As with my reviews of the previous Ice and Fire books (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords), it’s hard to separate one from the other for review purposes. I hop straight from one to the next, and so now, neck deep in snow with Bran, Meera, Jojen and Hodor, it’s hard to write a clear review of Brienne and Pod tromping around the Crownlands.
Overall though, I have the impression of having enjoyed A Feast for Crows more than I expected to. On my last read-through, I read the Boiled Leather fan edition, which combines Feast with A Dance of Dragons roughly chronologically. I loved reading it that way. I would have listened to the audio the same way if I could, but I’m a lazy sod who had no intention of constantly skipping backwards and forwards between my Audible downloads. And so I read Feast pure and unadulterated, and absolutely rejoiced in the amount of Jaime and Cersei I’d forgotten about, having vaguely convinced myself this book was all Sand Snakes, Brienne and Greyjoys.
(For the record, I do love Brienne, but her search for a maiden of three and ten always expands to epic proportions in memory.)
I adore the Lannister plots here, with Cersei scheming away in Kings Landing, and Jaime on his Riverlands Redemption Tour. The darkness of Qyburn in the Black Cells, and the unexpected tenderness of Jaime with the ill-treated Pia highlight the fundamental differences between the twins, and I love them BOTH. Even if Cersei is mad as a box of Maggy-the-frogs.
Roy Dotrice’s narration, as ever, has its moments. Here he finally switches Pee-tyre for Peter, but there’s so much Bry-een that my ears became attuned to it by the end. Thankfully, at least we now have House Arryn instead of the entirely less palatable Aryan.
Now that I’m part way through book five, I’m already longing to return to the start and become a sweet summer child all over again. I love this series endlessly.
[Read from 23 February – 21 March 2017]