[By Nic Lindh on Monday, 16 October 2006]
A Feast for Crows is the fourth installment in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga, and competently continues the series by turning up the heat in the existing plot lines and introducing even more characters to the already vast and teeming throng.
If you liked the previous novels in the series, A Feast for Crows is a no-brainer. However, according to a note by the author, it’s really half a novel as the publisher demanded he break his planned novel up into two volumes due to its length. So it ends in not one but several terrible cliff-hangers. If you’re a fan of the series and you have the will power, best to wait until A Dance of Dragons is released and get a super-size meal at that point.
If you haven’t been exposed to the A Song of Ice and Firesaga before, it is simply put the best fantasy series ever conceived. Really. It’s that good. What Martin has done is to create an utterly believable world and populated it with literally a cast of thousands, all of whom act like people. The story is set in an era where a kingdom is tearing itself apart in a brutal and bloody civil war, and while there’s the usual fantasy elements of magic and dragons, they are more or less incidental to the thrust of the saga, which is an exploration of people in difficult situations. And what people…
There’s intrigue to make Machiavelli blush and battles to discomfit a storm trooper.