It seems too good to be true. After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears. . . . 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. The war, which raged out of control for so long, has burned itself out.
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.
Review 4 of 5 Stars
I really enjoyed the portions of the story about Arya Stark and Prince Oberyn’s daughters, but I have to say that a lot of this book wasn’t very interesting to me. I also found the portions about Sam’s voyage to be somewhat interesting. However, in the end, I find that I could care less what happens in the Iron Islands. I don’t care if Theon makes it home ever and though his sister talks a good line, she seems to do more talking about fighting than actually fighting battles.
Sansa’s life in the Eyrie pretending to be Littlefinger’s bastard daughter was interesting enough and seemed necessary for moving the plot ahead in the end. We all know Littlefinger has his hands in as many pies as possible and it was interesting to see how his grand scheme was moving along. I very much enjoyed the turning of the tables on Cersei after her most recent scheme against Margaery Tyrell failed and she ended up where she would have liked to have seen Margaery. I don’t want to spoil this with details, but it’s nice to see Cersei have to deal with being treated as she likes to treat others.
Brienne has a unique encounter with Lady Stoneheart. I’ll leave you to find this one out on your own as well since I was, at least, mildly surprised. Jaime is around, but aside from maneuvering some pieces for later in the story there wasn’t a lot going on with him.
This book was a little slower for me. I’m glad I read it after Book 5 had been published as Book 4 was missing too many of the characters I’ve become invested in. It was a good read, though. As usual, Martin is a good storyteller and the quality of his tale continues. I round up for any half stars, but this one would have come in around 3 1/2 since it was pretty slow. I’ve rounded up to 4 since I’m obviously continuing to read the series. I read Book 5 immediately after, which may have helped to alleviate some of the disjointed feeling readers in the past had due to the geographical split before Book 5 was published. All in all this has been a really good series and I’ve enjoyed visiting Mr. Martin’s world.