I can see why people have problems with this volume of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, titled A FEAST FOR CROWS. We spend a great deal of time in the company of Brienne, Maid of Tarth as she wanders through Westeros looking for Sansa Stark, only to be told she was on the wrong trail. At the end of the book, she comes to a sad, unsurprisingly grisly end, and it all seems so pointless.
The other figure who casts a long shadow over this novel is the beautiful but cruel Cersei. As she is not a sympathetic character, and she gets increasingly paranoid throughout this book, and there is no resolution to her situation, I can see why people would get impatient.
It is true, that I found myself wondering, two-thirds of the way through, when this novel was going to come to some kind of resolution. And it didn’t, which was disappointing. But strangely enough, I did manage to read most every word, which is unusual for me as I am the most impatient person on the planet. So what kept me going?
I think the people who really kept me going throughout this volume were the Stark sisters, which is strange as we don’t hear much from them. But whenever they appeared, the volume came to life. That might explain why I stuck with Brienne through thick and thin, as she was looking for Sansa Stark, and I kept expecting them to meet up.
Otherwise, I have to agree with others who have said this needed a stronger editorial hand. In particular, I found the prologue to this piece as well as the prologue to A DANCE WITH DRAGONS (which I have just read) really unhelpful, and actually a turn-off to the book I’m about to read. In my opinion they give you hooks that are not really hooks, as they don’t seem to have much to do with the main characters. I hope that in his next volume THE WINDS OF WINTER, GRRM will do something about that. Three and a Half stars.