Songs of Ice and Fire – A Feast for Crows
Well, color me unimpressed. Book four had too much of some things (like new point of view characters) and too little of others (like the old point of view characters) – which is not to say it’s a bad book, it’s just a little bit less than the rest. And you know something else I found needlessly gimmicky & distracting? Having p.o.v. characters change their names in the titles. It makes sense for Arya & Sansa, since they both have to leave behind their true identities, but Arianne Martell? Victarion Greyjoy? Aeron Greyjoy? Arys Oakenheart & Areo Hotah having one chapter each? All too much, I should say.
Anyways, let’s recap where we are left now. (I doubt this serves anyone, but I hope it will serve me when the rest of the books come along and I’ll have to struggle to remember what & when it happened)
– Arya is training in Braavos, in the House of Black and White and last we heard of her was that she woke up blind one morning. I can only hope this is part of her training, she really has been through more than most characters, she deserves a break (even if she’s training to become a cold-blooded assassin).
– Sansa is now publicly known as Alayne Stone, Petyr Baelish’s bastard daughter. Littlefinger is, as susual, scheming and plotting (he’s twice the spider Varys ever was) and now, as Lord Protector of the Vale, he’s made a seemingly good marriage contract for Sansa. I’m looking forward to see in how many ways it will bite him in the ass.
– Cersei is Queen Regent, basically all-powerful and her decisions grow more rash and stupid every day. Having her carefully laid plans of destroying Margaery Tyrell blow up so spectacularly as to land her directly into a cell in the Great Sept – vengeance in fictions is quite sweet & her story line proved to be one of the most entertaining in this volume.
-and now we come to Jamie. The Lannister boys are well served by parental disapproval – Jamie is now fancying himself a new Tyrion. And every book needs a Tyrion, so, lacking the original, this was truly the next best thing. He’s distancing himself from Cersei’s follies (apparently losing a hand can make a man smarter) – and I’m quite convinced that the valonqar in the prophecy is actually him, not Tyrion.
– Brienne’s quest to find the Stark sisters is not going all that well, and last we see her he’s about to be hanged at the order of Lady Stoneheart. But I assume the yet unknown thing she screamed will save her life – although I wouldn’t miss her. She was getting dull with all her talk of honor and her crush on Jamie.
– the Greyjoys are ambitious but, as much as GRRM pushed for them here, it still feels like their cause is falling to the sidelines. Plus, none of them is all that charismatic and Victarion’s & Euron’s wishes to marry Daenerys will probably go down pretty bad. At least we’d be rid of them.
– Samwell is in Oldtown, sent by Lord Commander Jon Snow to become a maester. In Braavos he ran into Arya but, of course, they never knew who the over was. Given his reaction to Jon-the-Lord as opposed to Jon-the-friend, I have a vague feeling that their relationship will go sour.
Anyways, all these little cogs seem to be moving us towards what will, inevitably, happen: Daenerys’s return. With the Maegi’s prophecy to Cersei clearly pointing towards Daenerys (and not Margaery), with Doran Martell sending his son across the Narrow Sea, with all claimants to the Iron Throne dead save for Stannis (whom I would expect to bow down before the rightful Queen, especially when it will turn out, as Aemon predicted, that Mellisandre’s visions concern Daenerys and not him) and Cersei and with an Archmaester from the Citadel on his way to Meereen – the scene is set for a new Targaryen rise.
I still missed Tyrion and Jon. I want to know what happened on the Wall and how the dwarf escaped – but July 12th is not that far away. Also, I think I like(and agree with the logic behind) the widely spread fan theory that Jon Snow is not actually Ned’s bastard, but Lyanna Stark’s & Rhaegar Targaryen’s son. She did make her brother promise something before she died – it might just as well have been concerning Jon.