Review by: Cynthia A.
Published: November 8, 2005
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire
Genre: Medieval Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in George R. R. Martin’s bestselling saga A Song of Ice and Fire, continues the story of what happens when a throne is up for grabs. Arya Stark, a child on a the run from the Lannister’s and the mad and paranoid Queen Cersei, find her way into Braavos to become a servant of He of Many Faces, commonly known as the stranger. Samwell find himself at a crossroads with his identity and obligations and Commander John Snow sends him home. Sasnsa Stark, now known as Alayne Stone, the bastard daughter of Petyr Bealish, finds herself in court again, trapped by another identity, with less lies and less fear of her life. But the threat of being discovered always lies in the shadows. As the war thickens, the game of thrones continues in yet another amazing novel.
The plot continues to thicken, with such a rich story and amazing character development. George R. R. Martin has a way with introducing new characters into an already established world and plot. These introductions do a lot for the novel, from building the plot to expanding the story and the allowing events with these characters to connect and influence the growth and characterization of pre-existing characters. The world has expanded and the characters have grown as the passage of time does as well.
The detail in the novel, from characters to places is magnificent. Every picture is described so vividly, letting the reader see exactly what the character is seeing and experiencing vividly. We are able to see the madness that Jamie sees in his sister and we are able to see the fear, the blood, everything as if it were a painting right there before our eyes. Martin has such a talent with detail, but makes none of it come off as superfluous. Nothing in this book is superfluous detail.
Considering how often the book switches from point of view to point of view, it’s surprising how well this novel flows from segment to segment. Lapses of time are lost, but summed up quickly, getting to the point of the matter at hand with the character, making both the inner plot and the outside plot balance each other equally.
That goes hand in hand with the characterization. Cersei is the character that you love to hate, due to her paranoia and her rage towards all men. She is by far the most selfish character in the series, but she’s a great character to read. Arya, who is broken and lost, is still by far a fighter, and the strength that her character has, despite all that has befallen her, coupled with her snarky personality also makeher fun to read. The best part of this novel though, would have to be the growth in Samwell, a character who seldom gets his own point of view. In just this one book, we see just how much he has grown from the first moment we were introduced to him. Martin also shows us why he is important to the novels growth and gives us a better understanding of who he is. Simply an amazing novel. ★★★★☆ (A).