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A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4) Paperback – October 30, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Long-awaited doesn't begin to describe this fourth installment in bestseller Martin's staggeringly epic Song of Ice and Fire. Speculation has run rampant since the previous entry, A Storm of Swords, appeared in 2000, and Feast teases at the important questions but offers few solid answers. As the book begins, Brienne of Tarth is looking for Lady Catelyn's daughters, Queen Cersei is losing her mind and Arya Stark is training with the Faceless Men of Braavos; all three wind up in cliffhangers that would do justice to any soap opera. Meanwhile, other familiar faces—notably Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen—are glaringly absent though promised to return in book five. Martin's Web site explains that Feast and the forthcoming A Dance of Dragons were written as one book and split after they grew too big for one volume, and it shows. This is not Act I Scene 4 but Act II Scene 1, laying groundwork more than advancing the plot, and it sorely misses its other half. The slim pickings here are tasty, but in no way satisfying. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In the fourth volume of Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" saga, the evil king is finally dead-and trouble is starting to brew.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553582038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553582031
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,461 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

George R.R. Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally since then. He spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer-producer, working on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made. In the mid '90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he's allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with the lovely Parris, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula, who think they run the place.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2,087 of 2,154 people found the following review helpful By Red Moose on November 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, I did something a little different in this review. Soon there will be literally hundreds of reviews for this book, all giving similar reasons why people like or dislike A Feast For Crows. Instead of adding, and probably losing, my voice in amongst the clamour, I've done a bit of mathematics for you. I actually went through the book and noted which characters had chapters of their own and how many pages each of those chapters had, then I figured the numbers out as percentages (yes, I know, I need to get out more). So now, for your literary edification and illumination, I present to you a list of what actually happens in the book, according to my calculations (all rounded off).

CERSEI: 22.5%. That's right, folks, the Lannister Queen has more than one page in five, and nearly one page in four, devoted entirely to her point of view. If you've always wanted to know what goes on in her scheming little mind, then boy, do we have a show for you! Considering that there are thirteen people altogether who get chapter viewpoints of their own, Cersei's 22.5% share means that, on average, everyone else only gets 6.5% each. You could say that Cersei has the lion's share (terrible pun, I know).

BRIENNE: 17.5%. Next on our little list comes the Maid of Tarth. Most of the time we spend with her is on character development, rather than juicy action. Not that there's anything wrong with that at all, but you've been warned. If you were expecting her to become Lara Croft: Tomb Raider reborn, think again. Also, of some small statistical note, more than 60% of the pages in this book are devoted to the female character's points of view. Just so you know.

JAIME: 15.5%.
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1,418 of 1,498 people found the following review helpful By A. A. Fox on November 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's doubtful that any sort of review will stop someone who has read the first three books from reading this long-awaited and justly anticipated instalment. Nevertheless, I'd like to voice an opinion which falls between the extremes which seem to be the most prevalent sort of reponses to this book.

Mr Martin is a great fantasy writer, and I don't think that has changed. However, A Feast For Crows is not up to the standard of this first three in the series. What I suspect HAS changed is the commercial pressure that has been placed on Mr Martin, combined with (I hate to say it) a growing over-indulgence which has been allowed him. When George Martin defends the delays, longer-than-expected lengths, and the seemingly extraneous side-stories, he is fond of referring to Tolkien by saying that "the story writes itself" (or something like that). I don't doubt that Martin experiences this "divine inspiration" like many other great artists, but this time around he seems to have been unable (or more likely, unwilling) to step away from that feeling to undergo the painful process of editing. When the pressure to make a release led to a cutting in half of the anticipated book, thus allowing two books of about 700 pages rather than one of about, say, 1000, it seems that Martin took it as a cue to go easy on the editing. The splitting of the book is itself substantially detrimental, but Martins lack of self-criticism is the real reason why this book is somewhat disappointing. Not everything created by the divine inspiration of great artists is great art.

People who are claiming that there is no plot development, either within the book or for the series, are of course exaggerating.
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938 of 1,022 people found the following review helpful By Tom on November 29, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to say this book was a disappointment. The first three books in this series were unquestionably 5-star reading.

A Feast for Crows, however, truly was -- as one reviewer described it -- a chore to get through. I wondered often as I read it whether Martin would have fared better to collapse this book and the sequel, A Dance with Dragons, into one volume after all. The argument that the book would have then been too long doesn't wash with me since many of the chapters here -- far too many -- felt like "packing material", the popcorn and bubblewrap that you have to dig through to get to the good stuff that you really wanted and paid for. A Feast for Crows would have been a far better book if the dross chapters had been eliminated and the pure gold chapters from the next book added in. Ah, well. Too late for that now.

Sadly, in this book, I just got bored. Not only once, but again and again. And I am astounded to say that because Martin is a magnificent writer and storyteller. But I was seriously bored with much of this book.

I did not like Martin's departure from the style of previous books of adding so many nameless ("The Prophet", "The Kraken's Daughter", etc.) point-of-view (POV) chapters. Sheesh. Why not just say their names? "Aeron" ... "Asha" ... Worse still, most of these "secondary" POV chapters were quite dull. I did not like these characters and I did not want to invest my time in them because it is not THEIR story I am interested in in this series. Many of these secondary characters are repellent, dull, and/or unpleasant, and each new character's chapter(s) carried the baggage of (seemingly) 50 to 60 new names and characters apiece.
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