A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4)

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"It seems too good to be true. The war of the Five Kings has finally ground to an uneasy halt, with House Lannister and their allies the apparent victors. But all is still not well in the land." "With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King's Landing. Robb Stark's demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist - or they are held in hands too weak or ...
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A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4)

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Overview

"It seems too good to be true. The war of the Five Kings has finally ground to an uneasy halt, with House Lannister and their allies the apparent victors. But all is still not well in the land." "With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King's Landing. Robb Stark's demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist - or they are held in hands too weak or too distant to wield them effectively." "But as in the aftermath of any climactic struggle, it is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be-dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, 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 - are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead." It is a time when the wise and the ambitious, the deceitful and the strong, will acquire the skills, the power, and the magic to survive the stark and terrible times that lie before them. It is a time for nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, to come together and stake their fortunes ... and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests - but only a few are the survivors.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
A Feast for Crows, the long-awaited fourth installment of George R. R. Martin's shelf-splitting A Song of Ice and Fire saga, continues the bloody drama of the war-torn Seven Kingdoms and the battle for the Iron Throne. With the king dead and a child on the throne, Cersei -- the Queen Regent -- must protect her son from myriad enemies vying for control of the realm. As the novel's title implies, although the War of the Five Kings is over, death and destruction are still rampant.

Fans of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords) may find this installment a bit unusual -- half the epic's previous plot threads are not even touched upon. Because of the unwieldy size of the finished manuscript (1,500-plus pages), Martin explains his and his publisher's decision to split the book into two volumes: "It was my feeling…that we were better off telling all the story for half the characters, rather than half the story for all the characters. Cutting the novel in half would have produced two half-novels; our approach will produce two novels taking place simultaneously, but set hundreds or even thousands of miles apart, and involving different casts of characters."

Cliffhangers abound in this fourth volume of Martin's spectacularly grandiose narrative -- an epic comparable to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time cycle and Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth saga that features literally hundreds of major characters. (The appendix of dramatis personae is more than 60 pages long!) After finishing A Feast for Crows, fans will be (justifiably) ravenous for the next installment (tentatively titled A Dance with Dragons) to find out what is happening with popular characters not mentioned: namely, Tyrion Lannister, Davos Seaworth, and the enigmatic Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Stormborn. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Long-awaited doesn't begin to describe this fourth installment in bestseller Martin's staggeringly epic Song of Ice and Fire. Speculation has run rampant since the previous entry, A Storm of Swords, appeared in 2000, and Feast teases at the important questions but offers few solid answers. As the book begins, Brienne of Tarth is looking for Lady Catelyn's daughters, Queen Cersei is losing her mind and Arya Stark is training with the Faceless Men of Braavos; all three wind up in cliffhangers that would do justice to any soap opera. Meanwhile, other familiar faces-notably Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen-are glaringly absent though promised to return in book five. Martin's Web site explains that Feast and the forthcoming A Dance of Dragons were written as one book and split after they grew too big for one volume, and it shows. This is not Act I Scene 4 but Act II Scene 1, laying groundwork more than advancing the plot, and it sorely misses its other half. The slim pickings here are tasty, but in no way satisfying. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
As the dead king's widow, Cersei Lannister rules as Queen Regent in King's Landing, but her regency is far from secure. Though a few legitimate claimants to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms still exist, many have died and new threats arise. With the death of Balon, King of the Isles, his remaining brother, the leader of a fanatical religious cult of the Drowned God, seeks Balon's throne and, after that, the Iron Throne. Rebellions, bandit raids, and unexpected enemies beset the land as only destruction looms in the future. The fourth novel in Martin's popular mega-fantasy (A Game of Thrones; A Clash of Kings; A Storm of Swords) introduces new plot twists and characters that continue to flesh out one of the genre's most detailed and intriguing worlds. A must-purchase for libraries owning the series, this panoramic fantasy adventure is highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/05.] Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Of those who work in the grand epic-fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best.... [He] is a tense, surging, insomnia-inflicting plotter and a deft and inexhaustible sketcher of personalities.... This is as good a time as any to proclaim him the American Tolkien."—Time Magazine

"The only fantast series I'd put on a level with J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings…. It's a fantasy series for hip, smart people, even those who don't read fantasy…. If you're new to the series, you must begin with Book 1, A Game of Thrones. Once you're hooked…. you'll be like the rest of us fans, gnawing your knuckles until book 5”—Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press

“THE MOST impressive modern fantasy, both in terms of conception and execution, is George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.… A masterpiece that will be mentioned with the great works of fantasy.”—Contra Costa Times

"Long-awaited doesn’t begin to describe this fourth installment in bestseller Martin's staggeringly epic Song of Ice and Fire."—Publishers Weekly

"Grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant."—Robert Jordan

"Such a splendid tale and such a fantistorical! I read my eyes out."—Anne McCaffrey

"Fantasy fans will feast!"—Associated Press

Kirkus Reviews
Another gargantuan entry, the fourth in the Song of Ice and Fire series--indeed, while writing it Martin found the undertaking growing so vast and unwieldy that he spit the action into two novels, so A Dance with Dragons runs concurrently and features characters and locations barely mentioned here. The action picks up directly following the events of A Storm of Swords (2000). The setting resembles a Medieval Europe where magic works, and every petty monarch nurses ambitions of empire--and behaves accordingly. Narrative complexity is an end in itself, with the plot unfolding from a dozen different points of view. Some of the highlights: In King's Landing, following the murder of young King Joffrey Baratheon, Joffrey's eight-year-old brother Tommen now rules, although the real power is his scheming mother, Queen Regent Cersei Lannister. Having successfully intrigued her way to power, however, Cersei proves a less than effective ruler, drinking heavily, surrounding herself with sycophants and becoming estranged from her brother and former lover Jaime. Another brother, Tyrion the dwarf, who apparently murdered both their father Tywin and Joffrey, has escaped the dungeons and vanished. In the Iron Islands, the priest Aeron Damphair calls a Kingsmoot to elect a successor to King Balon Greyjoy; Damphair's brother, Euron Greyjoy, ignites the Islanders' perennial dreams of conquest by claiming that he can control dragons. Sword-maid Brienne of Tarth pursues her quest to find the missing Sansa Stark, while Arya Stark arrives in Braavos and drifts to the House of Black and White, a temple dedicated to the Faceless Men assassin cult. One of Martin's real innovations is his willingness to kill off important characters--but don't worry, with a cast of thousands, there are always thousands more. The best characters are carefully nuanced, though too many others blend into the backdrop, so the near 60-page-long who's who is little help in sorting them out; still others indulge in long, intricate, mannered conversations that serve to advance the plot--if you have the faintest clue what's going on in the first place. Another full-immersion experience and, once again, strictly for addicts.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

George R.R. Martin
George R.R. Martin
An iconic American author and screenwriter of fantasy, horror, and science fiction, George R.R. Martin is best known for his epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Biography

As a child growing up in New Jersey, George R.R. Martin displayed an early interest in "the writing life" by selling monster stories of his own invention to the children in his Bayonne neighborhood. In high school he became an avid comic book collector and began to write for comic fanzines. He sold his first story to Galaxy in 1970 when he was 21 years old.

Martin received his bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. After graduation he served two years in VISTA, then worked as a teacher and chess tournament director in the Midwest, while continuing to craft award-winning short fiction. His first full-length novel, Dying of the Light, was published in 1977. A dark, lyrical sci-fi tone poem set on a doomed world without a sun, the book was nominated for a Hugo Award.

Throughout the 1980s, Martin worked in television, writing for science fiction- and fantasy-themed shows like The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. At this time he became involved with Wild Cards, a long-running anthology series composed of "mosaic stories" written by multiple authors and set in a shared universe. In addition to editing the series, Martin has contributed stories to the Wild Card books.

In 1996, Martin published A Game of Thrones, the first installment of his magnum opus, the epic fantasy series A Song of Fire and Ice. Set in the Seven Kingdoms, a realm resembling medieval Europe, the internationally bestselling series has provided the ultimate showcase for Martin's formidable world-building and characterization skills.

During the course of his long, prolific career, Martin has accrued every major literary prize for science fiction or fantasy writing, including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, Daedelus, and Locus awards. But what endears him especially to his readers is his extraordinary accessibility. A tireless participant in genre conventions and festivals, he maintains a cordial relationship with his fans through his website and blog. He is also a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Good To Know

Christened George Raymond Martin, the author has this to say about his unusual name: "I arrived short one 'R' but fixed that at my confirmation 13 years later."

As a conscientious objector, Martin did alternative service from 1972-1974 with VISTA, attached to Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation.

Martin was class valedictorian of his high school. In 1970, he graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University.

In the mid-1970s, Martin supplemented his income by directing tournaments for the Continental Chess Association.

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Fe, NM
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 20, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bayonne, NJ
    1. Education:
      B.S., Northwestern University, 1970; M.S., Northwestern University, 1971
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2402 )
Rating Distribution

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(1360)

4 Star

(602)

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(252)

2 Star

(102)

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(86)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2426 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    A Feast for Crows--a promising feast that should have been filling, but left me only wanting to nibble.

    Closing my nook late last night as I had FINALLY finished A Feast for Crows, a strange feeling came over me that I haven't felt with any other installment of this brilliant series: I can't decide though if that feeling was emptiness or mere boredom. It took me almost a month and a half to finish this book, which is very odd to me because I devoured the other three within days of each other. A Feast for Crows had epic promise but it sadly fell flat for me. I didn't care (unlike so many others) that the story centered around the "lesser" of the key characters, actually two of my personal favorites took center stage in this work and I enjoyed their chapters the most. Something was just lacking with the rest of the story sadly, and to be brutally honest the chapters involving side-tracked quests/ takeovers, mini battles revolving around religion, and sub-plots of conquest of the sea became utterly confusing and tedious. I forced myself not to flip past anything though (and I encourage any new reader to do the same), in case I would happen to miss any interesting turn of the growing plot(s) or the non-stop introductions to fresh characters/locations. Unfortunately I still found myself hopelessly muddled and distracted, researching the houses and characters at the back of the book (several times within one chapter), trying to keep some kind of mental tally with the growing alliances and betrayals. I'm still confused to be honest. One more thing I must confess to any potential readers: The action and development of new plots to continue the rest of the series didn't appear until almost the last hundred pages (which was extremely irritating to me). Night after night, I found myself just nibbling at this feast and I hope A Dance with Dragons, followed by "The Winds of Winter" and "A Dream of Spring", once again has me singing the praises this series justly deserves. July 12th is coming!

    22 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2012

    This was definitely a departure from the first three books of th

    This was definitely a departure from the first three books of the series. There is not nearly as much action as their is in A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords. If you come wanting something like its chair-gripping predecessors you will be disappointed. However, if you put aside your ideas of what you think it should be and accept it on its own merits you will be treated to a soul-touchingly beautiful novel.
    Because Martin chose to split this and A Dance With Dragons geographically rather than chronologically, 3 characters that are often people' favorites are left out: Tyrion, Jon, and Dany. You may dislike not reading about them, but the new viewpoint characters step up to the plate admirably and smash the ball out of the park. Brienne's quest for Sansa is fascinating. Her interactions with her travel companions are very thought-provoking and give you good insight into some people who belong to social circles we haven't seen before; the people she interacts with range from a shady former soldier who is a descendant of a once-great house to a wandering septon to the "smallfolk." She gives you an excellent look at a wider variety of people than we usually get to see in Westeros.
    Cersei's chapters are also incredible. Her subtle struggle for power with the Tyrells in King's Landing is gripping.
    Sansa's interactions with Littlefinger are the catalysts for change in her character, and I loved reading her chapters as you see her really wake to the realities of the world.
    The other new storylines are great as well. The power grab in the Iron Islands, Arya in Braavos, and the Dorne plot are all fantastic reads. The ending to the Dorne storyline sent chills down my spine.
    Overall, A Feast For Crows is meandering and not very action packed. However, the loss of action is repaid in full by a more comprehensive look at the world Martin has created. You will meet entirely different types of people than in previous books. Immerse yourself in the world and join the characters on their travels and trials. You will not be disappointed.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2009

    Giving Up on Martin

    I absolutely loved the first book of this series and eagerly awaited each future installment. A Feast for Crows left we wanting as he split the story line into two books and we are still waiting for the next book for more than 3 years. In the mean time he has simply been rereleasing old works and not working on this series. I feel he will never finish this series. Maybe if he does finish the series I will buy the books and find out how it ends, but I certainly won't buy them as they are released as it may take 20 years to complete this. I got burned by Robert Jordan and have a feeling that Martin will do the same to his fans. A real shame as he created an intriguing world and great characters.

    15 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2011

    Crack in written form

    Please ignore the negative reviews, which are solely based on the length of time between sequels, and has very little to do with the actual work itself. I can understand the desperation fans feel, these books just draw you in and you don't want it to end, but then it does, most of the time leaving some parts of the story just hanging. Then comes the waiting game. The next book in the series did finally come out this year and it was wonderful... and ALSO NOT FINISHED!! I really hope it doesn't take 6 years for the next (and maybe final) book, but can wait it out as there are many, many books out there to fill the years. So you can get hooked now and wait with the rest of us, or wait until the series is 100% finished to start reading it, but whatever you do, I highly recommend this series!

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is the last book in the series!

    I think by now that we can give up on George Martin's ever finishing this series. It is perhaps just as well as we all need to move onto to new authors. It is sad to see an author like Martin lose his creative ability. It is also sad to see that he is trying to resell his short stories individually to make money. I don't know what his life style is but I can't imagine he is bringing in any money without having written anything new in such a long while.

    So long George - I wish it had been better for you.

    10 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    A medieval soap opera

    What a god awful drudgery. the writing itself was good but it just dragged on and on waiting for something to happen. I won't even buy the last book since a lot of the reviews say its similar. It took me forever to read this book cause i kept falling asleep. The first 3 were so good what a disappointment.

    9 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Worst book of the series

    I enjoy books that can kill off a main character or dismember him in some way, but it George Martin is doing it to everyone! This series could have been better had he not kill every main character. The ones he didnt kill off, he cut off their hand, cut off a nose, ripped off half a face, made them go blind, or just turned them into a zombie like catelyn stark. Book 4 is disappointment.

    9 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Great series, poor installment

    The first 3 books in this series are very engaging, but this one ... not so much. Way too many words are wasted on lesser characters and confusing plot lines leading in pointless directions. Each chapter seems to end with it's own "mini-cliffhanger", but by the time you get around to the resolution you DON'T CARE. Few of the big cliffhangers from book 3 are even addressed, and none of the ones you really care about. This whole story line could have been covered in about 200 pages. I'm looking forward to some clarity in book 5, but if the reviews are accurate it will be more of the same.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2010

    Disappointment!

    Loved the first 3 books. Book 4 was a big disappointment. The majority of the book was filled with useless new characters and places that just made the book confusing. The book lost me a quarter into it.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Can't wait for Book 5

    I don't even LIKE this genre, people! But I'm addicted to this series. I don't know if it's the power politics, the shameless slaughter of favorite characters, the fact that the good guys hardly ever come out ahead. But this was book four, and I couldn't put any of the preceding three down, either.

    I'm not going to quibble with Mr. Martin about whether the decision to split up the story the way he did was appropriate or not. I haven't seen book 5, so who am I to judge. He's done a great job so far, so I trust him.

    If you read the first three books and enjoyed them, then dive in and enjoy this one, it won't disappoint you, and you probably will be suprised by some of the developments.

    If you haven't read the first three books, it makes absolutely no sense to start with this one -- get Game of Thrones and start at the beginning. Why skip over the first three when they are great stories?

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    I loved reading this book though my favourite one is the second book. As a fan of the series, I can only recommend it.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2010

    A weak book 4

    The time lapse between the books is so long that it is impossible to maintain any excitment about the series. By the time the next book comes out it will probably be my 65th birthday and I would have forgotten all about it.

    7 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2011

    Best series I've ever read...

    but I have been waiting soooo patiently for the last book! really, this is something everyone should read...

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    Avoid Frustration

    I have followed this series with relish. The characters are addictive, the story is very well written. I did find this particular book frustrating because of the split with half of the characters in one book and half in the next. What I find most frustrating is that the author not only has not completed the next book in the series (nearly 4 years now), but blatantly critisizes and ignores his fans. One would question why the author offers a website or any opportunity for potential exposure to communication with fans. Great story from a very eccentric, unreliable, and tempermental author. Reconsider starting the series if you have not. Reading it only leads to frustration.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Disappointing

    Anyone who dove into this series expecting Tolkienesque quality will be sorely disappointed. The first book draws one in and the second wraps its coils about you tightly. But the third book only suceeds in leaving the reader to wonder what happened to the climax and conclusion. Books four and five are no better and in ways are worse because they not only draw no closer to any conclusion but wander even further afield. With apologies to Mr Lev Grossman, this reader disagrees with his assessment that this series qualifies the author George Martin to be the "American Tolkien." Tolkien created a rich universe in three books and got to the point too. It's a pity Mr Martin did not do likewise.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic!

    Honestly I dont really know what to say anymore besides just repeating the fact that I love this series!! This book continues the story but sticks mainly to the areas and happenings in Kings Landing. If you like the previous three you definitely wont be disappointed.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2008

    Losing Faith!

    I've read the other reviews of 'A Song of Ice and Fire #4 and felt compelled to add my own feeling of disappointment with the author and the extremely long wait for the fifth book. Yes, I liked the book, but felt cheated in not being able to know what was happening to my 'true' favorites. It's like eating somthing that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Why they treated all of us that way was explained, but did they really think that after reading the other three books, that it was fair to build up our hopes and then crashed them? Why, why, why the long wait and all the cancelled release dates while Martin writes away on his own, with others, what the heck, he has us all dangling anyways!!!! I feel the faith and trust between author and reader was one-sided.

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2002

    please, please, be as good as the last three!!!

    I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 books in the series so far and i honestly believe this to be the brightest epic fantasy saga this side of the Ice Wall. I have read all the major fantasy series over the last fifteen years, and this is my personal favorite. Characters are fascinating and entirely original, the land unfolds like the unveiling of Creativity itself, and events are kept at a pace where I was hooked word for word. I see characters like Littlefinger,Vares,Arya,and Jon Snow really making a big impact in the fourth novel, and lets not forget Tyrion < my fave personality>

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Excellent read

    Ignore the bad reviews, they are ignorant reviews based on what they wanted the book to be. This book is excellent...yes there isnt as much action as the one before but it is building up the whole landscape of the world being portrayed...i love reading about other characters view points and also Briennes quest to find Sansa. Set your expectations to the side and open your mind...emerse yourself in the world of Westoros and you wont be dissappointed

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2008

    WHAT?!

    Ok, i agree that the first three books were WAY better than Feast. But still, this book adds more to Martain's story the tale will eventually go on when A Dance With Dragons comes out this month!! I am looking forward to running in the doors of B&N the day of its debut and grabbing one of the remaining copies. When i was reading this series, i would force myself to stay awake just to read another page, or even another paragraph. I wouldn't be paying attention in my classes because i would be reading to figure out what happened next. So, when i tell you this series is good...i mean it. And yes, the wait for #5 has been a bit ridiculous, but i am sure it will be worth it.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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