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on 16 December 2017
Arrived in great condition (paperback). This is a great book, I would recommend reading the previous books in the series if you have not done so already.
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on 27 September 2015
What a disappointing disaster this book is! I can think of no motive beyond greed for its nature. By Martin's own admission he had come up with a text for his forth book which was far too long for publication in a single volume. So, what does he do? Proofread and edit ( don't we all wish he would do that occasionally!)? No. Find a convenient point to divide into separate volumes? No.
Instead he has decided to separate the characters and run two books in parallel. However in doing so Martin has chosen all the least interesting ones for this one, leaving out anyone of much consequence. Be warned, there's no Tyrion, Dany, Jon, Theon, Bran and many others in this one and it is a very dull 800 page plus hike of very little consequence. You can see why the TV adaptation picked little out of it as there is barely enough for an episode.
I recommend reading the Wikipedia synopsis and heading straight for A Dance of Dragons- there's more incident in the first 3 chapters. No, really, do not waste your time.
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on 3 September 2015
I had bought this hardbook book when it first came out, and I haven't really posted a review of it, so here goes.

I have never heard of G. Martin before back in 1996 when the first book A Game of Thrones was first published. A little sample booklet was published first which I had bought for one pound. When you bought the hardbook you could get your one pound back. So I bought the hardbook and it was a riveting read, and so was the next book A Clash of Kings, and the next book. The first three volumes of the series was one of the best fantasy novels I have read (and I have read a lot), and I like many others, waited for the continuing chapter A Feast for Crows. Years we waited. When it did finally arrive I was very eager to read it. I was hoping it was like the earlier books - fast paced, full of intrigue, action, and great cliffhangers. I was really disappointed when it did not happen. The story got bogged down. Martin introduced too many lesser characters whom were boring in my eyes. Nothing really happened.

As always, Martin's prose and eye to detail are astonishing. Yet it felt like he had run out of ideas, and he simply padded the book with nonsensical things. The following book was great either. How I wish he could recreate the first three books. I am still a fan of Martin's, but I just hope he could speed things up a bit, and don't put too much detail in mundane things. Thank you.
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on 14 July 2014
Ok so it is important to mention that there are some hideous bloodthirsty parts. That is why I am reading the books rather than watching on screen. This way my mind can more effectively sanitise those unsavoury parts that would probably give me nightmares if made visual. However this story is an amazing web of intrigue and excitement and I have to read some every day for two main reasons. One so that I can keep track of the characters and their deeds and the other because I love a good story. And this is a gripping read. It strikes me that the author may have quite a jaundiced view of human nature. I am left wondering if he really does despise both males and females alike. Apart from the perpetual evil person the other characters often start out quite likeable but their 'shadow side' as Jung called it is soon exposed until it is unclear who one actually likes or admires. All characters are besmirched. Hmm interesting. Actually I think so far only Brienne of Tarth is untainted by character assassination. She is though supposed to be ungainly and ugly. I wonder if the author had a miserable childhood surrounded by people who constantly let him down. Or maybe he is just a creative story teller whose inspiration comes from elsewhere. It doesn't matter. I enjoyed reading this book and I hope you do too.
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on 17 October 2017
A feast for crows is the fourth book in the series and does not have all the characters in. The fourth and fifth books occur in parallel and have half the characters in each. They are split geographically. I quite like this as a way of dividing up he books, although I know some people miss some of their favourite characters from the other book (such as Tyrion). But I like the fact we meet new characters and have some of the old ones too. This isn't everyones favourite book in the series, but I really did enjoy reading it.
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on 29 January 2018
I struggled with reading this one and keeping the timeline due to the stories all taking place around about the same time as the previous book. However George wrote a beautiful and intricate story. I love how diverse the world is and how he expands with each new character and with each new location. This book took a lot of time to read but I will remember the adventures and events of this series forever . George is truly a genius and I cannot praise him enough.
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on 18 January 2014
The fourth book of A Song of Ice and Fire is set almost entirely in the south of Westeros, with the promise that the fifth book will cover simultaneous events in the rest of the series' world. This meant that it's focus is mainly on characters that were far from my favourites from the first three novels, and certainly at first and into the middle of the book I found this detracted from my enjoyment.

The plot is less action-packed and seems to focus more on distinct scenes that develop the characters and politics, as those who have power make attempts to solidify their grip on the people and lands they rule. After the first half I stopped reading for about two weeks, and was surprised when I picked the book back up that I'd started to fall for some of the characters I hadn't loved before.

The usual twists and turns fill Martin's narrative, and he manages to surprise and entertain easily with a world that's remarkably deep and realistic. It's really interesting to read a series that is truly based around an ensemble cast and not the typical chosen-one on a quest trope that appears again and again in fantasy novels.
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on 4 September 2017
One of the best book in the series in my opinion. The introduction of new characters is slightly off-putting at the start, but they develop unique stories and character arcs that give more insight to the Westerosi world. We get new relationships, characters show more humanity and mature over the course of the book, like Jaime, while also keeping the essence and roughness of the first GoT book.
There is a hint to magic and obscure unknowns more prominent than in the previous books.
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on 31 May 2014
Addictive reading. Bought because I do not have access to the television transmission of 'Game of Thrones' and could not wait for the next box set. Maybe not the finest literature but cleverly plotted; it's as if the author himself is playing a game of thrones with his characters. Martin is ruthless in moving the protagonists around his imaginative chess board so there are always shocks concerning who survives and who perishes. It's possible to become quite cross with the author when a favourite personality seems to suffer so arbitrarily. But that's life.

The novel is deft in narrating from differing viewpoints and the characters' own thoughts and back stories shift the reader's sympathies very cleverly. It was a surprise, for example, to find oneself warming to the 'Kingslayer' though his twin remains predictably hateful.

There is some brilliant and involving description of the author's contained world to the point where the novel reads like a retelling of history. One can, for instance, almost see and feel the environments of Westeros.

Martin is especially involving and to be admired in his depiction of strong female characters who often manage to more than match the brute force and even brutality of the male figures. In this, the women are believable and well rounded. Yet the women are also truthfully drawn as having to contend with the difficulties of their lower status and the traditional expectations of their society - marriage and children. Brienne is a complex and intelligent female warrior and a very modern woman.

I would recommend the novel as escapist reading - it's like going down a magical rabbit hole to a different yet parallel world. If you are longing to hear of Tyrion and the Dragon Queen, though, you'll have to read the subsequent volume as Martin spreads his material widely.
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on 22 December 2013
This particular book doesn't follow the stories of the main characters. Instead, it goes into the outside ones, such as Brienne of Tarth, Samwell Tarly, Arya and Sansa Stark and The Dornish. If you're looking for Tyrion or Danerys, forget it.

The book follows with lumpy progress, Jamie's bid to sort out the Riverrun mess and try to avoid annoying his sister any further. He is as sullen as ever, having been taken on as a Kingsguard knight and is still trying to get good with his left handed sword fighting. Meanwhile, Samwell Tarley is trying to get to the Citadel with Gilly and Maester Aemon. His journey follows a sickly boat trip followed by trying to avoid Gilly and avoid falling in love with her. It is a laboured storyline at best.

Probably the one most poorly used is Sansa Stark, who has found herself a niche looking after the sickly Lord of the Vale, Robert Arryn. Arryn is a poorly child who seems to develop the shakes every few minutes and keeps putting upon Sansa who has now become the bastard daughter of Petyr Baelish. Baelish is looking for an opening to get her married off to a noble, have her inherit the Vale and take back her birthright. No word yet on whether this is a plan doomed to failure but its very longwinded.

Meanwhile, Brienne of Tarth is still looking for Sansa and getting out of one lot of trouble into another. Cersei Lannister is doing a terrible job of plotting and ruling the 7 Kingdoms under the guise of Lady Protector of the young King. All Tommen wants to do is play with his kittens.
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