Review: A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4) by George RR Martin

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I am about to commit blasphemy against the church of GRRM and ASOIAF.  A Feast For Crows was my least favorite of the series thus far and there were times I almost moved it to my “On Hold” shelf.  There.  I said it.

Now, you may see that my rating is 4-stars.  Yes, that is correct.  Martin’s intricately detailed writing, character development and world building deserve no less.  And, there were times that I really enjoyed reading AFFC.  But…

It is bloated.  While writing this installment, Martin found that he had too much material for one book so he split it into two – this and A Dance with Dragons.  Rather than telling the story in a straight line, he basically gives us POVs from 1/2 the characters in AFFC and we will learn the other characters’ fates in ADWD.  Sounds like he did a good job editing himself right?  Wrong…

I love big books.  I love detailed writing.  But, this was overdone.  There were so many passages where I wanted to just skim to get to the next important plot update.  Character after character is added.  When you need 62 pages in the appendix to list the characters and their place in the story, you may have gone a little too far.  I found myself pulling out my phone to google character names to try to remember who they were and their role in the overall storyline.  This became tiresome.  And, in my opinion, unnecessary.

Because there are now so many details, I worry that Martin is writing himself into a corner and he won’t be able to wrap this up to his or the reader’s satisfaction.  I hope I’m wrong but the delay in book 6 doesn’t give me warm and fuzzy feelings.

We’ll see.  This is a superb fantasy series and I’d hate to see it tarnished.

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