A Feast For Crows   by George R.R. Martin
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 29 December 2011

A Feast For Crows

Author: George R.R. Martin

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

From the threat of war in A Game of Thrones to war itself in A Clash of Kings the shift to a subtler, chess-like power play which began in A Storm of Swords comes to the forefront in A Feast for Crows and we learn that perhaps, this was the winner's game all along. Though continuing cronologically on from A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows is somewhat of a new beginning, aptly named. The major houses which were the focus of the previous books are all weakened and the sniff of their weariness arouses the lesser houses. The Lannisters and Greyjoys war amoungst themselves and Stannis has moved what remains of his forces north while House Stark is broken and its strong hold of Winterfell in ruins. Even Daenary's, last of the Targaryans, though having raised an army, remains content to remain far from Westeros (at least for now).

Martin brings new or previously support role characters to the fore, notably with the use of re-birth as characters give up their old lives and names. The Tyrells sense a chance of taking the throne through marriage, while the Martells squabble as to whether to take vengeance on house Lannister for the death of their Prince through force or guile. Meanwhile Petr Baelish has used his political skill to take control of the Vale. In the fourth part of A Song of Fire and Ice Martin adds yet more dimensions to his ever growing universe with dramatic breaks from the standard epic or fantasy genre style. His ability to put seamless detours in the roads of his story make him so engrossing, leaving the reader with no chance of knowing what is to come or dreading to guess. Look for no lead character or hero, and be wary of who you support, for courage and heroism are folly in Martin's world and punished so. He has put in play a massive ensemble each carrying a single thread of an amazingly complex tapestry and half way through the seven part series, any avid reader would be well hooked by now.