My Kindle counter said I was only 91% of the way through George R.R. Martin’s Feast for Crows so I was very surprised while waiting for my bus to arrive at the train station and take me home this afternoon to click the next page button and discover I had finished the book. What? Turns out the rest of the book is made up of appendices, a who’s who of characters, relationships and houses. Well that was unexpected. Good thing I have plenty of other books on my Kindle and I already knew what one to read next.

Feast for Crows is the fourth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Is it bad of me to say I did not like it as much as the first three? Martin does a great job of continuing to develop characters and letting them change and grow or, in the case of some of them, dig their own graves. And the religious conflicts in the book between three different religions is really fascinating and well done. I also liked that most of the focus in this book is on female characters.

But the book ends in an arbitrary place with cliffhangers galore and no promise that they will be resolved in the next book. Because the next book focuses on the characters that were left out of this book. Martin found he was writing too much and so split what was the fourth book into two books, deciding to also split the stories of the characters. At the moment I don’t like that decision. I might change my mind after I read the fifth book. For now though it has left me with an unsatisfied feeling mixed with a little grumpiness.

Yes, I am watching the TV show of Game of Thrones that is currently airing. I started reading the series before the show began and had my own idea of what the characters looked like and all that. Now when I am reading I can’t remember my conception of them and instead have the TV characters’ images stuck in my head. Also, it is difficult to reconcile the way the book tells the story with how the show does. Some things stick closely to the book and others leave me gawping and muttering wtf? It’s always a risk one takes with books to screen.

I’ll be taking a break for a few months before I read A Dance with Dragons. And maybe by then Martin will have finished the sixth book and I can tie up the ends of all these dangling threads book four has left.

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