Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Feast for Crows

I'm not sure if splitting up this book and the next one by region instead of time was the right decision... but it's hard to say that the latter would actually be better. Getting interrupted in the middle of a story's flow is a drag, especially when the sequel goes from being hopefully released a year later to still not out after three more. But a lot of what happens in Crows just seems like filler. Really good filler - with the same quality of writing, a lot of great expansion on the story's incredibly deep world and cast of hundreds, and yeah, a few of those insane moments. But the driving force for a lot of the series' plot is being handled by the people who happen to be elsewhere, and it's hard not to miss what they brought to the books.

There are a few new areas of interest in Crows, mostly covered by several new POV characters who only get one or two chapters. They're interesting to read for the most part, giving a peek at how varied the cultures can be just within the borders of the setting's primary continent. But I had some trouble figuring out whether those chapters would actually be there if the two books were never split up. Significant things do occur, but not a whole lot of pages are dedicated to them and they're the sorts of events that the series usually manages to fill you in on anyway through messages and hearsay. The two most significant new POV characters are characters that have already been seen extensively previously, though they do a good job of shifting the focus a little bit to see what their sides of the story are.

Most of the returning narrators don't have a whole lot to do, really adding to the feeling of this book being a bit of a black sheep. I wouldn't go so far as to call it boring, it just seems like it's biding its time while something bigger prepares to happen in the last few volumes. Now that I have to wait with everyone else for A Dance of Dragons to come out I'm a little disappointed, especially since Crows ended well enough that waiting until two books from now to see what happens kind of blows. Hopefully the wait won't be much longer.

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