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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing and unapproachable, only worth bothering with if you've read all the prequels, 2 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4) (Paperback)
Predictably, the quality is still dropping. Yet again, the number of people and factions is confusing, but this time the confusion is compounded by confusion over what they're all doing. Some key characters' personalities have changed drastically - for, perhaps, understandable reasons, but it's still a bit jarring when a previously amoral character "finds god", so to speak. Actions and events are confused too, as the war in the previous volumes has mostly fizzled out and the victors are mopping up the few remaining hold-outs and the land is crawling with displaced bands of soldiers from both sides, who have taken up a life of banditry. It's still worth reading if you've stuck with the series so far, but there's no way that you can read this without having read the previous three volumes.

I don't mind long series of books, but I am somewhat surprised by the number of authors who write them without leaving any way for new readers to jump in half way through and to actually understand what's going on. It seems that in modern sci-fi and fantasy it is almost required that authors make their second and subsequent volumes in a series completely unapproachable for new readers! This isn't the case elsewhere. Consider, for example, the Poirot or Flashman stories, or for a series with more concrete links between them instead of merely sharing a character or two, Wilbur Smith's sequence of books set in ancient Egypt, or older sci-fi such as Asimov's Foundation series.
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