Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Feast for Crows

This is the fourth in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, and is a worthy successor to the first three. It is in a way half a book (even though it weighs in at about 1,000 pages); it follows the stories of roughly half the characters in the previous books. Because they're not the more fun and exciting characters in the series, this book gets a little hard to read at times. It's still well written, intense, powerful, and un-put-downable*, but it's hard to have sympathy for a lot of these characters. The rest of the main characters will appear in A Dance With Dragons, which will be released next week, and the nice people at the (online) bookshop will be sending my copy straight away if they know what's good for them.

I don't have much to say about this one that I haven't said about the previous three. The characters are vivid and well-written, and a number of new characters appear. The story continues to be majestic. The political motivations and machinations of a bunch of new factions are revealed, and are sometimes quite surprising. Just when you think the civil war that has engulfed Westeros is petering out and about to end, new factions (or at least, groups who you hadn't really realized were a faction) appear on the scene, and get ready to start with the killing. I'm about 4,000 pages into this series now, and it's not flagging at all. Each chapter makes the reader want to get to the end of the series and find out how it all ends.

* There should be a single word for this specifically to be used when writing about books.

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