Pin It

Book Review 

by Ted S. McGregor Jr. & r & & r & A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & haven't read much fantasy since I was a teenager, when I would devour J.R.R. Tolkien, Roger Zelazney, Stephen R. Donaldson, Robert E. Howard -- it was all good. Then, six years ago, an old friend turned me on to George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice trilogy. The insanely detailed realm of Westeros was fun, especially for how Martin repaints Tolkien's black-and-white world into a million shades of gray. In Martin's gory, sexed-up fantasy, you root for the bad guys who aren't quite as bad as the really bad guys. As for the good guys ... well, good guys finish last. After the final installment, A Storm of Swords (2000), the wait was on for the first of the next three books. Apparently I wasn't the only one, as A Feast for Crows came out of nowhere when it was published in November to top The New York Times bestseller list.

The action picks up just after the cataclysm of Swords, but right there you have the problem: There is no action in this book. Chapters plod on past 700 pages, as Martin regales you with what the characters ate for dinner and which horse they rode to what battle. And there's the next problem: Martin leaves out the most compelling characters from the first three books. You'll have to wait until next year for A Dance With Dragons to hear anything at all about Tyrion Lannister, Stannis Baratheon, Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen. That leaves you with the ho-hum trajectories of Petyr Baelish, Brienne of Tarth and Arya Stark. Only the chapters on the Lannister twins Jaime (hopelessly jaded) and Cersei (a spectacular bitch) keep the pages turning.

Martin, who used to write for the Beauty and the Beast TV series, is clearly setting the stage for the rest of his epic. But does it take 700 pages to do it? A well-placed hack from Sandor Clegane's broadsword could have cut this beast down to size. Martin's editors, unfortunately, lacked the boldness to question his carefully filigreed prose. He should have learned from his TV days that people want a little payoff at the end of each episode; with one cliffhanger after another, this series has jumped the shark. Oh well, I think I still have all my old Conan the Barbarian books down in the basement somewhere.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • A Second Opinion
  • A Second Opinion

    Washington State University has a powerful foe in its quest to build a medical school in Spokane: the University of Washington
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • More Money, More Problems
  • More Money, More Problems

    Paying and spending taxes in the new marijuana economy
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • Free At Last
  • Free At Last

    A judge orders the release of a man stuck at Eastern State Hospital; plus, Stuckart takes on Spokane's sit-lie law
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Spokane Trivia Championship

Spokane Trivia Championship @ Bing Crosby Theater

Thu., Oct. 2, 7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Most Commented On

  • Real Solutions

    Guest Editorial
    • Sep 17, 2014
  • The ABCs of R-A-C-E

    A list of privileges white students can count on that their black counterparts cannot
    • Sep 10, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation