Being a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, this one is necessary to complete the collection. Even though there are many debates about this book, it is a transition from A Storm of Swords to A Dance with Dragons, and as such, you cannot miss it because there are events that wouldn’t make sense if you don’t read A Feast for Crows.
The debate over A Feast for Crows – what is going on?
A Feast for Crows was the most expected book in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire so far. The third part of a Song of Ice and Fire, A Storm of Swords, was published in 2000, and A Feast for Crowswas waited and waited for, with constant postponing of the publishing date, for five years.
The bitter disappointment followed for many fans when they discovered that this fourth book will be a bit different than what they had an opportunity to experience so far. George R R Martin, who greatly admires Tolkien, loves his quote, “The tale grew in the telling”. This is what happened with the fourth book – it grew so much that it was too big for one book alone, so Martin decided to divide the book into two – A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons.
What enraged the fans of the saga was that he decided not to split the story chronologically, but rather make two books where the story is happening simultaneously, but one book with one set of characters, and the other with another set. This meant that in A Feast for Crows there would be POVs of Cersei Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth for the most part, and a lower number of chapters where we can see POVs from Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Samwell Tarly; Aeron “Damphair” Greyjoy, Asha Greyjoy, and Victarion Greyjoy from the Iron Islands; and Areo Hotah, Arys Oakheart, and Arianne Martell from Dorne.
Given that most fans’ favorite characters include Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen, who literally don’t appear in A Feast for Crows, we can see where the “problem” lies.
Most fans who have read the book claimed that it’s the worst part of the series, that nothing happens, that there are too many unimportant parts, but there were also those who were seeing a bigger picture. They claimed that this book is the almost perfect part of the series because it shows the aftermath of a war that left the Seven Kingdoms starved, tired, and sick of the plots of the aristocracy. They also think that apparent fatigue that takes place in A Feast for Crows is actually only a standstill before the storm. Being all that, A Feast for Crows does make a logical part of the series. It only continues to be realistic in spite of its fantasy nature, and that is one of the reasons we love the saga so much.
Now, if you are wondering what actually happens in A Feast for Crows, you can read about it from now on. If you don’t want to know, this is where you stop reading this review.
What most fans held against George R. R. Martin when it comes to A Feast for Crows is that he gave too much space to Cersei Lannister. Almost a quarter of the book is told through the eyes of Cersei. Not much is going on, but those chapters mostly depict to us how Cersei, now being a Queen Regent, becomes more and more paranoid, while sinking into the comfort of wine.
Brienne of Tarth gets a greater share of the story as well. We follow her on her search for Sansa Stark. She gets into an adventure or two, but mostly we witness the struggle between being a Lady of Tarth and being a fighter who would never get the honor of being a knight.
In the previous book, we have seen the beginning of the change of character of Jaime Lannister, and in this book the change continues.
Samwell Tarly travels from the Wall to the Old Town, accompanied by Maester Aemon and the wildling girl Gilly. We get to know him better, but even here not much happens.
Sansa Stark is finally growing up – she starts to use her brains and practice not being a silly little girl who is naïve beyond belief. Occassionaly, she shows her old self, but luckily for us, those occasions are fewer now.
Arya Stark does appear in this book, but only a little bit. We see how her training with the Faceless Men goes on, and get to know a bit more about the Free City Braavos.
The rest of the characters who were given voice in this book have a chapter or two, and from those we see how the King is chosen on Iron Islands, and the attempts of revenge taken in Dorne.
What is so interesting, and at the same time annoying, about this book, is that it’s full of cliffhangers. Right about when A Feast for Crows starts to be interesting, we are left waiting for the following book.
However, if it’s of any comfort, A Dance with Dragons does cover the same time period as A Feast for Crows with the characters that were left out in this book, but it doesn’t stop there – it takes us down the road a bit further, so we get some satisfaction that was denied to us in this part of the story.
If you are a Game of Thrones series fan, you should definitely buy this one. With the first two seasons out, this book brings you the development of events further in the series. It explains some things that weren’t cleared in the first two seasons of the series, and also continues the story line from the second book, A Clash of Kings, from the series A Song of Ice and Fire.
The Review of A Storm of Swords
A Song of Ice and Fire certainly had its fair share of fans since the first book, A Game of Thrones, has been published. However, with the series broadcast on the televisions worldwide, that share of fans grew considerably. Many of the fans of the TV series, including myself, went for the books after watching the series. There are probably many more who didn’t, and those should really give the books a chance.
In a TV series, each episode has it’s time limit, and there is only so much they can put in. The story line does make sense, it is exciting, at times shocking, and it certainly captures the attention of the viewer with ease. But, when reading A Storm of Swords, before or after watching the TV series, you notice so many details that wouldn’t catch your eye otherwise.
The actors really do their best to depict the state of mind of their character, but however well they do it, they can never really bring all the emotions you learn from the book to every viewer. This is the reason I will always think A Storm of Swords is better than any TV show made after it can be.
Now, a little bit about the book itself. A Storm of Swords is the third installation from the series A Song of Ice and Fire. In the first two books, we follow the development of events that lead to the War of the Five Kings. A Storm of Swords continues to follow each character, so we can see what is going on. They are dispersed among the continents, Westeros being only one of them. Some of the characters run into each other, some don’t even know about each other, and that is exactly what brings to real feel of the events in the book.
A Storm of Swords, like its predecessors, A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, is told from the characters’ POV (point of view). This one is told from the perspectives of ten characters – Jamie Lannister, Catelyn Stark, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Davos Seaworth, Sansa Stark, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Brandon Stark, and Samwell Tarly. Through their view on things, we find out about the events that take place in the Westeros and Essos.
The third book from A Song of Ice and Fire, A Storm of Swords is the longest one so far, with two last books from the planned seven still not published. This made the publishers decide to divide A Storm of Swords into two parts in some countries, with the first part called Steel and Snow, and the second one Blood and Gold.
Even though A Storm of Swords is the longest book, it is still a joy to read. True enough, there were moments when I thought, is this going to end? I know there is much more to read in the next sequels, but it’s not so hard to become impatient when the book seems to have no end to it.
I have to admit that I watched the second season of the series prior to reading A Storm of Swords. It’s been a while since I read the second book, A Clash of Kings, so I forgot a lot that was happening. It made watching the series a lot more fun, but it also made a complete mess when I started reading A Storm of Swords. In the series, they left out some of the characters which have a big role in A Clash of Kings, and they’ve put in some events that are only taking place in the third book. Also, they completely changed some events.
For example, and be careful, because this could be a spoiler alert to some fans. If it is, just go to the next paragraph. Now. In the second book, Jojen and Meera Reed have a big role taking place in Winterfell, even before it was conquered by Theon Greyjoy. In the series, they don’t even appear before Bran and Rickon Stark leave the castle with everyone thinking they are dead.
It took me about 100 pages until I was able to put everything to its place.
What I loved about A Storm of Swords was that, even though George R. R. Martin tends to quit a chapter at the most interesting point, he still managed to satisfy my curiosity without having to skip some chapters to find out what happened immediately.
Here is an example – when the Red Wedding is about to take place, the story telling goes from Catelyn Stark to Arya, to Catelyn to Arya… you get the picture. Since the two of them are so close geographically at the same time, we can follow the course of events without interruptions from some other character’s chapter.
Also, when the battle at the Wall takes place, and after it is done, the story is being told by Samwell Tarly and Jon Snow alternatively. Again, we can follow what is going on without being interrupted by the report from the let’s say Essos.
Now, without any spoiler alerts, I can tell you about some of the things that will happen in A Storm of Swords. Just to make you even more interested in the book, if you haven’t read it so far.
As we were able to see from the second season, Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth go on a journey together. Even though they despise each other, a weird sort of friendship will be developed. Don’t think that now you know everything, there are some happenings that will surprise you nevertheless.
Catelyin Stark loses more and more by the day, at least that’s what she thinks with the news of Bran and Rickon dead. She will lose so much more before the book comes to an end, but that Red Comet on the sky makes miracles happen. What is the miracle? You will have to see for yourself.
Arya Stark travels back and forth through Westeros, losing some friends on the way, but gaining companions that you would least expect her to travel with.
Tyrion Lannister doesn’t get the recognition he should have for saving the King’s Landing, and is even removed from the position of the Hand of the King. His quarrels with his sister Cersei are developing even further, until Tyrion is falsely accused of a hideous crime. Will he lose his head? I won’t tell.
Davos Seaworth survives the Battle of the Blackwater, but almost loses his life when he is saved. He becomes the Hand of the King Stannis Baratheon, and serves his position honestly and with respect. This makes his king go to the battles he never thought he would lead. A true king should protect the kingdom before he can rule it, says Davos. What do you think Stannis should protect the kingdom from?
Sansa Stark is still in the middle of the Court’s schemes and plots, as Cersei would describe it. She goes from one engagement to another, to end up being married to someone you wouldn’t ever think of. Who is it?
Jon Snow is accused of many things, and his bastard origin is certainly always there to make things worse for him. However, his strong character leads him to some honors he never dared to dream of. Through all his troubles, he experiences the joy as well as the sadness.
Bran Stark continues his quest for the three-eyed crow. He crosses paths with some characters that assist him in spite of their character.
Samwell Tarly learns about his own fears and strengths, and makes moves that no one would ever think he was capable of. He is a Lord’s son, and he is capable of his own plots, but to find out what this means, you have to read the book. Or wait for the third season. I recommend reading the book, you can do it a lot sooner than you can see the TV series.
As you can see, there are many questions in A Storm of Swords. I won’t give you all the answers, but I can promise you, if you read the book, you won’t regret it. Or, if nothing else can convince you, and you hate Joffrey Baratheon, read the book because of him. You will love it.
If you are wondering why you should buy A Clash of Kings, second installment of the saga A Song of Ice and Fire, here are a few reasons. If you have read the first book, A Game of Thrones, most likely you are already sucked into the world of Westeros, and you are craving to see what happens next.
If you have watched the series Game of Thrones, first and second season, this book covers the events that take place in the second book, so you can get a deeper insight into some things that might have been a bit underdeveloped in the series. You will even get to know some characters which were omitted in the second season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, but which will appear in the third season, judging from some previews that are out.
A Clash of Kings – War of the Five Kings
A Clash of Kings picks up the storyline from the previous book, A Game of Thrones. The story is told through the perspectives of nine characters: Tyrion Lannister, Catelyn Stark, Davos Seaworth, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Bran Stark, Jon Snow, Theon Greyjoy, and Daenerys Targaryen. Also, the prologue is told from the perspective of Maester Cressen, maester at Dragonstone, who dies in the attempt of killing Melisandre.
Tyrion Lannister comes to the King’s Landing to be the Hand of the King, much to Cersei’s disapproval, until his father, Tywin Lannister, takes the role. Tyrion slowly, but surely, removes all the men in power who actually serve Cersei Lannister, the Queen regent. When the learn that Stannis Baratheon will attack King’s Landing, Tyrion arranges the defense of the city quite cleverly.
Arya travels north with Yoren, recruiter for the Night’s Watch. He saved her from king’s men after Ned Stark has been executed. In their company is Gendry, late King Robert’s son, but nobody knows about his father, not even Gendry himself. During the trip, Yoren is killed by Lannister men, so Arya, Gendry, and other children are taken to Harrenhal. There she manages to get Yaquen H’gar to kill three men for her. After he is done, he gives her an iron coin which can take her to Braavos, if she ever wants to go there.
Stannis Baratheon claims himself a king saying that the fruit of incest between Jaime and Cersei Lannister cannot be a true king. He accepts the religion of R’hllor, since he doesn’t believe in gods anyway, and at least Melisandre has repeatedly shown her powers. He burns the Seven, representing the ruling religion in Westeros. Baratheon’s most loyal servant, Davos Seaworth, tries to persuade him not to do it, but Stannis doesn’t listen.
Melisandre soon shows her powers by creating a shadow that kills self-proclaimed King Renly Baratheon, Stannis’s younger brother. Before that, Renly had bigger army than Stannis thanks to the marriage with Maergery Tyrell, but after his death, most of the army comes to Stannis’s side.
Robb Stark leads an army to avenge Ned Stark’s, his father, execution. On his way, he needs to cross the rivers through the bridge that the House Frey holds. He promises to wed one of the Frey girls after the war is done so they get a pass. Robb Stark wins every battle and even manages to capture Jaime Lannister. However, Catelyn Stark releases Jaime after making him promise to return her daughters, Sansa and Arya Stark, when he comes to King’s Landing.
Theon Greyjoy is sent by Robb Stark to make truce with his father, Balon Greyjoy. Balon despises his son for becoming meek northerner, instead of being an ironman who takes what is his. To win his father approval, and make his own ambitions, Theon wins Winterfell. Bran Stark, as the Lord of Winterfell, defies his attempts, and manages to run away with his little brother Rickon Stark, the servant Osha, the giant man Hodor, and Meera and Jojen Reed.
Theon shows the citizens of Winterfell two burnt boy bodies, claiming them to be Bran and Rickon. Bran and Rickon Stark come back to Winterfell to find it burnt, so they split – Bran Stark, Hodor, Jojen and Meera Reed go looking for someone to help Bran understand the dreams about the three-eyed crow, while Osha takes Rickon the other way.
Daenerys Targaryen follows the red comet that appeared in the sky the night her three little dragons were born, and she reaches the city of Qarth far east. There, she becomes a guest of Xaro Xhoan Daxos. Xaro seems like a perfect host, but as the story unfolds, we see that he only wants Daenerys’s dragons. A paid man tries to kill Daenerys in the harbor, but an old man called Arstan saves her and takes her to Pentos, as Ilyrio Mopatis ordered.
Sansa is constantly tortured by Joffrey, but she finds solace in making plans of escape with a former knight whom she saved from Joffrey’s madness by making him a fool. After the Battle of the Blackwater, where Stannis Baratheon army has been defeated, Maergery Tyrell comes to marry Joffrey, so Sansa is free from the engagements.
Jon Snow travels with Lord Commander Mormont and brother of the Night’s Watch behind the Wall, so they can explore strange behavior of the wildlings, and possibly find missing rangers, including Jon’s uncle Benjen Stark. While Jon Snow is ranging with Qhorin Halfhand, they are captured by wildlings. Following Qhorin’s instructions, Jon kills him and joins the wildlings, so he could learn their plans and in that way help the Night’s Watch to defend the Wall.
As you can see, A Clash of Kings is full of interesting events, and is definitely worth a read. It can help you learn more about the world of Westeros, but also to kill time until the second season of Game of Thrones comes out.
A Game of Thrones is the first of the novels from the series A Song of Ice and Fire. If you are into fantasy novels, then this is the book for you. If you are a fan of the HBO series Game of Thrones, that covers all the books from A Song of Ice and Fire, this is the book for you. And if you are neither of those, then why are you reading this? I think this is proof enough.
A Game of Thrones – A new immense fantasy world
A Game of Thrones is the first installment from the series A Song of Ice and Fire. Since its publication in 1996, the series has won many fans, and even more when the books were screened as the HBO series Game of Thrones. First planned as the trilogy, the story grew, and the number of planned volumes grew into four, then six, and now seven novels. Five parts of the series have been published, and there are two more to go, or at least that’s how it’s planned.
A Song of Ice and Fire is often compared to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but George R. R. Martin is a contemporary writer, and he writes for the contemporary readers. Fantasy is not enough anymore.
A Game of Thrones introduces us to the world of Westeros. We meet the characters, and learn about their relationships. The Starks from the North are lead by a just and caring father, Eddard Ned Stark, the Warden of the North. His wife Catelyn is his support – their five children, Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon, are their joy.
However, Ned Stark has a slightly tarnished past, an infidelity from which his son Jon Snow was born. Even though Jon is accepted by everyone as an equal member of the family, Catelyn cannot stand the memory of Ned’s infidelity that Jon reminds her of daily.
Ned Stark’s friend Robert Baratheon, the King of the Westeros, is married to Cersei Lannister. They have three children, spoiled little brat Joffrey, and two kind younger children, Marcella and Tommen. After the death of King Robert’s hand, Jon Arryn, Ned Stark comes to take the position.
He unravels secrets that could mean the end of Cersei. As the story unfolds, this eventually leads to the death of King Robert, and turmoil in the kingdom, which later on turns into a war of mass proportions, taking all of the Westeros.
Cersei Lannister is a daughter of the richest man in Westeros, Tywin Lannister. Her twin brother Jaime is a knight famous for his skills in battle as much as a Kingslayer. When he was very young, he became a member of an elite king’s guard. Due to the madness of the king Aerys II Targaryen, Jaime Lannister killed him.
According to everyone in the kingdom, nothing can justify breaking an oath to protect the king, so his reputation is negative ever since. Tywin Lannister has another son, a dwarf named Tyrion Lannister. He is mocked for his looks, which makes him turn to his brains as his way of protection from the world that despises him.
Aerys II Targaryen was killed, but he was not left without all of his heirs. His son Viserys and younger daughter Daenerys Targaryen live in exile, trying to survive and gain their kingdom back. Vyseris even marries his sister to Khal Drogo, a Dothraki leader, in order to buy Khal Drogo’s army. Some time after, Daenerys manages to give life to three little dragons, and magic starts to come back into the world.
These are the most famous families or “Houses” in Westeros. There are other great Houses as well, but it would be too much to describe them all just now. Find out more about the two main rival houses of Westeros House Lannister and House Stark. More to follow soon.
Also, there are different kinds of creatures. There are common men, like those just described; but there are also the Others, magical creatures who sow death and destruction. There are legends of the Children of the Forest, and there are the mentioned dragons.
A Game of Thrones introduces us into a whole new world. What makes this world so fascinating is its complexity. As you can see from the description of only four families, there are many ties between them. Many characters are given their own voice, and from chapter to chapter, you can follow different characters and see their world the way they see it. Politics, religion, sexuality, death, crimes of murder, theft… it is all in-wrought into a world that resembles our real world. Once you step into this world, you cannot leave its inhabitors anymore.
The Game of Thrones is a game that all the noble families of Westeros play – everyone wants to be a king, but not everyone can. They all try their best, and there is often a thin line between the good and evil, but this book is ready to give you much more than the classic battle of good and evil.
If you want to immerse yourself into a world as complex as the real world which is still a fantasy of one man’s mind, A Song of Ice and Fire is the series to read starting with A Game of Thrones.
Well, they aren't exactly Game of Thrones books, they are A Song of Ice and Fire series. ASOIAF for short version. But it seems that GoT caught better and the TV show has more fans, so I will be focusing on the relation between two.
There are five books in the series so far, and two more to come soon. I just hope that RR Martin lives long enough to write the end. At the tempo he is going, he will be around 120 when he's done.
I plan to start by review of first 5 books and then focus on some details in the books. If you want me to focus on anything in particular, just let me know in the comments.