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on 14 September 2014
Firstly, a word of warning. This novel is paced very differently particularly to the second half of "swords". This is an altogether more thoughtful and in my opinion deeper novel filled with clues and insights into the motivations of some of the characters onscreen and off and the many plots afoot.
It is the genius of Martin that by using the unreliable narrator approach it is often what isn't said that is more important than the things that are, which lead this book to be the central premise of so many theories and suggestions which may (or may not) form the way this epic story will conclude in books 6 and 7. This depth also means that AFFC lends itself to rereads more readily than other books in the series.
True many of the characters from the previous 3 novels are not in it , particularly Tyrion , Danaerys and Jon as a POV as most of the action is set in southern Westeros but some of what you do get are a view of the aftermath of the war of the five kings from the point of view of the common folk as seen by Brienne aand what it means to be a common pawn as lords play their game of thrones. The iron born and their motivations and rivalries , Arya and Braavos , jaime's continued attempt at redemption in the riverlands ( the conversation between Jaime and Brynden Tully is priceless) Sams journey to old town , Dorne with arienne and the sand snakes , best of all Cersei Lannisters descent into madness and paranoia and the rise of the warriors sons . The prologue is also one that will be reread many times for the subtle reappearance of an intriguing character.
If you are hoping for easy or cheap resolutions to some of the outstanding plot lines you may be disappointed , but if you are invested in the world of westeros this is the book that expands and enriches on what has gone before and helps set the scene on what is yet to come.
Be patient , don't hope the story will go where you want it to and dive in.
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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 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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VINE VOICEon 17 May 2016
This is book 4 in the Game of Thrones series. It is getting hard meaningfully to review these books individually. I got the feeling that this was rather treading water and none of my favourite characters really featured in this novel, the author explaining that he decided to focus on fewer characters but cover more of their narrative, rather than the whole range of characters; that said, there were still quite often fairly long gaps between chapters for each character. Brienne's thread was probably the most interesting here, though Cersei is always fascinating, and Samwell is a sympathetic character. Cersei's plotting against her daughter-in-law Margaery struck me as reminiscent of Henry VIII's bringing down of Anne Boleyn.
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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 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 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 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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