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Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.
A Feast for Crows
It seems too good to be true. After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears. . . . With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King’s Landing. Robb Stark’s demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist—or they are held in hands too weak or too distant to wield them effectively. The war, which raged out of control for so long, has burned itself out.
But as in the aftermath of any climactic struggle, it is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.
©2007 George R.R. Martin (P)2011 Random House
"Of those who work in the grand epic-fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best.... [He] is a tense, surging, insomnia-inflicting plotter and a deft and inexhaustible sketcher of personalities.... This is as good a time as any to proclaim him the American Tolkien." (Time)
"The only fantast series I'd put on a level with J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings…. It's a fantasy series for hip, smart people, even those who don't read fantasy…. If you're new to the series, you must begin with Book 1, A Game of Thrones. Once you're hooked…. you'll be like the rest of us fans, gnawing your knuckles until book 5” (Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press)
“THE MOST impressive modern fantasy, both in terms of conception and execution, is George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.… A masterpiece that will be mentioned with the great works of fantasy.” (Contra Costa Times)
Yes. It rocks.
Lots of rich characters and a gripping story.
Yes. He is an excellent narrator that puts faces to characters with his use of different voices for many of them. And while some 'voices' get reused (you will hear Lord Tywin's voice in every gruff lord in the book) and he is slightly inconsistent in the voices used for characters and even in some name pronunciations between books, this is more of a minor annoyance then anything and does not detract much from overall enjoyment.
No. Never. The books are longer then my working week :) Great for long commutes though.
Buy them. Buy them all. Listen to them. Then start back at the beginning to pick up all you missed. And then by the time you are done, Winds of Winter might be out :)
Every woman, regardless of age, was given the voice of a crone.
After reading the other reviews I really hesitated to buy Feast for Crows, It requires
2 credits which is a rip off in my opinion, but I finally caved in and all the other reviews
were dead on,,, Martin describes things in minute detail, I don't really care what is in
every basket in the fish market and the listing of all twenty colors of some Tattered King's robe doesn't add to the story. Then he goes off on tangents about some character that I had never heard of before and chances are won't be mentioned again. It's hard enough to keep track of characters that actually matter to the plot, let alone those he brings in that don't. I found myself wanting to fast forward but this is much harder to do in audio than if it is in written format. So I would grit my teeth and listen.
I thought that there was a new narrator for this book - Roy Dotrice changed the voices for the characters and is very inconsistent with name pronunciations throughout this book. It is quite different from his excellent performance of the first three books in this series.
Roy Dotrice has narrated the whole series. He tries to have different voices for different characters, but sometimes they sound similar, since there are so many characters in this series. However, there is a character named Gilly, which was pronounced like a fish's gill in all of the previous books. Now Roy is saying Jilly instead of Gilly, and it makes me grind my teeth every time I hear it.
As far as the book goes, major characters are either completely omitted, or mentioned in only a few chapters. You learn more about background plots or minor or new characters, but it feels like a lot to slog though.
Once again 34 hours of my life wasted on a story that could have been told in 1.
Nothing bad to say about the reader, he did a great job.
The story is actually a good one but for the love of all that is good and holy get on with it!
Watch the movies.
Two things jarred immediately when I started listening. First, the recording quality seemed inferior to the previous book. The audio quality was hollow, without resonance, shallow.
Second, and more importantly, the quality of Roy Dotrice's reading detracted from the book. He is a reader who likes to create and perform different voices for different characters. The problem with A Song of Fire and Ice is the cast of hundreds, which leads to performance problems:
(1) Dotrice changed his accent and voice mannerisms for established characters from the previous books' recordings. For three examples, Dolorous Edd wasn't dolorous-sounding, Arya spoke in a completely different voice, and Melisandre lost her smooth, low, seductive malice.
(2) Dotrice didn't use consistent character voices even within the single volume of A Feast for Crows. Petyr Baelish, for example, sounded completely different at the start than at the end.
(3) Dotrice's female characters are particularly jarring because they are almost uniformly falsetto, mincing, and crone-like, even for the younger characters. Ironically, one of the few decent-sounding female characters is the detestable Cersei Lannister. (Why does *she* get to sound human? . . . It's not fair!)
(4) In the previous volumes, Dotrice gave characters tribal or regional inflections according to their House allegiance. All of the characters associated with House Martell, for instance, had vaguely Middle Eastern accents; in A Feast for Crows, they suddenly all have a Scots accent.
(5) Increasingly, everyone except a few established characters (such as Cersei and Jon Snow) sounds like a crabbed crone or an aging Scotsman.
I prefer a good interpretive reading without monkeying around with a host of voices, but since a "performance" decision has already been made for A Song of Fire and Ice, I wish Audible would return to the first several recorded volumes of the series and create a computerized index of characters and their voices for Mr. Dotrice. (This sounds like a good job for an intern!)
It'll be years before George R. R. Martin completes the series. (How I hope he *does* complete it--and sooner rather than later!) And the cast of characters gets bigger all the time. Both the passage of time and the scope of the project promise more jarring voice problems unless Mr. Dotrice can get a grip on the problem.
I've been generous and frank with my criticism, but I don't wish my desire for the book performances to improve to overshadow my gratitude that Audible has make the unabridged volumes of A Song of Fire and Ice available. Thank you! I've had hours of listening pleasure from the series.
This is the weakestest story line of the first four novels I have read so far. While the first three were fast paced highly interesting. This fourth is far from a feast., instead it is a slow plodding and not very interesting but picks up a bit at the end. I hope the rest are more like the first three.
Among the top 20...
Development of the characters.
I cannot choose...
Not just one, but several...
Martin weaves an excelent yarn.
Interesting, Entertaining, and Slow
All of the characters from Dorne because they had an interesting and entertaining perspective.
The performance was good, however some characters sounded different than the previous books.
Not together. I like Martin, and I loved Dotrice's narration for the first 3 books -- but his narration in Feast for Crows is horribly disappointing. All the characters we've come to love based on his brilliant narration are LOST to us in this book because neither he nor his producers bothered to ensure consistency. Names are pronounced differently, accents are changed dramatically and main characters' voices are way off the mark. Having just listened to the first three books in a row, I couldn't make it through this. Roy Dotrice has his own website and is/was a wonderful actor -- but maybe, at 86 years old, he can't "wing it" on narrations like he used to.
By completely changing all his characterizations, one is left completely at sea. It's sad, because his wonderful reading of the prior three books is what allowed me to keep track of Martin's extremely complex plot and dozens of characters. But this "new" Dotrice is so jarring that all it's making me do is wish I'd never started the 4th book and let the series end, for me, with number 3.
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