Evil Geek Book Report – Game of Thrones: A Feast For Crows
Alright class, listen up: it’s time for another Evil Geek Book Report! Izzy Vassilakis Eden is back guest blogging for The Brotherhood of Evil Geeks today with a review of the fourth book in the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin, A Feast For Crows. If you haven’t seen her reviews of the earlier books in the series, then you can check them out here and here. Thanks again to Izzy for sharing her review with us and we hope she’ll be back soon with a review of the next book in the series!
A wandering weirdo bastard child. Trying to please everyone, failing, caring, not caring. In a way, I connected with this one (as a concept), yet felt a little detached from it (as an experience).
Truth be told, A Feast for Crows is wildly, quietly, morbidly successful at showing us a ravaged Westeros. It is like a one-take wide-angle scene, the camera panning across the field, both literal and symbolic. On real, actual film, colors bright and saturated.
Children and the religious have taken up arms. There isn’t enough time for one last harvest. The rightful lord of the riverlands is paraded beneath the gallows. We hear snippets of the rest of the realm – our Onion Knight has been executed; there are dragons in Slaver’s Bay; Lord Snow holds the wall, in league with Stannis. Two of these are definitely true, can the other be a mere rumor?
The Queen Regent unravels; hers is a mind sharp yet blind. She is callow, cold, single-minded, and blithely cruel. She imagines herself Tywin Lannister reincarnate, and is absurdly pleased when she outsmarts a man, any man – or anyone, really. And she is smart, and so unwise. Her chapters dominate, yet Cersei’s inner voice is full of acid, bile, lava. Seriously, Cersei is the wooooorst. Thank you George, for that sweet scene in which Jaime orders the burning of a certain slip of paper. Cersei, don’t you know it’s Dany in that prophecy, not Margaery?
The female Starks lose themselves. Arya is Cat of the Canals, Sansa is no more, Lady Stoneheart is a “grim spectre” of an outlaw queen. They lose their wolves, they lose their way. Alayne’s chapters are infinitely more interesting than our dear departed Sansa’s; a finely trained and tuned female machine, she knows just how to seat a table and run a castle stronghold, all while blushing prettily enough to complement her newly darkened hair. Our scrappy Arya is now a foul-mouthed street urchin with a bizarre religious storyline. Valar morghulis. I sincerely hope (view spoiler)[she’s not really fucking blind (hide spoiler)]. I mourn Lady Stark. Disfigured, dumb, and dead. I was never your biggest fan, Catelyn, but I wouldn’t have wished for this. Riverland trees bear a strange fruit. Blood on the leaves, and blood at the root.
The rest wander the world, scattered and confused. Jaime takes control, seizing Riverrun without spilling Tully blood; a victory that impressed and satisfied me, yet heightened my confusion – who do I want to win now? Two out of three Lannisters ain’t so bad. A realm not ruled by Cersei is best. Better Tommen and his kittens.
Brienne of Tarth, you soft-hearted thing. Samwell the cowardly lion. Dorne, with your heat and lust and orphans and sandals. Dorne is basically Vegas in the late 60s. Or Jerusalem sometime B.C. Or maybe an ancient unspoilt Mexico, teeming with wild horses and woman warriors. I am sorry to say Arianne bored me; I was much more intrigued by the Sand Snakes and the Prince of Dorne, and the last chapters confirmed my suspicions. Doran of Dorne’s got something up his slow gouty sleeve. Too bad I won’t know until after the next installment.
I don’t have much to say about the structure of this volume, nor whom Martin chose to talk about, those he left behind, dangling from some cliff or another. Etc. It is what it is, what more can I say? I didn’t wait years, or even months. I was still sucked in enough to read this while on vacation in Las Vegas (and not just on the plane). From Sin City to Sunspear, Red Rocks to Casterly Rock. Duskendale to Chippendale’s. I poured myself a few flagons of red at a few buffets, I’ll tell you that much.
A wandering weirdo bastard female child!
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.