Jump to content
miyuki

Do you like Feast and Dance?

Recommended Posts

Going through older threads here in this website, I've noted that many people think that "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons" are much less enjoyable, if not outright boring books compared to the earlier books in GRRM's series. Most likely this kind of thread was once made already, but has any re-read or anything else changed your opinion over the years? Or have you always liked them, or always and forever hated them? If you don't like them, is it because of something other than "nothing happens"?

Personally, I've always loved the 4th and 5th book. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Feast is the hardest read, but Dance at points is as good as any of the others, re-reads have made me enjoy both a lot more than I did on first read but it would be safe to say that compared to the first three books they don’t stand up as well, not for me anyway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, FitzChivalry Fartseer said:

Feast is the hardest read

Could you expand that thought?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, miyuki said:

Could you expand that thought?

Yeah, simply put, it has very few of the characters I enjoy the most, I enjoy the Feast characters, but I missed Davos, Jon, Stannis, the Wildlings et all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

No.  I do not really like Feast or Dance as books.   For me it is because the main plot thrusts of the series barely move.  Little of real significance happens, and everything just takes too damn long with too many words.  Entire plotlines just meander around going nowhere.   Characters don't arc, they just. . . flatline.  Or they go in circles.  Its like reading a long soap opera.  Some of it is fun, some of it is interesting, but after a while you realize it just isn't going anywhere.  Additionally the number of different PoVs and new characters dramatically increases, widening the scope of the series for both the reader and the writer.  I think its really obvious reading it that GRRM was floundering a bit to try and force the story to go somewhere he wants, but is having difficulty moving that direction.  And finally, the supposed climaxes of this portion of the story don't even happen in the book.  It just peters off leaving us all hanging.  

For me, Brienne is a great example.  Her story is kinda interesting, kinda enjoyable, but it doesn't feel like it matters.  Her quest is ultimately a failure, and while she has a small internal character arc to it, I don't think we needed to read it as part of the main storyline.

If there wasn't 7 years between books, this would be less noticeable.    It would just be the slow building books of the series.  But when you compare it to the first three its much more noticeable.   The first three books set a good pace and don't lose the threads they're following.  The second two books spend a lot of time just exploring the setting.    If I was his editor I'd have suggested he chop at least 70% of both books and put the material in a spin off or something.

And then GRRM went and released Fire and Blood, which is just more of the same, except written as a faux history book.  I don't really understand his process with this, and its very frustrating as a reader.  If he ever finishes all these books, maybe it'll all make sense, but I doubt it.  We've seen this same sort of thing happen in the Wheel of Time series.

 

edit:  And I do not mean that I think Feast and Dragon are bad writing, only that they are bad as novels when it comes to story structure.  The material within is still well written and interesting.  It just doesn't seem to be all necessary.

Edited by argonak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Dance with Dragons is a great novel.  I enjoyed the chapters in Essos.  I loved the expansion of the storyline because I was getting tired of the river lands and the north.  Characters that I like are finally converging in Mereen.  Daenerys, Barristan, Tyrion, and Jorah are all awesome characters and are my favorites.  

A Feast for Crows was hard to get through.  I barely stayed awake reading those chapters.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, miyuki said:

Going through older threads here in this website, I've noted that many people think that "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons" are much less enjoyable, if not outright boring books compared to the earlier books in GRRM's series. Most likely this kind of thread was once made already, but has any re-read or anything else changed your opinion over the years? Or have you always liked them, or always and forever hated them? If you don't like them, is it because of something other than "nothing happens"?

Personally, I've always loved the 4th and 5th book. 

 

Its not so much “nothing happens” it’s that you have two books of build up and then the book abruptly ends on cliffhangers.

To round off the list:

- Cersei trial

- Battle of Mereen

- Battle of Winterfell

- Battle of Blood at Oldtown

- Battle of Storms End 

These are all events which were meant to occur and actively built up in during crows and especially Dance. Events touted to occur in the opening of Winds.

I’ve reread Dance a few times and he clearly wants Mereen to be the biggest and most complicated battle to date. It’s way more involved than Blackwater. All of Dany, Barristan, Quentin, Victorian and Tyrion’s story is set up for this main event. There’s a bit of a myth that George resolved the Mereenese Knot because he still has to spend a good chunk of Winds on this battle. 

Spoiler

A cursory look at the preview chapters alone tells you that and this will be a book with more POV than ever.

 

Its a huge deal and it completely guts A Dance with Dragons as a novel. It’s clearly unfinished and of course thats a huge problem a decade on from when the last book dropped.

Spoiler

Also, the Battle plan Barristan discusses in Dance has nothing to do with the plan they actually use in his Winds chapter. They spend a ton of time in this intricate plan to just say yeah let’s just charge out the main gate and go for the catapults. So that was either a total waste of time or bad editing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like them in the sense that I like reading about this world and seeing what happens to the characters, that investment alone carried it a lot for me but there were quite a few long stretches where I just wanted the plot to get rolling again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always liked them, but I also had the added benefit of firstly, being able to binge read them, and secondly, I knew that my favourite characters, such as Jon and Tyrion, would be appearing again in ADwD. 

Had I read the books when they where coming out, and waited 5 years for AFfC only to find out that we where pretty much getting a completely new set of POV characters that we've never seen or heard from before, I might've disliked the book alot more during my first read. 

ADwD is my second favourite, and its a very close second. I loved getting to see Jon ruling at the Wall, and Tyrion at rock bottom only to slowly build himself back up again. 

Edited by Euron III Greyjoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AFFC and ADWD are suppose to be read together. The fact that they were split by POV, it changes the dynamic a lot.

If put together as it was intended, perhaps (as an example) a AFFC Brienne chapter was suppose to follow a ADWD Jon chapter. The original transition between the two chapters are suppose to be smooth, sharing similar themes, and it factors in to being a great single book.

But nope, they were split.

Its like ordering 2 pizza pies ... but when it arrives and you open both boxes, each pie is missing a half.
It feels strange to have 2 half-pies ... we would be more satisfied with 1 full pie, and take the 2nd full pie in another delivery.
The pizza man apologizes and promises the other halves are coming out soon ... but then you wait 6 years for the other two halves to be re-delivered.
And as an apology, the pizza man throws in free extra slices along with the 2nd delivery (f/Aegon & JonCon ADWD plot as an added excuse to the Meereenese Knot!)

Edited by The Map Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last two are my faves. It’s slower than the others but the slowness was welcomed and I really liked the political intrigue in the books. I actually started to really liking Jon in the last book and the new regions introduced. A lot of authors skip over world building but I really appreciate GRRM taking the time and expanding his story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have kind of addressed, I think the books are well-written, but there are a lot of interesting choices that aren't so much a problem individually but add up to become problematic in whole, especially A Feast for Crows. Many of the problems are mitigated upon a re-read, and/or if you started the series after all of the books were written.

1. Too long after the first three novels (which were about 2 years apart).

2. Too many new characters at once. The three main characters don't appear until ADWD, 11 years after they last appeared.

3. One of those main characters (Brienne) spends her entire book pursuing a quest that the readers know is doomed. Maybe it's a conscious narrative decision to do it this way so we can focus on the thematics and world-building as opposed to wondering Will she be successful?, but it still puts a lot of people off. It would be like having The Empire Strikes Back spend 25% of its running time on a brand new character searching Tatooine to try and find Ben Kanobi.

4. Too many major plot decisions left unresolved despite all of the build up. Especially an issue with ADWD because Martin admits he just ran out of space. This is why you get comparisons to The Wheel of Time, with further installments having less and less happen. and many characters sitting around spinning their wheels, especially Daenerys.

The two books are better appreciated if you view them combined as an Act II of the story, which is why there's a sudden change of focus from the first three books, but there's no advertisement to this effect when you first read them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/14/2019 at 3:48 PM, miyuki said:

Going through older threads here in this website, I've noted that many people think that "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons" are much less enjoyable, if not outright boring books compared to the earlier books in GRRM's series. Most likely this kind of thread was once made already, but has any re-read or anything else changed your opinion over the years? Or have you always liked them, or always and forever hated them? If you don't like them, is it because of something other than "nothing happens"?

Personally, I've always loved the 4th and 5th book. 

I loved the 5th book, A Dance with Dragons.  I cannot say the same for Feast. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked Feast more than Dance because Sansa and Arya’s POVs. It was nice to see my favs be able to be safe(as safe as Sansa could be with a sleazy, perverted, evil, creep)and not constantly live in fear. 

I liked the Vale where Sansa was. 

I wouldn’t have minded Cersei’s POV but it got repetitive real fast. 

Brienne was also repetitive and I didn’t like to hear about the destruction in the Riverlands. 

Dance was alright. I liked reading about the North and Jon and Bran. Having Danny back was nice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they're fine.  But, I only started reading the series in 2011, so I read them all in swift succession.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the Feast more, honestly. 

First because I absoulutly enjoyed Cersei regency and imprisonment. 

And second because I hate the Wall and Dany

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Karneol said:

I like the Feast more, honestly. 

First because I absoulutly enjoyed Cersei regency and imprisonment. 

And second because I hate the Wall and Dany

 

“I am a lion! I am a lion! Hear me roar!”

I was howling. It was so funny.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×