Geeze, this took too long. Do you know that by the time I opened the new book I’ve been pushing towards all this time while not reading anything else at all (I even stopped the comics at the end of 1975, this is serious business is all I’m saying), it had been out for a full week? All the discussions are nearly finished! But at least I’m in it now, so that’s pretty cool. Back to the topic at hand, I should note that I remembered almost nothing of this book except that I hadn’t liked it all that well. It wasn’t bad, but it was disappointing for the gap, and that had loomed larger in my mind over the intervening years awaiting another new one.
There’s a lesson in that, and the lesson is this: don’t read long doorstop series until they are completed! I know people say that a lot anyway, but my reasoning is potentially different? At the least, I’m definitely not talking about the fact that the author may suddenly die and you don’t get to find out what happened. It’s more that I have found that books I disliked in the middle of a series read a lot better when there’s no pressure on them to be “oh thank god, the new book”. This isn’t a panacaea by any means, but it’s happened often enough for me to take the hint. I mean, no, I won’t change my habits, but I’ll at least have a better idea of what just happened. The point is this: the parts that bored me were less bring than before, the parts that I liked okay were almost universally really good. But what was A Feast for Crows about, you ask? Memory, I think. Nearly every character in every arc spent some huge portion of their time considering the past and its influence on the present, to a really strong degree. Much moreso than in any other book (excepting Ned’s memories of Robert’s Rebellion and his intertwined personal stakes in the first book, which, well, I suppose there were good reasons to not save that part ’til this volume). Pity it wasn’t a feast for ravens, lest I should have been able to make a pretty cool Norse reference here.
And, that’s all I got.
 That review, I should warn you, is shockingly spoiler-laden if you have not read the rest of the series up to it.