Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Review: A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

     What kind of book has the title “A Feast for Crows”? A George R.R. Martin book, that’s what.

"I'm just going to stand here and punch your feels repeatedly until you DIE OF ALL THE FEELS."

     Originally the book was going to be longer, but instead Martin split it into two books, with this dealing with the goings-on in King’s Landing and the southlands.

     Cersei has taken advantage of the chaos in King’s Landing to essentially seize control, with Tommen being king only in name.  However, Cersei is not as wise as she thinks she is, and starts destroying the economy as a result. In order to legitimize Tommen’s rule, she agrees to re-establish the Knights Templar Faith Militant, which will probably end as well as everything else does in these books. And, being how complex these books are, it’s no surprise to find Cersei was not always as screwed up in the head as she is now. In fact, as a young girl she was a lot like Sansa, dreamy and romantic. Ensuing events led to the embittered harpy she is now.

     While Cersei is being generally paranoid and insane, Jamie broods about his life and the fact that unlike the Doctor he couldn’t grow a new hand, Brienne wanders about looking for Sansa (and being generally awesome), and Zombie!Catelyn is crazy and homicidal. Jamie's character arc has got me interested. Far from being the 2 dimensional villain he appeared to be, it's clear he (like the rest of his siblings) have suffered majorly from his father's emotional distance. I also like to think the time he spent with Brienne sort of knocked some sense into his brain (figuratively and literally). He's realized that trying to get along in a world where everyone's out for themselves by behaving the same way isn't necessarily any better than trying to hold onto one's ideals. He seems to be trying to strike a balance between the two extremes.

     Meanwhile, at the Eyrie, Sansa pretends to be Littlefinger’s illegitimate daughter, while he acts creepy and generally lecherous. Elsewhere, the Greyjoys are being Vikings, and Euron sends his brother off to fetch Danaerys so he can marry her. Unfortunately the Dornish prince is also on his way to do the same thing, and Victarion has decided he wants to marry her just to spite Euron. Poor girl. But who needs boys when you have dragons AMIRITEAMIRITE

     Samwell has been sent away with Gilly and a baby who is really Mance Rayder’s son, to save the child from being burn by CRAZY MELLY. He sticks quite steadfastly to his plan and takes a few more levels in bad-ass. However, Maester Aemon, though dying, is determined to rally the maesters to bring Danaerys back to Westeros. At the beginning of the series, when Illyrio insisted to Viserys that people were secretly plotting to bring back the Targaryen House, I thought it was exaggeration on his part, some sort of scheme. I was surprised to find he was right-quite a few people actually would like the Targaryens back. (Or maybe they were just somehow meta-aware and knew Dany would be awesome?)

     Lastly, we see Arya wandering farther and farther away from home, just like her direwolf. She arrives on Braavos, and becomes a novice in the House of Black and White, the source of the Faceless Men and a group that worships death. Despite her attempts to estrange herself from her past, she knows deep down who she is (which I think is the point her mentors are trying to make; but they like being cryptic so who knows).

     We then end with George R.R. Martin writing “Meanwhile, Back At The Wall” for his author notes like we’re in a Batman episode. WELL-PLAYED SIR. WELL-PLAYED.

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