A Feast For Crows

What do you do when a book just doesn't live up to its expectations?  There's nothing wrong with the book.  By any and all standards its actually quite good, well written, and thoroughly entertaining.  But somehow it's just not... well, you know... it's not what you wanted it to be.  So goes the story for me of one of my recent reads. 

A Feast For Crows is the fourth book in George R.R. Martin's ever-growing Song of Ice and Fire series but it is perhaps more appropriate to call it the fist part of the fourth installment in the series. Known by fans as "The Great Book Split", this novel continues the story of about half of the heroes (and villains) of Westeros portrayed so dynamically in the first three books in the series. For that reason alone, Feast has little to no chance of maintaining the avalanche of action that begun the epic series.

That's not to say that this is not a great book. Despite the nagging question of what's going on with some fan favorites, for those characters featured within the book's many, many pages suspense, action, drama, and intrigue collide, tumble together, and explode. The politics and geography of the saga expand to encompass Dorne, the southern realm of Westeros, populated by the Martell family and the dangerous women known as the Sand Snakes. Religion also takes a more heated role in the power struggles across the land and Martin's signature surprises are as present here as in previous books. More than one lead character is left in peril at the close, making the long-promised and recently-released book A Dance with Dragons a welcome addition to the saga.
I definitely enjoyed this book, but I found myself stymied by my inability to ignore the fact that one of my favorite characters in the series was decidedly absent and another only appeared briefly in one chapter.   The book was still great - epic on a scale that few authors can rival - but I know my expectations were pretty elevated.  Do you ever struggle with books not living up to what you want from them?  Have really awesome books ever let you down just a little?

4 Response to "A Feast For Crows"

  1. Sam says:
    August 8, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    I'm going to start this series soon, my husband is currently devouring the first one.

    It's a shame this one didn't live up to your expectations, but series usually start to lag at around book 4?

  2. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue says:
    August 8, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Hi there, lady! I'm a brand new follower, just wanted to stop by and introduce myself. Marie (Ramblings of a Daydreamer) gave us all the "Leibster" award so I figured I'd take a chance and follow you. Looking forward to getting to know you, and I hope you'll drop by my blog, as well! : )

  3. Sarah says:
    August 9, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    I've been dying to read this book and continue on with the series, but part of me keeps holding off because I know that it's only about half of the characters. Just doesn't seem right.

  4. lisa :) says:
    August 12, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Sam - I hope you enjoy the series! And yes, the lag was more or less bound to happen, but it still felt like a let down.

    Molli - Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm following your blog now as well!

    Sarah - The fifth book is available now but there's no telling how long the wait will be for number six. I read this one and Dance with Dragons back to back so it felt more like two parts of an extremely massive book but it was still odd to have the story progressing with only half the players in each part.

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