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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin. New York: Bantam Books, 2005. ISBN: 978-0-553-80150-7

This is Book Four in George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series, “A Song of Ice and Fire.” So I don't recommend tackling it unless you've read the others. Martin is another great fantasy author, and A Song of Fire and Ice is the “other” major fantasy series I'm currently following (along with Robert Jordan's “A Wheel of Time.”)

Which is the better series: Song or Wheel? That's a difficult judgment to make, but currently I'd give A Song of Fire and Ice the higher marks. Why? For one thing, there aren't as many volumes in Song, yet, at least. On his website, Martin lists three more volumes as “forthcoming,” but that only makes seven, compared to Jordan's twelve.

Why is that good? Because Jordan, as I've said before, has allowed too many distractions and unnecessary subplots into his series, spinning out the story to needless lengths. Which isn't to say Martin won't do the same before he's done, but he hasn't yet, at least.

Martin does have the strange habit of killing off his good guys. Most of the male members of what WAS my favorite royal family, the Starks, all died in previous volumes. Only the bastard son, and two daughters, both on the run, are left.

My only other complaint is that's it's so long since the last volume, that I've forgotten many of the details of what happened, and have to work at trying to figure out what was going on as I read along. A brief summary of the events of the previous volumes would be a useful addition to the books, or posting a summary online somewhere would also suffice.

The series is definitely recommended for all fantasy lovers. And this newest volume is recommended for those following the series.


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