A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

Summary from Goodreads:

After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce. But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.

A Feast for Crows picked up where A Storm of Swords left off, but with the former being relatively tamer than the latter. The War of the Five Kings has after all, come to an end, with Tommen taking the Iron Throne. This 4th installment focuses on the aftermath of war. The winding down, the cleaning up, the reorganization of the government, while being vigilant of suppressing clusters of rebellion here and there as well as cooking up schemes to fortify Tommen's (or Cersei's) grip on the Iron Throne. I've heard of people not liking this as much as the first three books, that this one is kind of drab. But I did not mind, that it's on the mellow side. Too many grand battles, undead invasions, and bloody weddings can clog your arteries. Besides, you have to address the aftermath of war. I enjoyed the politicking, the tip toeing and the scheming. I enjoyed each and every revelation and each and every back story as much as the previous three books.

Although I miss them, I don't think it's a big letdown, not having a Dany, Jon, and Tyrion POV because Martin who is excellent at crafting three dimensional characters, gave us other characters to busy ourselves with. He gave us an in depth look into Cersei, Jamie, and Brienne. Cersei has arisen to the challenge of being a Big Bad this time around. Jamie is coming into his own, becoming a better man and a better knight. Brienne is as true and honest and honorable as ever but we get to see her past wounds, of how she goes on in life, with people judging her and taking her down for her looks.

Another thing is that A Feast for Crows, introduced to me, new players in this Game of Thrones. I am happy to have had a glimpse of Dorne and finally meet the Martells and the Sand Snakes. Then there's also the Iron Born whose culture I find so unique and fascinating. Another thing that's important to note would be that religion plays a greater role this time around. The revival of the Faith Militant is a major plot point. The iron born's Drowned God is given much page time. And then there's The Many Faced God of Braavos who figures much in Arya's storyline.

Lastly I loved that there is so much girl power in this book. Cersei Lannister gets to be an even bigger alpha female, with Tywin and Tyrion gone. Asha Greyjoy proves to be as tough as her uncles when she decided to put herself in the running for the Seastone Chair. Arianne Martell is no princess when she decided to make plans in securing Dorne for herself. And there's Brienne who is as tough as she is honorable and won't back down in a fight. And Lady Stoneheart leading a band of outlaws.     

It may be that a Feast for Crows is not as adrenaline pumped as A Storm of Swords and might not end up as anyone's favorite in the Song of Ice and Fire series, but what is important is that it still kept me turning the pages and had me thoroughly entertained. Still a good solid one from Mr. Martin.   


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