21 May 2011

A Feast for Crows

I'll be writing about book four in a series, so be warned I'm going to spoil books one though three.

Pretty sure my eyes bugged out at the end of A Storm of Swords (there's an Epilogue that blows your mind in the second to last paragraph).  Some swearing occured, too, mostly along the lines of "Fuck!"  And then I went and downloaded A Feast for Crows right away so I could keep on reading.

So...Jon is now Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Arya is roaming about the countryside with Sandor Clegane, Joffrey's dead because he was poisoned in a scheme so complicated it makes my head spin, Tyrion was tried for it - and lost his trial by battle - then Jaime decided to free him only Tyrion killed Lord Tywin while sneaking out of King's Landing with Varys, and Sansa was spirited off to the Vale by Littlefinger wherein he shoved Lysa out the Moon Door.

Shit gets real (after a Prologue that seems to make no sense until the end of the book). 

Everybody and their brother gets POV chapters in AFoC - the first chapter is from the POV of the "The Prophet" aka Damphair aka Aeron Greyjoy, the second "The Captain of Guards" aka Hotah, the Prince Doran's axe-wielding bodyguard (but we get to meet some of Prince Oberyn's daughters and they are a nasty bunch), and in chapter three we finally get a chapter from someone we know.  And it turns out to be Cersei, of all people, and let me tell you that is one unsympathetic character.  Didn't like her to start with, I like her even less by the end of the book.  Other new POV chapters come from Brienne, "The Kraken's Daughter" aka Asha Greyjoy, "The Soiled Knight" (which is a really interesting chapter, due to the turn of events in it), "The Iron Captain", "The Drowned Man", "The Queenmaker", etc. 

I'm not sure why GRRM switched from exclusively proper-named chapters to using more descriptive titles.  With character names as chapter titles, signalling the POV of the chapter, it gave no hint as to the tone of the chapter but something like "The Kraken's Daughter" indicates Asha's stance that she feels she is Balon Greyjoy's heir and should succeed her father on Pyke.  Sharp readers will figure out what's going on in those chapters ahead of time.  Maybe that's the point.

Now, here's the irritating thing about this book: it's only half a book.  GRRM split the narrative into two but he didn't do it chronologially.  He did it geographically.  Say what?  So AFoC follows Arya on Braavos, Samwell (with Maester Aemon and Gilly) on his way around Westeros to Oldtown, Cersei's shennanigans in King's Landing, Jaime trying to win a war without actually fighting one, Brienne (and Pod) looking everywhere for Sansa, Sansa in the Vale, characters in Dorne we've never met before, and the Greyjoys as they do whatever Greyjoys so (which seems to be raping and pillaging).  We don't hear from Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, Stannis, Davos, &etc., which is worrying because there's a reference to Davos and it doesn't bode well at all.  Their stories will all be in the next book, due out in July, which will run concurrent and then a little past this one as far as chronology.  WTF.  I have to wait until after book five to see what happens to Sansa and Cersei (and I really hope Cersei gets it, too).

*Audiobook slightly disappointing - no Roy Dotrice (sad face).  The narrator was John Lee.  He did a credible job but I missed some of Dotrice's particular voices (although with no Tyrion I did not have to listen to a different Tyrion) but John Lee sounds exactly like Christopher Lee.  Seriously.  I have Wiki'd and Googled and IMDB'd Christopher Lee and he seems to have no sons, only one daughter.  I am strangely disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:13 AM

    I'm sure you know this by now, but they have rereleased A Feast For Crows audiobook as read by Roy Dotrice. It's infinitely better than John Lee's monotonous and lifeless reading style.