THE BOOK BEHIND THE FOURTH SEASON OF THE ACCLAIMED HBO SERIES GAME OF THRONES
Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.
A FEAST FOR CROWS
It seems too good to be true. After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears. . . . With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King’s Landing. Robb Stark’s demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist—or they are held in hands too weak or too distant to wield them effectively. The war, which raged out of control for so long, has burned itself out.
But as in the aftermath of any climactic struggle, it is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.
It is a time when the wise and the ambitious, the deceitful and the strong will acquire the skills, the power, and the magic to survive the stark and terrible times that lie before them. It is a time for nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages to come together and stake their fortunes . . . and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.
Though it boasts a risque title and cunning cover art, the majority of the stories and essays collected here put the emphasis on the "Me," rather than the "Do." Having first appeared in the literary journal Tin House, these pieces vary widely in terms of structure as well as quality; Michel Lowenthal's "You Don't See the Other Person Looking Back" is one of the book's strongest entries, an engrossing tale of a sighted gay man who embarks on a cruise with blind gay passengers, but it's all too short. Nicholas Montemarano's skillful metafiction "Make Believe" and Denis Johnson's story "Xmas in Las Vegas" are two more strong points; other pieces don't fare so well. Dylan Landis' "Jazz," a short story about a young girl sexually assaulted by a family friend, feels sophomoric, and Mark Jude Poirer's "I, Maggot" seems more interested in impressing the reader with symbolism and imagery than titillating, or even telling a story. Readers interested in literary pyrotechnics and Carver-esque ruminations on the everyday will probably get a great deal out of the book, but those looking for a literary roll in the hay will be disappointed.
A bit tedious
I absolutely loved the first three books, but this one was a chore to get through. The author is an amazing writer, but with so many new characters and unfamiliar story lines this book was difficult to enjoy. Just glad it's done so I can get started on the "real" story in book 5.
Update: just got done with book 5 and it was awesome. Get through book 4 to get back to the good stuff
I enjoyed the Brienne character and Asha is interesting as well but too much of the book is dedicated to secondary characters like Samwell. We like these characters alongside strong primary characters but they aren't interesting enough to carry an entire novel. I use to like reading Sam and Brienne but this novel have made them unbearable! Shame on the author. This book was written solely for financial gain in extending the series. It lacks adventure, little about the original characters except Arya and Sansa.