A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
As with the previous GOT novels in the series, this next instalment doesn’t disappoint. The book picks up from where a Storm of Swords II ended and we follow the adventures of Arya, Sansa, Brienne, Jaime and Samwell as well as new characters in Dorne or characters that only have a chapter or two devoted to them to explain some of the books events.
Tywin Lannister is dead, believed to have been killed by Tyrion and Joffrey’s younger brother, Tommen, now sits on the iron throne. Cersei is grappling to have complete control of the kingdom, a growing distrust of the Tyrell family worsened by the marriage of Margaery to Tommen. She becomes increasingly paranoid over a prophecy told to her when she was but a child after all of the events the witch mentioned have come true and she strives to ensure that the part of the prophecy speaking of being usurped by a younger and more beautiful queen so she sets out to try and completely destroy Margaery Tyrell.
Jaime has been dispatched to the Riverlands to try and establish order across the war-torn lands while Brienne has been sent in search of the two Stark girls on his orders and is also moving across the Riverlands following whispers and rumours of the whereabouts of the two girls. Meanwhile, Sansa is in hiding as Littlefingers daughter in the Eyrie and is aiding in the care for little Robert and subduing the local lords so they accept Littlefinger as Lord of the Eyrie. Whereas Arya has travelled across the seas to Braavos where she finds her way to the House of Black and White, a temple associated with assassins known as the Faceless Men and she joins them as a novice and faces many new and unusual challenges.
On the Iron Islands, Aeron Damphair calls a kingsmoot to decide who will succeed Balon Greyjoy as king. The contesters Victarion Greyjoy, Asha Greyjoy and Euron ‘Crow’s Eye’ are all at each other’s throats in the hunt for power and in Dorne, the king Doran Martell is struggling to control the daughters of the now dead Prince Oberyn, who are all chomping at the bit for war and justice for their father. But while he is focused on Oberyn’s daughters, he allows his gaze to stray from his own daughter and Princess Myrcella.
Samwell Tarly, a black brother of the Wall has been sent by Jon Snow to the Citadel in Oldtown in order to study to be a Maester. He takes with him Maester Aemon who is becoming increasingly frail and the wildling Gilly who is carrying the child of Mance Rayder as opposed to her own…
This book, as usual for the series, was a great read. At times, it does become a bit lethargic when there isn’t an awful lot going on which is a serious failing by Martin – there are too many uneventful chapters and then suddenly everything seems to happen at once and you’re left reeling and struggling to take everything in. It’s also unfortunate that it only addresses half of the characters in the series; the rest of the character’s stories are followed in the next book, A Dance With Dragons which means, adding to the lethargy, it becomes a little uninteresting focusing on the same characters continuously. Either way, a good book but nothing ground breaking with regards to its place in the series.