A Song of Fire and Ice — George R. R. Martin
Book Four: A Feast for Crows
Genre: Epic FantasyTheme: Power, politics, repression, survival, class, good versus evil and so much more.
Finally, I’ve slogged through nearly 4000 pages of mayhem, treachery, betrayal, and death. Thank goodness it’s over…but wait, there’s more. Book five? I don’t think so, I bought the first four in a boxed set, and I persevered until I finished the last page.
When I set this book down, I reflected on the series as a whole, and I realized I couldn’t think of one incident in the entire four-book set where the author made me feel good about anything. I don’t want to beat this donkey to death, but there is no one to like, and there is not one character I can latch onto as a hero or heroine. I don’t want to be part of their fellowship; I don’t want to get involved in their lives on any level, and there doesn’t seem to be any goal beyond surviving another horrifying twenty-four hour period.
Every time I find a character I might be able to like, or pity or care about. They die, get maimed or turn out to have a poisonous side, one which makes the character no better than anyone of the dozens of treacherous, disloyal, and villainous people that populate every volume.
Man’s inhumanity to his fellow man and woman is front and center at all times. Not only do these characters kill and maim, they feel thoroughly entitled to do so, and without any compunction.
So why did I read all four books? Why would I subject myself to 4000 pages of misery? Since I can’t answer those questions, I can only assume I need professional help. Was I hoping at some point Mr. Martin would bring me some joy, that the last stale cookie in the box would be sweet and fresh?
Fool me once, twice, three, four and no more. Thank you very much, I appreciate that you put a lot into these books Mr. Martin, but I’m so depressed now that I don’t think I could endure another. Besides how can there be enough people left in the ravaged kingdoms, to plant, harvest and produce food. Seems to me, winter is coming and there are only killers, connivers and villains left.
I headed out to find a good comedy to cleanse my palate, bring back my joy and remind me that the sun will come up tomorrow.
Review by Shelley Riley author of Casual Lies - A Triple Crown Adventure.