Book four and book five are supposed to have concurrent timelines, so I made the dumb decision to read them at the same time – a few chapters in one then a few chapters in the other. Don’t do this. It’s confusing.
A Feast for Crows is basically the day-to-day drudgery of war: strategizing, traveling, miscommunications, horrible conditions, betrayals, attacks, etc. However, the day-to-day drudgery in Westeros is more entertaining than any other kind of drudgery one can experience or imagine.
This is a Cersei, Jon Snow, Arya heavy book and I enjoy all of those characters. Cersei’s back story is revealed, but a bit too much in my opinion. She went to a fortune teller when she was young who foretold her marrying Robert, Robert having umpteen illegitimate children, and her having three incest babies. The fortune teller also revealed that she would see all of her children die and be overthrown by someone younger and more beautiful. If true, that’s beyond foreshadowing. That’s a spoiler in the story. She thinks it’s Margaery, widowed bride of Joffrey and Renly and current bride of Tommen, but that seems unlikely. I think it foretold of Daenerys coming back, but who knows.
After finishing the fourth book and starting the fifth, I think all of Westeros is falling apart just so Jon and Arya could fulfill their potential. Jon is now commander at the Wall, which may have happened if his dad and Robert had lived and the lands weren’t plunged into war. However, I doubt it. And Arya! No way would this be her life: an apprentice at the most mystical monastery? She would’ve been wed to a lesser son of a decent house, most likely against her will. No way would she be allowed to fight and study such things. They’re my favorite characters, so I’m quite pleased.
However, can anyone tell me why Arya didn’t ask Sam about Jon? She knew he was from the Watch, but didn’t ask about her favorite sibling (probably)? Sam wouldn’t know who she was. She could’ve just asked general questions. It really, really bothered me. [Seriously, if anyone wants to book club this, drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m not so much about theme and symbolism, but I need to talk (gossip) about Arya and Sansa and House Stark!]
Jamie gets more interesting with each book. Time away from Cersei has caused him to grow in amazing ways and for the scales to fall from his eyes. He finally realized what his true love really is: An ambitious sociopath who will use any means (including her lady bits) to get what she wants. The only things she wants are for her children to be protected, power, and Jamie. Jamie seems to have shunned her completely and her power seems to be more illusion than real. Karma’s a bitch to bitches, too. I’m digging it.
That’s all I can really remember. Honestly, I don’t recognize most of the characters or how they fit into the war, but it’s still great.
Something interesting: there were fewer shocking deaths and some false death alarms. I think Mr. Martin is growing fond of his characters. We’ll see . . .
“Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old.”