Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Book Review: A Feast for Crows

I'm a fast reader. And when I sink my teeth into a book I'm a ridiculously fast reader. Yet, it took three months for me to finish this instalment in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I don't want to give too much away as I know so many people who are invested in the television show who have no interest in reading the books (these people are no longer my pals. READ BOOKS!), so I'll be limited with what I say.

The previous three books absolutely captivated me. Chapters built around individual character's viewpoints, deaths at every turn, battles, a whole lot of sex and SO MANY people to fall in love with and absolutely despise. But, A Feast for Crows didn't hold my attention in the same way. I enjoyed reading it, but I also found myself reaching for other books at the same time. I hope that it's simply because George R.R. Martin originally wrote this and the next volume A Dance with Dragons as one novel, which he then split in half due to its absurd length. This has resulted in a much slower pace and leaving the reader wondering just what's happening to many of our beloved, but AWOL friends and foes.

A Feast for Crows follows Cersei, Brienne, Samwell, Arya, Jaime and Sansa and introduces some new players into the Game of Thrones. So we are missing quite a few strong main characters, and pretty vital story lines. The story plods along, with nothing overly exciting actually happening. Journeys are drawn out, conversations are lengthy and battles are minimum. I feel like Martin uses a lot more repetition in this book, there are scenes that are oh so very awkward and the writing is just not up to par with the previous three. Not to mention that many of the new characters have similar names to existing ones (Elys, Alys, Pate, Pod and Peck?), which makes for an already hard to keep up with storyline to become even more confusing.

I really got into the stories around 80% of the way through, which is a shame. I'm loathed to say that I didn't enjoy it as much as it's predecessors as really, it is only half of a book. Nothing exciting happened? I bet it all kicks off in A Dance With Dragons (or so I hope). So, I'm off to start the next one and pray that the series hasn't lost it's momentum.

All in all, I'm so grateful that I'm a latecomer to the series as Martin's little note at the end teasing you with another finished book that then wasn't released for five years might just have made me give up.

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