A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The throne of the Iron Isles is contested. Queen Cercei conspires to keep King Tommen's young queen from influencing him. Jaime Lannister adjusts to having only one hand. Sam Tarly and Gilly head south. Brienne quests for the missing Stark daughters. Littlefinger holds the Vale. A lot of stuff happens in Dorne. Arya Stark continues being one of the more interesting characters in fantasy...
After a years-long void, the Song of Ice and Fire returns. Well, they can't all be home runs. Sometimes you have to settle for a triple.
Aside from the lack of Jon Snow, Dany and the dragons, and one Tyrion Lannister, I enjoyed A Feast for Crows as much as the previous volumes. At this point, Jaime Lannister is hot on the heels of Arya, Jon Snow, and Tyrion as my favorite character. I could read a few hundred pages of Jaime Lannister walking around being an asshole. Sam got some time to shine and I think he'll do big things before the series is over. I love what's going on with Arya. I still don't care about Sansa or Catelyn Stark.
The bits with the Iron Isles and Dorne got a little wearisome, feeling like Martin might have wanted to keep the biscuit wheels on his gravy train for a little while longer. Still, I liked where things went despite not involving any of my favorite characters.
It's a testament to Martin's skill that he has made me care about the Lannister twins, first Jaime and now Cercei. I'm chomping at the bit to find out Cercei's fate and to see if Brienne is really dead.
On a final note, there were way too many characters whose names started with the letter E in the same chapter. Mix it up a little, George.
Four stars, although I'd probably give it a high three if I'd been one of the people who had to wait years between books.
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