The fourth installment of George R R Martin’s classic A Song of Ice and Fire, continuing the most ambitious and imaginative epic fantasy since The Lord of the Rings. A Feast for Crows brings to life dark magic, intrigue and terrible bloodshed as the war-torn landscape of the Seven Kingdoms is threatened by destruction as vast as any in its violent past. The War of the Five Kings has ripped Westeros apart. The bloodthirsty, treacherous and cunning Lannisters occupy the Iron Throne, with allies as ruthless as themselves. Lord Frey was host at the Red Wedding, so called for the massacre of the guests, their screams unheard above the music of the feast. Euron Crow’s Eye is as black a pirate as ever raised a sail, sworn to deliver the whole of Westeros to the ironborn. No less to be feared are their enemies. The Starks of Winterfell and the Martells of Dorne seek vengeance for their dead. And the last of the Targaryens, Daenerys Stormborn, will bring fire and blood to King’s Landing when her young dragons reach their terrifying maturity. The last war fought with dragons was a cataclysm powerful enough to shatter the Valyrian peninsula, now a smoking, demon-haunted ruin half drowned by the sea. Against a backdrop of alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel … and the coldest hearts.
©2007 George R.R. Martin (P)2011 HarperCollins
"Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads…Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias." (Guardian)
"Truly epic … with its magnificent action-filled climax, it provides a banquet for fantasy lovers with large appetites." (Publishers Weekly)
"I always expect the best from George R.R. Martin and he always delivers. A Game of Thrones grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant." (Robert Jordan)
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"A Mid-series Disappointment"
This is the 4th book in The Song of Fire and Ice series (of 6 or 7 planned books, I think), and I greatly enjoyed 1-3 so this book will appeal to anyone who has read the first 3, too. I also think it appeal to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and/or actual history with the many influences from actual history that Martin was inspired by. I think, without giving anything away (although HBO/Sky Atlantic already are...) that people who DON'T like their books to be wrapped up nicely and tied with a pretty bow. Depending on how you lean, there are many 'hero/heroine' types in these books, but there are no guarantees on who is safe and who isn't. Another appealing thing about these books are how the story is 'told' from various points of view - so much is happening in these stories, and it's often happening to the different characters at the same time but in different places, so rather than confuse the heck out of us by trying to keep that all straight in one chapter, each chapter is 'told' by a different character, but there are enough "landmarks" in each characters' story to put the timeline all together. As a way of telling such a huge and varied story I found this very efficient.
Neither part one or two has put me off the other books in this series, as in for a penny in for a pound, and I would never judge an entire genre by one book or series, so in a word - no.
It's irrelevent to me, I thought he did a non-distracting job of his narration. I am somewhat confused, or amused, that so many of his female characters sound like hags or male but I was able to keep track and it didn't seem to bother me as much as it did many others.
Well psychopath, Joffery and tyrant Tywin Lannister were killed of for me - all to the good there. I could do without the snivelling Robert Arryn, but he is just a boy and half his annoying traits are mostly due to his paranoid mother, maybe he'll manage to grow up semi-normal. The impulse answer might be Cersei, but she is an entertaing character, makes for good reading, and I'd rather have her remain and suffer than be let off the hook so easily by dying.
I seem to remember reading somewhere that only the first 3 books were originally planned (I could be totally wrong here) but it definitely felt like this book didn't "fit" and was just slotted in...I understand that the next book, Dance with Dragons contains storylines which run concurrently with those in this book. This migh help explain what the heck A Feast for Grows was about, but I much preferred having any concurrent plotlines contained in one book (as described above. each character 'told' their own experiences which could be happening before, after, or at the same time as the next chapter 'told' by a different character. You would think this would be more confusing, but it's now. I found A Feast for Crows dull and it was a trial to stick with it. The only light I found was Arya's story and I do want to find out where her life leads her.
I had never tried audiobook before I downloaded this book so my expectations were unclear. I had read the five game of thrones books before but I was looking for something to listen to whilst out cycling. I have certainly not been disappointed with these books. Roy Dotrice, who narrates the books, really brings the characters to life and it is not long before you are transported to the world of Westeros. Each book is 16 hours long and it wasn't long before I had finished the first one. I think that in itself is a fantastic recommendation for this book
"Can't be faulted"
As someone who only started listening to these books after watching season 1 of game of thrones on TV I cannot encourage people too much to start listening to them. The narration is superb and really draws you in the world of westeros even more than the tv show. And for those whose think listening to these will ruin the show, it won't, it adds to it. Watching season three on tv now, knowing what's coming up is fantastic and makes the show even more edgy to watch. Buy these now, you won't regret it.
"Unmissable for Fantasy readers"
A mix of Gormenghast and Tolkien. Enjoyed the narration. Unmissable for readers of Fantasy tales.
"What's with the accents?"
I'm not sure why some of the key characters have suddenly become Irish washer-women. And some pronunciations are inconsistent with the earlier books. It's a shame because I enjoyed the earlier books. For me, just needs more focus on the basic narration and less on the radio-play approach.
"A narrator without a director..."
Arguably I suppose you could say these books contain too many characters for any narrator but I'm certainly not alone in saying that if you're going to assign voices to a character in an earlier book then you should bloody well keep them! This is especially when you've established a very common/peasanty style of accent and then you try and make it fit various highborn characters later.
Not quite as teeth-grindingly bad as having Richard Burton read the first half of the book and then swapping to Joe Pasquale for the second half but not a million miles off.
Saying that I still gave it three because it is an awesome book. It would have been a five with a better delivery though.
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