Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Feast for Crows

A Feast for Crows
By George R R Martin

I just finished book #4 in Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series. At the end, I discovered that this book is actually the first part of the original. It was apparently so long, that Martin decided just to tell the view points from certain characters and leave the other voices for the next book, A Dance with Dragons. I suppose I will be reading that one next....

As usual, Martin lets even the most likable characters have bad things happen to them. However, in this book some truly evil characters have bad things happen to them as well. The only drawback is that a few characters go missing and leave you wondering what is happening to them -- an obvious ploy to get us readers to slog through book five. I can only imagine that book six sets up the end game and book seven is the big battle that ends it all ... at least for a few years.

I have yet to understand why I keep reading this fantasy series. It is horribly violent, lacking in hope and makes all humans seem to be lost characters at the mercy of, well, nothing -- not even a higher power. As I have said before, the story is the character in Martin's books. Perhaps that comes from writing television and why the Game of Thrones television show seems to work so well and follow the books (at least the first season which is all I have seen) so closely.

What did this book have to do with my faith? In this fourth book, the main religion of the country becomes another powerful piece in the game. The newest High Septon is more concerned about the poor and the starving than what kind of beautiful crown he wears. It is about time, too, for the people to react against all the raping, pillaging and killing done to them by the knights and sellswords of the rich and powerful. Although I would like to think that he only has the best intentions, by the end of the book he is seen as just another power-hungry player. I did like the fact that he realized that the people are being trampled by leaders who care more for themselves -- their clothes, food, entertainment, and power. In light of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from the Birmingham Jail, I wonder how well churches and church leaders are doing listening to the cries of the poor and oppressed. Are we religious leaders just looking out for ourselves?

I recommend A Feast for Crows if you are following the series - let's finish it together!

Happy reading!


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