Pin It
Favorite

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

  • The Price of Progress
  • The Price of Progress

    The Grand Coulee Dam has created billions in economic activity, but it also devastated local river tribes. What's standing in the way of reparations for the Spokane Tribe?
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • Breaking the Silence
  • Breaking the Silence

    The Carmel of the Holy Trinity nuns live in silence and isolation — but a proposed development could make that difficult
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • Watch List
  • Watch List

    ISIS singles out an Idaho town; plus, Spokane's campaign for paid sick leave
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Free State Parks Day

Free State Parks Day @ Riverside State Park

Sat., April 4, Wed., April 22, Sun., May 10, Sat., June 6, Sat., June 13, Tue., Aug. 25, Sat., Sept. 26 and Wed., Nov. 11

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Why Idaho kids don't go to college

    And what that means for the Gem State
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • New Blood

    Candidates are launching bids for Spokane City Council and could bring big changes to city government
    • Mar 18, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


Comment


Publisher's Note


marijuana


long reads


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation