Try as I might, I find it hard to stay away from this series for long. It’s especially difficult not to move on to A Dance with Dragons after A Feast for Crows because many questions have been left unanswered! (NOTE: If you have not finished A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm if Swords Part 1: Steel and Snow or A Storm of Swords Part 2: Blood and Gold you will find some spoilers in this post).
I spent much of A Feast for Crows going between two feelings; frustration and excitement. With the huge cliffhanger at the end of the previous book; Littlefinger pushing his new wife out of the moon door, I was desperate to jump right back into Sansa’s storyline. Instead I had to patiently sit through new characters and new storylines branching out even further away from the original characters that I care about. To make matters worse, I also had to put up with Cersei, who became incredibly irritating in this instalment. I’ve never liked her, but up until now, I’ve had a certain pleasure in hating her.
On top of that, I’ve also had to live without two of my very favourite characters. Jon Snow only appears fleetingly in this book, and who knows what’s happened to Tyrion. Where Sansa’s (or Alayne as I should now call her) character and storyline improves, her younger sister’s has become boring and lifeless. Both are trying to wipe away their birthnames and past lives, but for Arya, this is ridding her of her feisitness and character. We’re seeing a different side of Sansa and it involves a lot less moaning and a lot more gumption!
Thankfully, we’ve not been let down by other favourites. Brienne, for example, is on a mission to find Catelyn Stark’s daughters. She really comes into her own in A Feast for Crows. Now that she has her own chapters, we can really get inside her head. We also learn a bit about her past and begin to understand why she is the way she is.
Good old Samwell Tarly has also come a long way since we first met him as a fat and cowardly boy in A Game of Thrones. At the beginning of A Feast for Crows he is given an important task and although nothing too exciting happens in this book, it feels as though his storyline has been set up to go far in the next one.
Two new major plots come from the Iron Islands and Dorne. I’m still not that keen on either, finding it hard to move on to new characters and leave old ones behind! However, big things are stirring and I sense that characters such as the Crow’s Eye will play a larger role in books to come. I suppose we need new enemies to take the place of old ones!
With new characters and storylines, unexpected twists and tense cliffhangers, this instalment is still (on the whole) a page turner, especially towards the end. Just get through the slow beginning and embrace the new characters and you’ll love this book almost as much as the others. Now I’m just hoping that A Dance with Dragons can out-do it and that George R. R. Martin gets a move on and writes the next book!
If you want to meet the new characters, buy the book by clicking on the picture below!