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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 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 9 April 2014
the only reason why i gave this 3* instead of 1 was the fact that i understand the need for the information in this book or i hope i do however i stopped mid book well page 599 for over 6 months as i just could stand the mad ramblings of the queen this is something that i never ever do i hardly stop mid season of books let alone halfway through and the only thing that pushed me to finish was that the tv show has started up again i only hope that i dont have to go through the same with the next book as 700+ pages of mindless dribble will put me off for life and i will just stick to watching the show

this book does have it good points Jamie being one of them he has changed but i think thats about it i am left with some questions like wheres the blackfish and the imp im also wondering when sansa is going to wake up and run i wonder whats up with the rest of the stark kids and hope that sam's journey has a point
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on 10 May 2017
As usual - book reads itself. I love the TV version as well, but book gives me so much more inside into characters. I also love the variation between the book & TV series. Only problem is, because books are so long, that I have to force myself to stop reading & return to reality. I feel like Bran when he gets lost inside his wolf and forgets his real life. I wish I can just keep reading.....
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on 29 September 2015
To say it diverges from the main plot line is a little of an understatement, there are lines that reflect other story lines going on in 'A Dance with Dragons' but stick with it as you start onto book 5 it will start to tie together.
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on 18 February 2013
Found book four harder going, have really enjoyed the first three in Martins series, but this one is rather slow, the main characters seemed to have dissapeared, and this seems to be filling you in on what is happening in the rest of Westeros, which is fine but does it really take 800 plus pages for this ! Have really loved this series, but this one is dragging a little 400 pages in....
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on 23 March 2017
.....another great read as George continued to build out the main characters and bring in new ones as the game continues.
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on 20 January 2013
Yet again another tale well told from one of the masters of the genre. Obviously you have to like this type of book and its well told with no holds barred. Full of characterisation and some nice back story to fill in the bits around the central characters and their relentless thrust for power and glory.

Roll on Book 5!
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on 20 May 2017
fantastic series of books.
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on 3 May 2017
good product and service
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