Monday, April 30, 2012

ASoIaF reread: "A Feast for Crows"

"A Feast for Crows" is the only book in aSoIaF series that I have read only once, and this was five years or so ago. This means I forgot much of it - I was surprised how much exactly. I remembered that was Jaime and Cersei in there, Brianne and Arya, of course. But I completely forgot about Greyjoys, Sam, Martells, Sansa... I also knew the plot in general, but most of details were gone from my memory. All in all, this was almost like reading the book for the first time.

One thing did remain in my mind strongly - I didn't like "A Feast for Crows" much the first time I've read it. And judging by reviews and comments I read at that time, a lot of people shared this opinion. Most of everybody's favorite characters were missing (Tyrion, Jon, Daenerys), and majority of readers didn't like Brienne's part. Arya's part was great, but it was too short.

Although these objections mostly still stand, I like this book much more the second time. Brienne's POV is still not great as others, but it serves to depict how desperate situation in Seven Kingdoms has become. This is continuation from "A Storm of Swords" - Seven Kingdoms has definitely become a place where no one is safe and life is hard. And considering the amount of food and prospect of another harvest, things will get even nastier. Also, Podric is one of my favorite minor characters.

Jaime's and Cersei's part are great - well, greatly written at least. It is interesting how they have switched roles comparing to "A Game of Thrones". At that time Jaime was a brutal and dishonorable bully, the notorious Kingslayer. And Cersie, well, she wasn't likable for sure, but she was strong, fierce and experienced in game of thrones. And now, Jaime has become almost a new person, trying to improve himself and find some honor in this brutal world. While Cersei, she has proven not so experienced, smart and definitely not wise - a more pitiful stream of bad decision and stupidly chose advisers has not be see in a long while.

Arya's POV... There is not much to say about it except that is great - everybody like an apprentice story!

About the rest of POVs, Sansa, Sam, Greyjoys, they are nicely written, but forgettable. Even though only a week passed since I read it, I can't recall much details. There was some good parts, but must of them were only necessary, and not great.

One part is important, and I completely forgot about it until this reread: the prophecy. Until now, aSoIaF was unusual epic fantasy book because it lacked any BIG plot or theme behind everything, a purpose. We were thrown into this superbly developed setting, with life-like and interesting characters, but we just followed what happened ad-hoc. The prophecy that Aemon gives in one of Sam's characters is probably the most important part of the series so far - it gives meaning to past books and gives an idea what must happened later.

For conclusion, even though "A Feast for Crows" is not a greatest book in series, it is still very good and very important part of it. If "A Dance with Dragons" proves a good twin of it, I will be happy to say that aSoIaF stays at great course.

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