Throughout the first three installments in the series A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin, the main players in this game of thrones were the highlighted narrators. However, in A Feast for Crows, the fourth book, nearly all of those players are absent.
The main characters that readers have come to love and hate are left out of this entire book. Tyrion and Dany being the most obvious characters that didn't make it into any part of the novel. Although Jamie Lannister and Queen Cersei become narrators for this book. There sections are by-far the most interesting, along with Brienne, the maid of Tarth.
The novel seems to foretell that in order to understand what will happen in the fifth book, the fourth book is necessary. It does little else then to lay a foundation and uncover character motivations that readers questioned in the previous book. While focusing on King's Landing, A Feast for Crows also shows the reader what has been happening in parts of the Seven Kingdoms that we haven't ever been introduced to. Meaning that, unless the reader accepts the fact that this book is the "story behind the story" from the beginning, I think many will dislike it.
I have to say that I felt disconnected from the whole novel. I was never a fan of Cersei or Jamie, who steal the entire focus of the novel creating chaos. Although it seems karma may be coming to call upon dear sweet Cersei soon. My favorite characters had little or no part in this book, and I feel many readers will have a hard time connecting with characters that were either marked as evil or hadn't been previously introduced. But, Martin promised on the past page of A Feast for Crows that all of our favorite (and least favorite) characters will return in A Dance of Dragons. :)
rating: 3/5 cups