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From Barnes & NobleThe 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