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76 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so dull
Yes, many of the other reviewers are right. As I read this the first time, I was frustrated. It didn't really follow some of my fav characters, as they appear in book 5 (A Dance With Dragons). And even the first 2/3 of ADWD follow the same template as this one, there's much more talk and much less action than in the previous titles. Many characters travel long roads and...
Published on 11 April 2012 by AGGESWE

144 of 159 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars kingdom for an editor
well you kinda knew it had to happen sooner or later. it took robert jordan 6 books before it all started to fall apart so i guess george is about on track. i'm coming to the conclusion that you can only write so many pages on one project before it starts to eat itself.
the author sums it up in the first line of his start with the good bits: the...
Published on 22 Nov 2005 by lazynine

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 6 Feb 2006
merlinme "merlinme" (London) - See all my reviews
I love George RR Martin's work, and I was really looking forward to this. However, I have to say, much as Robin Hobb and JK Rowling at the moment, this book could do with editing. The characters and situations are never anything other than beautifully written, but the plot seems to spend hundreds of pages going nowhere. This was originally supposed to be one novel with "A Dance With Dragons", and if he'd stuck to the main characters and concentrated on advancing the plot, I really don't see why it couldn't have remained one novel. I would happily have cut nearly all the chapters on the Ironborn, and also Brienne's chapters. Brienne is a sympathetic character, but did we really need so many chapters of her failing to find what she's looking for? Similarly several new Ironborn characters are expanded in detail, but for very little effect in terms of advancing the plot, surely this could have been cut down. Arya remains my favourite character, but her story scarcely reaches any sort of a resolution. Little to nothing happens in Sansa Stark's storyline that couldn't have been wrapped up in one or two chapters. The only major plotline developed to anything approaching a climax is that of Cersei. That part is very well written, although I personally found the routine use of torture fairly disturbing, but as for the rest of the characters- Several are left in major peril. How many more years are we going to have to wait to find out what happens to them?
This is by no means a terrible novel, but I do sincerely wish George had spent more time advancing the story and less time describing the passing of time in such detail.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity, 14 Sep 2010
I hate the cynicism and aspersions that Martin often seems to be subject to online as it's only fair to judge the guy on the books he's written, not the hows and whys of the books he hasn't. Unfortunately, I think it is fair to judge him harshly for this novel, which is by far the weakest novel in the series. As one of the other reviewers says, the book doesn't really go anywhere (a certain item of armour comes to symbolise this). Why this should have happened I don't know: the previous novel was, in my opinion the height of the series - the way in which Martin shattered convention was shocking and exhilarating, he also, rather to my surprise, seemed to have injected interest into characters I'd found dull, AND worked around the limitations of his structure: brilliant. I had to go straight to the shops to get this even though I was in Portugal, and despite knowing the series was very unfinished. Then with this novel, instead of starting to drive the series to some kind of conclusion he decided to broaden the scope. Very slowly. A strange decision and very disappointing.

Still, the writing is enjoyable enough and there are some okay moments - but they are hard-earned. What I'd really like from the next book is for Martin to let two of his original characters bump into each other! Most fantasy may be absurd and contrived in its use of coincidence, but this series is almost becoming absurd due to the lack of it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Necessary Evil, 20 Mar 2012
Mr. C. W. Curtis "Chris Curtis" (Norfolk U.K) - See all my reviews
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I'm not going to waste my time and yours writing a pretentious review covering all the reasons why I feel this book isn't as good as the previous ones but just be assured it isn't.

Obviously if you've got this far you, like me you will continue to read everything Mr Martin produces in this series.
I just felt it got a little tied up in itself. This episode spends even less time on action and events and more on plot/character building and for the first time I found myself getting confused at the depth.(maybe more my failings than Mr Martins). Thank the seven gods for A Wiki of Ice and Fire!

That aside there are "some" exciting parts that literally had me unable to put it down.

Another observation is the increasing "titillation" in relation to the sexual scenes. I'm certainly no prude but it seems a little excessive for the sake of "sex sells" for me.

I still enjoyed it and would recommend. Just not quite up to Book 3 (part 1 and 2) which is my personal favourite.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get the man an editor, 12 Jun 2013
hjd (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I'm afraid this was the point at which my desire to know what happens was overcome by my unwillingness to wade through any more of Martin's otiose and self-indulgent maunderings. Yes, an author needs to know far more about his or her imagined world than ever gets on the page, in order to lend substance and texture, but then you have to choose what actually matters. Martin just puts everything in, which is poor style, adolescent in terms of maturity of writing and in the end just tedious. How many times have readers groaned, "Oh, just get on with it!"? His claims that he is as interested in the detail as the story do suggest something of a disregard for the reader, as does his cavalier breaking of the compact between reader and author in the way he just disposes of major characters in whom readers have invested, almost it seems on a whim.
Others have remarked on his pointless sex scenes. Sex is indeed a powerful motive, but much better writers than Martin have foundered on attempts to describe the mechanics, which is rarely necessary in order to create an understanding of the characters' needs and drives. There is also the unsavoury dwelling on very young girls as sexual objects (he is not the only writer of a major fantasy series to evoke considerable unease by this). All this and the jarring Americanisms - if you are writing in an American context that can be endurable, but not in a world that is so essentially European.
The magnificent T.V. series scores in presenting the power plays and politicking in superbly designed settings and with a fine cast, but by reason of the medium having to miss out the endless pointless guff, which is in this case a really big plus.
No-one needs to know the details of every course at a banquet (although I do recommend 'A Feast of Ice and Fire', written by people who know about historic food). No-one needs to know every detail about some minor character who strays in only to get killed. Read Homer on how to introduce, kill off but make you care about a character in a sentence and with no disruption to the narrrative whatsoever. But then that's genius. Martin appears to think he is one, so that he can get away with anything, but he's been writing long enough and should know better. A good editor and a sturdy blue pencil could take a whopping proportion out of these increasingly annoying books and produce something compellingly readeable rather than just too tiresome to finish. I'm still not sure that would excuse the casual discarding of major characters though. The shock of losing Ned Stark in the first book did serve a really good plot purpose - for the rest, no, not convinced. I'll wait for the next T.V. series instead of paying good money to someone who clearly does not respect the reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad that I liked it more than others (minor spoilers), 17 Feb 2013
After having read the first three volumes of the series, I was afraid that A Feast for Crows was going to leave me disappointed, after having seen some negative scores on Amazon. And I have to admit, for the first few chapters, I felt annoyed. All the burning questions I had from the end of A Storm of Swords were completely unanswered because the chapters themselves were following completely new characters that I didn't really care about.

However, Martin soon reintegrates most of the characters we know and love from the first three books. The plot might not advance an awful lot, as others pointed out, but I still found myself interested by almost all of what was going on. Not my favourite book thus far in the series, but still a damned good one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The slightly slow Feast of Crows, 28 Jun 2012
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The book is a pretty good read though it is very slowly paced to begin with compared to the previous books, it follows the path of only a handful of characters- mostly Lannisters and leaves you wondering whats happening with the other characters and some of the plot thread which seamed relatively urgent in their need to be resolved.

One plot line a seemingly fruitless, a seemingly pointless quest - it was interesting to begin with but was ultimately a little disappointing. But did shed light on areas of Westeros and the final fate of a couple of characters.
The book does flesh out the Kingslayer in a lot richer detail, and for the first time in the series I started to empathizes with Jamie, and actually started to like the character.
Some nice threads on Arya, Sam, and distant Braovros.
Cersi is also given plenty of space, you can cringe as she plots schemes and sets herself up for a fall. Her internal dialogue is excellent, it gives her a desperate, paranoid, and isolated feel.

Overall- Slow to start up but gets better towards the end of the book, well worth the read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The weakest of the 5 currently published Song Of Ice and Fire novels, 30 April 2012
R. A. Davison (UK) - See all my reviews
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This, the fourth book in the A Song Of Ice and Fire series really divided me if I'm honest and I think due to the fact I can't write about the plots in a way which doesn't involve spoilers, this will be a fairly short review.

A Feast For Crows is essentially, by Martin's own admission half a book, he intended to write in other plots and characters as well but then the sheer length of the manuscript got too large and he decided to move the second half into a new book A Dance With Dragons, which he tells the reader in the Authors Note will be published 'next year'. He wrote said Authors Note in 2005, A Dance With Dragons is due for publication in July 2011. Martin has had hate mail from his own fans as a consequence. Personally I'm glad that I got into the series late as I only have to wait about three months, I don't know how early fans of the books survived!

A Feast For Crows tells the story of events picking up from where A Storm Of Swords left off using primarily the viewpoints of Arya, Jaime, Samwell, Sansa, Brienne and for the first time Cersei. It also throws in point of view narratives from members of the Greyjoy family and the Martell family and it was the latter I was disappointed with. Attached to an already large cast of characters I found myself failing to care about these others. There are several chapters devoted to decisions over the Seastone Throne that to be honest could have been axed and appeared as a couple of paragraphs of news and information via other characters. Though interesting things happen at Sunspear we don't know these characters enough to have a vested interest.

I think were Martin does have a problem in his writing is with editing and knowing what to leave in and out he seems to be unable to stop himself and the counterpart A Dance With Dragons is apparently equally long. A Dance Of Dragons will be taking place in the exact same time period of events as A Feast For Crows but will focus on the adventures of Jon Snow, Daenerys, Tyrion, Stannis and others, whilst the events in this book took place. This means that Martin has written over 2,000 pages about one section of time in Westeros. Although I enjoy the novels, I find this a little excessive and I had trouble again with an overflow of characters and remembering whom was whom particularly when minor characters from earlier novels were mentioned again.

Many major things happen in A Storm Of Swords, but this is not the case with A Feast For Crows when only one or two truly significant things happen. If A Dance With Dragons proves eventful I am afraid to say that when looking back on the Series as a whole, fans may say that A Feast For Crows was one of the weaker books.

7/10 but nearly gave it 6.5
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Characters, New Places, New Horrors, 4 July 2012
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I almost didn't buy this book because of the negative reviews and the litany of complaints about the quality of this book compared with the first three. I'm glad I wasn't swayed. True, some of the prominent characters from the first three books (who still survive) are missing, notably Tyrion and Daenerys as POV characters; but they are there in spirit and their (mis)deeds continue to influence the actions of the other main characters. With them missing, and a number of other characters killed off, who supplies the POV? Well, a number of new characters, sometimes only inhabiting one chapter; but unlike some reviewers I found that the new characters added a new dimension to the book, which together with the flashbacks to times long gone, added flesh to the bones of a rip-roaring adventure to make it a true classic.

The landscape is as dark and dreary as before but with new horrors. Perhaps the most understated is Qyburn, who carries out unspeakable acts in the deep dungeons of Kings Landing - well, maybe not always unspeakable, as some of the torture scenes are described in horrible detail. As always decapitated heads, rotting flesh, maiming, disfigurement and cannibalism are well covered in the writing, brought into vivid contrast by descriptions of juicy oranges being enjoyed in Sunspear the capital of Dorne. Meanwhile we get an in depth look at the Ironborn people, with their fiercely proud but cruel code of conduct. This is typified by the idea that going to sea without wearing full armour is craven because it shows that you are afraid of drowning; a novel, but somewhat warped concept!

One of the key elements in this book is the emphasis given to the different religions and their growing importance, which first became apparent in "A Clash of Kings" with the murder of Renly. Also, the divide between the living and dead is becoming blurred (Watch out for The Hangwoman!), possibly paving the way for fresh horrors from beyond the wall in the next books of the series.

Apart from the price of the Kindle edition, the only other area in which I would agree with some of the negative reviews is the complexity of the plot and the vast number of characters, often with similar names. To make it even worse, a couple of the characters change their name, and in one case the new name is used as a POV character. To follow all of this you either have to have an excellently organised memory, or read the book in one mammoth session. Failing that, do as I did - cheat! The only way I can manage the books in this series is to read them with a concordance alongside. As I mentioned in a previous review I have found a couple of Apps for the iPhone which work well for me. Game of Thrones - Wiki (online) and Game of Thrones Companion (offline). By occasionally referring to one, or both of these, I can just about keep my head above water (no reference to the Ironborn intended) and enjoy this masterpiece.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Upon Re-Reading, 27 May 2011
K. Rowbory - See all my reviews
When I first read this book I, like many other reviews here, found it very frustrating. A Feast for Crows takes place simultaneously with much of the forthcoming next book, A Dance with Dragons, and most of my favourite Point of View characters were held off for that story. Many of the new Point of Views in this book I found dull, especially the Iron Islands segments.

However, I have recently re-read the book in preparation for the near release of the next book, and I find it greatly improved upon the re-read. Instead of rushing through the story I took my time with it, and I learnt to enjoy the new PoVs. If you stop thinking about all the PoVs you are missing and are patient, and take the time to enjoy the new storylines, it's much better than rushing through the book just to get to the not-yet-released next book.

I have in fact found this to be true of the series as a whole.

That said, it remains the weakest book of the series so far. Hopefully, once combined with Dance with Dragons it will be redeemed in light of that (hopefully, great) book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 5 Jan 2006
The variable set of reviews here should tell you that GRRM has dished up a mediocre installment of the Song of Ice and Fire. The nuts and bolts of the book are all rock solid, he's a master craftsman when it comes to writing this type of fantasy book, so its still an easy enough read. Trouble is, the story is extremely ragged and tedious in places. He's evidently gotten into a mess with the overall structure of the series, and feels that he can't pick up the story from 'A Storm of Swords' without broadening the whole thing out and bringing in some new voices. He does this, but so much of it is colourless and dramatically flat:
Brienne, wandering aimlessly around the place.
Sam, on a ship, sailing to Oldtown.
Everything to do with Dorne.
Even Jaime, one of the strongest characters, doesn't really develop or do much of note.
To be fair, there are still some great narratives. The travails of Cersei in King's Landing is brilliantly done, Arya is exciting as always and I liked Sanya and Littlefinger's parts as well for some reason, even though they are fairly static.
When the author concludes a book with an apology, as GRRM does here, effectively saying 'Sorry that the exciting characters and storylines are all absent, they'll be back soon' you know he must be wrestling with some deep-rooted problems with the text. I really hope that 'A feast for crows' has enabled him to get all of his ducks in a row and that he knocks em all over in the next book and produces an epic. The first three Ice and Fire books are the best high fantasy there is, nothing else is in the same league. He's hit a definite plateau here, but its not so bad that he can't pull things together next time out. Go George!
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A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4) by George R. R. Martin (Paperback - 27 Mar 2014)
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