Like many another sucker I eagerly dived into A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin and quickly found myself saying, Where did everybody go? Who are these people? What does this have to do with anything?
Reading this book was truly painful. Too many characters I don’t care about. I renewed it twice and still ended up reading the last 100 pages at the library. Which turned out to be the only good part. I just wish I didn’t have to slog through the first 700 pages to get there.
As for the few characters I do care about who do show up, they hardly do anything. While Sansa is finally beginning to grow up, there’s something seriously wrong when Arya becomes boring by dint of ending Training Scenes. She can run over floating barrels or squat over a spike with a wine cup on her head or plunge her hands into gravel all day, but I want to see her fight her way out past steam-powered mannequins. Or the equivalent.
It’s nice to see Jaime become more reflective and self-aware and all that, but it’s also disturbing. I mean, what’s the message here? That the best way to deal with an arrogant, overweaning, incestuous jerk is to cut his hand off?
There’s tons are other stories trying to be mildly interesting, but fundamentally distracting from the main story. Whatever that is. Isn’t this called the Song of Fire and Ice? Shouldn’t we be getting just a glimpse of evil ice demons and/or dragons? They didn’t even inch together in this installment. When are they going to duke it out?
Meanwhile Martin’s been promising for years that the next book will be finished “soon.” If you enjoy being tantalized, you can hear him say so again in this interview last November (which is part of an interesting show about science ficiton and Ideas). Don’t hold your breath.