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marctiley

How was Feast of Crows?

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I am re-reading AFFC now and am having trouble putting the book down. Not having read it since 2006 I had started to listen too many people on this board and was actually bracing myself for it thinking I might think it was boring. It's not. If your at all curios about Westeros, it's an amazing book.

However, even if you do turn to be one of those who don't like the book, I'm sure NOT reading it will have a big impact on how much you enjoy ADwD, so read it.

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As someone who has just recently read all the books for the first time, back to back, I would say AFfC is both not as bad as I had heard, yet also notably ....different than the other books. Different good or different bad depends on the individual, and perhaps only with the completion of the series.

Good Points:

-If you're like me, and you really enjoy an exhaustive look into a created world, AFfC delivers interesting tales from Dorne and the Iron Islands.

-Personally, I thought Jamie's characterization to be excellent. Characters that live heavily with their own actions and consequences are a strength of the series, and perhaps Jamie most embodies that.

-Martin continues to build his world by expanding the mythos and fleshing out the side areas, rather than over-loading a few main characters.

Not so Hot points:

- A growing fear around the series is that what seemed to be a tight thematic set-up from the first book has drifted quite a bit as the story has gone along. AFfC does not alleviate those fears, and in some ways doubles down. This is the point I alluded to by bringing up the completion of the series. If Martin can round up the pieces and tighten the narrative over the last two books (from accounts it would seem ADwD is similar in tone to AFfC), then I think this can be viewed as an enjoyable, if meandering trip. If not....then this may not hold up well. At this point, once compelling characters like Ned Stark (whose impact and importance seems greatly lessened by the eclectic fates of his family and the increasingly over-the-top betrayals following his) and Daenerys Targaryen seem weaker than the early buildup.

In essence, AFfC is a stand-in for the biggest question of the series....would it have been a better trilogy with a tighter focus on a few rival families and the happenings at the Wall, or will it come together at the end with a much bigger run time (7 books!) and very expansive narrative.

-The writing, while better than average, does not sparkle like the first two. A bit of the energy and turn of phrase that highlighted characters like Tyrion Lannister in the early going has faded somewhat.

All in all, if someone likes the story, there's no reason not to give the book a try. At worst, it may test the patience of those who wish the series had a more stern editor. There's nothing in it that 'ruins' a character or takes a ridiculous story turn (well...zombie Catelyn just seems like a bad choice, but technically that's from the third book).

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I have to disagree with saying the writing does not sparkle. Craftwise I think AFFC is the best written book of the series. Plotwise, it suffers from missing the best characters, and structure wise it suffers for being half a book, but the writing itself was superb.

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That's a nice samaritan and good advice. You can skip the book and read the plot on wiki but rather read it from a library or borrow it from a friend.

Unless you're a collectionist, there's no point in buying Feast since it's only good enough for one boring read.

Brace yourself for it.

Not this.

Or there are the people who love the book about as much as they love the rest, and have re-read it a number of times. :)

Read it.

but this...

Just read the book already and make up your own mind about it. AFFC was one of my favorite of the entire series. Those around here (or random assholes at the bookstore) who claim that it is "universally reviled" are feeding you a mountain of bullshit.

and this. It's a different flow because it does only cover part of the story you are used to, but once that adjustment is made I thought the book was just fine. My favorite? No, but enjoyable and a good read.

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The first half is a bit of a struggle. It picks up nicely in the 2nd half though. However, it ends just when things feel like they are finally "getting started".

I'd suggest just reading it. And if a particular POV is a struggle (for me, it was Brienne), skip those POVs for now and come back to them. At the very least, reading the Cersei, Jaime, and Arya chapters.

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Its amusing that this thread has garnered more replies than any other in the new readers' section--except that, unless I missed it, the original poster has not been back since that first post. We're talking to each other, here...

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Wow, iheartseverus, I didn't know you had summoning powers!

To marctiley, enjoy and please join us in the General series forum to let us know how it turned out for you.

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Wow, iheartseverus, I didn't know you had summoning powers!

Holy crap, neither did I! :wideeyed: Makes me wonder now if I might be impervious to fire, as well. Wonder what would happen if I stepped into a funeral pyre? Nah, best not push my luck...

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Thanks for the advice...I picked it up today and can't wait to read it.

Hooray! Have fun and just remember what people have said in this thread: AFFC has a very different pace than ASOS, so don't go into this book thinking it's going to be another barn-burner, or you'll be very disappointed. Most readers have found that AFFC strongly improves on the reread as you let yourself get settled into the atmosphere and really begin to enjoy the details of post-war Westeros. :)

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Awful book, so much could have been got rid of. Cersei's, Samwell's, Arya's, Brienne's, Dorne's and the Ironmen's sections were all for the most part as dull as dishwasher. I enjoyed a lot of Jaime's sections though still not a lot happened there. And quite a lot of decent things in it were only talked about and not actually seen which smacks of lazy writing. The ending was cracking though.

Read the book though, you can't just read a book series and miss out parts.

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- A growing fear around the series is that what seemed to be a tight thematic set-up from the first book has drifted quite a bit as the story has gone along. AFfC does not alleviate those fears, and in some ways doubles down. This is the point I alluded to by bringing up the completion of the series. If Martin can round up the pieces and tighten the narrative over the last two books (from accounts it would seem ADwD is similar in tone to AFfC), then I think this can be viewed as an enjoyable, if meandering trip. If not....then this may not hold up well. At this point, once compelling characters like Ned Stark (whose impact and importance seems greatly lessened by the eclectic fates of his family and the increasingly over-the-top betrayals following his) and Daenerys Targaryen seem weaker than the early buildup.

In essence, AFfC is a stand-in for the biggest question of the series....would it have been a better trilogy with a tighter focus on a few rival families and the happenings at the Wall, or will it come together at the end with a much bigger run time (7 books!) and very expansive narrative.

-The writing, while better than average, does not sparkle like the first two. A bit of the energy and turn of phrase that highlighted characters like Tyrion Lannister in the early going has faded somewhat.

I'm a new reader to the books, and I'm working my way through AFFC, but this seems to be what most bothers me about this book thus far. Don't get me wrong, I still like it, it's just not as good as the first three. I just hope this spread out story telling doesn't become the norm, although it's starting to look that way from what I've heard about ADwD.

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Awful book, so much could have been got rid of. Cersei's, Samwell's, Arya's, Brienne's, Dorne's and the Ironmen's sections were all for the most part as dull as dishwasher. I enjoyed a lot of Jaime's sections though still not a lot happened there. And quite a lot of decent things in it were only talked about and not actually seen which smacks of lazy writing. The ending was cracking though.

Read the book though, you can't just read a book series and miss out parts.

Stannis' sense of humour, indeed.

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I know the OP has already made up his/her mind, but I just thought I'd jot down a few quick thoughts for posterity, or if any future reader wonders whether they should skip AFFC.

As has been said, most of us have had to judge AFFC with the knowledge that a LONG wait was ahead for DWD. Viewed in this light, it was a bit of a disappointment after the breathless, end to end action that was ASOS. However, I think once book 5 is in our greedy little hands, and especially once the entire series is finished, AFFC will be viewed in proper context. My gut feeling is that it is almost a bridge between two trilogies. The first three books, taken together, focus mostly on the origins and resolution of the War of 5 Kings. Jon and Dany's arcs hint at the greater plot, but almost seem as side-trips compared to the rest of the plotlines. The purpose of the War of the 5 Kings is to shatter the kingdom's of men to make the upcoming struggle against the Others more interesting. The War for the most part is resolved in book 3, and AFFC serves to illustrate the aftermath of that war and the condition of the 7 Kingdoms prior to the Main Event, which I believe will be the Long Night, war with the others, and final resolution of the Targaryen and Stark dynasties.

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idk why you would consider skipping a book... I mean you've come this far, 3 books, 2500+ pages, and you're gonna let a little slowdown in the action get to you?

I'd suggest just reading it. And if a particular POV is a struggle (for me, it was Brienne), skip those POVs for now and come back to them. At the very least, reading the Cersei, Jaime, and Arya chapters.

While I disagree with skipping the entire book, I think skipping POV chapters can be helpful if you're struggling with a certain viewpoint. I did this in GoT with the Dany chapters (I found them so boring) of course I had already seen the series so I knew what I was missing.

I have only just started FFC but I can't understand really why there is so much resentment of the book. It makes sense, as someone else pointed out, that it is due to the huge break between FFC and DWD. I'm about 4 chapters in and I love it so far. I don't need to see what Jon/Tyrion is up to at ALL times. I'm psyched to check out Dorne and the Iron Islands. Brienne's POV perfectly captures her infantile mindset, but also her loyalty and commitment to being the noble hero that she wishes to be, and that makes for a very interesting POV imo

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I really enjoyed it, it was much slower paced, but there are a few great little pay offs. I really liked getting to know/hate Cersei a lot more. Jamie's chapter were great too, his growth as a character and a man are very well put together.

I did find the Ironborn sections terribly boring, and struggled with the Dorne chapters to start with, but grew to like them.

I don't get why you would just randomly skip a middle book in a series in the first place?? Fair enough not finishing a series you dislike......

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I loved AFfC. Excellent book in it's own right. I thought there were some less interesting chapters - Dorne and the iron islands - but I loved the rest of it.

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while I disagree with skipping the entire book, I think skipping POV chapters can be helpful if you're struggling with a certain viewpoint. I did this in GoT with the Dany chapters (I found them so boring) of course I had already seen the series so I knew what I was missing.

I totally disagree with this, Watching the show in no way means you have a full understanding of everything that happened in a certain characters chapters. As great as the show was, there was so much stuff left out, yes the did their best to hit many of the major plot points, but the reason the show exists is because of the greatness of the book series as a whole. If you skipped all of Dany's chapters in AGoT than there are many small great moments and intricacies you missed out on.

To anyone reading this, i strongly recommend never skipping any chapters. We all have characters we care for more than others, but GRRM puts things in almost every chapter that have a great importance at some point. And you'll be amazed at how many things you missed if you do a re-read. You owe it to yourself to read every page, even the POVs that ca seem to drag on and or are boring, you won't regret it. Also don't think you fully understand a character because you watched the show.

To prove i follow my own suggestions, I loved AFFC. It was certainly not my favourite of the series and it felt to drag on fairly slowly. But there are great moments in the book that can't be missed, especially when add up the events of AFFC with the simultaneous events of ADWD.

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I loved it and thought it was as good as the other three even though I missed Tyrion, Bran and Jon. There were so many other characters that I loved-Jaime, Brienne, Arya, Sansa, Samwell, Pod-that I didn't notice the omissions as much as I thought I would. I do have to say that I came to this book knowing these characters would be missing-I'm not sure how I would have taken it if it had been a total surprise. Anyway, I definitely wouldn't skip any of the books.

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