tommen. Jaime and Cersei quarrel constantly. Cercei plots against Ser Bronn. Samwell is in Bravos too. Cersei goes to meet the new High Septon who seems quite mad.

 

Sparrows (religious fanatics and poor and uneducated) get arms and amass all over Lannister region.

 

Breinne learns in a monastery that she has been following the trail of the wrong Stark girl in following the Hound. Hound is dead and the monk buried him. When she meets Gendry they are attacked by a band of seven and Biter. the man with pointed teeth and tongue long like a sword, breaks her bones and tries to eat her alive. Chews on her cheeks with pointed teeth! Quite a gruesome scene there.

 

Arya becomes Cat of the Tunnels, kills the singer Donderrion and then goes blind as she drinks ‘warm milk’ as penance, given by the kindly man, an acolyte of the God With a Thousand Faces. Arianne is imprisoned in the Tower because she wanted to kidnap Myrcella and crown her king and got found out by her father the Prince who is still loyal to the Lannisters. Out of necessity but not out of love, it would seem.

 

Cersei is afraid of the Three Prophesies (Your sons will all die in front of your eyes; a younger and more beautiful queen will take everything away from you; your younger brother will kill you by choking you with his hands. ) Now, she will not let Margery’s plots unthrone her so she plots to ‘prove’ Margery’s infidelity and is preparing a case with the singer “confessing” under torture and enlisting one of the girls to turn against the other two.

Arianne is imprisoned in the tower and we learn that he was promised for Viserys, the brother of Daenerys, killed by Khal Drogo with molten gold.

 

Littlefinger is knee deep in plots again, where he plans to marry Alayne (Sansa) to the heir of the Eyrie if something should befall poor Sweetrobin Richard, and then bring her out as Sansa, uniting the armies in their favour.

 

Cersei’s plot backfires and the fanatical septon arrests her AND Margerie together. Jamie refuses to come to her aid when messaged (to be her champion in a single combat). Sam reaches OldTown and sends a maester across to Danerys, who, Master Aemon who dies on the ship is convinced, is the true heir to the Seven Kingdoms

 

Fabulous storytelling, no major death this time, but leaves you at a cliffhanger of a place. Some of the major players in the earlier books are nearly entirely absent in this. For instance, you wonder what happened to our beloved Tyrion.

 

When you start reading the next book, all is explained in a preface by the author.

 

Interesting book, maybe not quite as good as Book One or Book Three in its impact (arguably so) but still a stunning read.

 

I would award it a 8/10

– – Krishna

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