I finished Feast for Crows this morning.
A few general observations (spoilers for Feast of Crows follow):
- I enjoyed the slower pace. I really did feel like the breakneck pace from Storm of Swords couldn’t be maintained. This book brought back the pace from the first book, I thought.
- I didn’t like the fact that some of the stories were told from multiple character’s perspectives. For example, in Dorne, we see one chapter from the eyes of the Dorne Prince’s main bodyguard. Then another from the perspective of the Prince. Then one from the perspective of the Kingsguard member who is there to protect Marcella. Then from the Prince’s daughter. And then another from the Prince’s Daughter. Similarly, in the tale about the Iron-born, we see one chapter from the perspective of the priest, then another from Theon’s sister, then two from her uncle’s perspective.
- This shifting perspective made it so that I never really got a good sense for any of these characters. When GRRM spends time with characters in previous books, we really get to know how they think and function. But that never really happened with any of these characters because we weren’t with them long enough.
- The characters that we DID stick with were excellent. Jaime, Cersie, Brienne, Sam, Sansa, Arya were all good. Sansa and Arya got disappointingly small roles in this one, but what was there was important in showing their changes in psyche.
- There was an opening prologue in OldTown where the Maesters get there education, and then there was one other chapter there maybe? I can’t remember. But I was disappointed that we never got to see more of this place where Maesters learn, only a short ending when Sam finally arrives there. When the character he talks to tells him his name is Pate, that sounds familiar, but in the book it happened so long ago, I don’t remember who this is. That’s another indication that we really didn’t spend any time in OldTown. Hopefully now that Sam is there, we’ll finally learn more about the place and the characters there in future books.
I love how, at the end of Feast of Crows, GRRM has a note saying he’ll release Dance with Dragons next year. And then I got to the intro for Dance with Dragons, and he has a note there that’s almost 5 years later. Hahahah. I had no idea he delayed that “second half of the book” so long. That must have been torture for the people who read Feast of Crows when it came out.