A Feast for Crows is finally on the menu!

by Maria on May 30, 2005

Via my eagle-eyed (make that obsessive) little sister Nelly, here is the fantastic news that George R. R. Martin has finally finished the long-awaited 4th book in his Ice and Fire series. Kind of.

Feast is now too long to publish in one book, so it’s being cut in half. But instead of going half way through the story with the full cast of characters, Martin is taking half of the characters (the Westeros based ones) through the whole story and then publishing the other half’s (Dany & co. and probably Tyrion’s) stories in the next book. This should make things even more interesting, I think, and even a tad more post-modern.

Much of the fun in this series has been in re-reading and discussing the books to piece together the real story from what’s unsaid or only hinted at in each narrative. The key elements of the plot-driving back story are either assumed by all and never stated, or known only to dead characters. This time round, the wait for the other half of the same story will be madly tantalising and great speculative fun as we are frog-marched half-blind through the book, wondering what is happening in the other camps. Martin is still only half-way through the second installation, which gives the opportunity for some nice play between the storylines. No better man for it.



Brad DeLong 05.30.05 at 1:17 pm

But… but… but… Tyrion’s story is the one I want most to read!


Kristian Järventaus 05.30.05 at 4:47 pm

If only because this is the first place I’ve seen this information, I’ll tell you, I will become become extremely cross if that dwarf isn’t the main focus of the earlier book. I mean, c’mon! One of the best things in the books, after Young Tomboy Sister Stark became less interesting due to the whole assassin thingie.


Liadnan 05.30.05 at 5:32 pm

My vague recollection is that Tyrion was heading north last time we saw him, is that right?
Presumably the second one will also cover Bran/Rickon/Jon. My understanding of what Martin wrote was that “the North” won’t be covered in Feast, though the Iron Islands will.


Timothy Burke 05.30.05 at 7:44 pm

All I can say is if that mother-fucker pulls a Jordan on me and this whole thing suddenly requires a seventh book and an eighth book and a ninth book and a tenth book, I will seriously contemplate going the insane fanboy route. But ok. Still, the flawed thing about this is that the characters intercut so much that I don’t see how Martin can actually justify cutting them loose from each other without reproducing some bad guy/good guy thing which he has until now completely refused to countenance.


Stacy 05.30.05 at 8:42 pm

So Dany, Tyrion, and Arya will all be in the later book? Do the goings on at the Wall with Jon and whatshisname, King Robert’s brother, count as Westeros? Crap.. I’m going to have to reread Storm of Swords. Too many characters are “whatshisname” or “whatshername” to me now.


Oberon 05.30.05 at 8:48 pm

Ditto what mr. burke wrote.


Oberon 05.30.05 at 8:50 pm

Also, since book 5 is 3/4 done already, I will be extremely disappointed if we have to wait another 5 years between books.


Henry 05.30.05 at 10:11 pm

With Tim and Brad here – Tyrion is what makes the books for me. Martin’s now talking about 7 books on his website. This decision has the stench of a publisher-imposed guillotine all over it. Still going to get it on pre-order though, of course, (and warn my loved ones not to even think of disturbing me for several days).


Danny Yee 05.30.05 at 11:37 pm


I started A Song of Ice and Fire just after volume two was published, and I figured on a nice trilogy without too long a wait for the third volume.

Then a) the series was extened to a sexology b) Martin decided to change his production schedule to a book every five years.


Maria 05.31.05 at 2:24 am

Liadnan – last I remember, Tyrion was heading east over the sea. Erm, sorry Timothy. Martin has actually said there will now be 7 books (and that’s not counting this next one being cut in two).

True, Tyrion’s by far the most interesting and fun character, and the most aware of what goes on around him. But you have to look at the bright side of things – readers will have all the fun of figuring out for themselves things that Tyrion would observe by the by.

Plus, I think Jaime is growing a brain (and a conscience) and Sansa may be about to discover her inner hussy. Yes, the coolest characters are reserved for part two, but still. Or maybe you’d all feel differently if you fancied Jon Snow.


Ray 05.31.05 at 3:11 am

It doesn’t look like we’ll be waiting five years for book five. That should be out next year. But books six and seven? Look on the bright side – we’ll all be retired by then, and will have plenty of time to read.
I’ve never read the Jordan books – as far as I’m concerned they’d be crap even if there were only three of them – but the complaint I hear about them is that the action has slowed to a crawl and the books are being extended for no reason. ASOIAF seems to be more like the Harry Potter books, as the series progressed the author tries to fit more and more in, so the books just keep growing, but they’re still full of incident and the overall plot remains the same.


Bill Gardner 05.31.05 at 5:41 am

I had not thought that addictive narratives had undone so many.


Ser Paddy 05.31.05 at 7:43 am

Seeing as he has gotten us this far in such good condition, I’m just going to have to accept that GRRM, being the storyteller, is the best person to make this call. Sure its disappointing not having Tyrion/Jon/, but I am consoled by the thought that the next book shouldn’t be too far off.
Fingers crossed for A Dance with Dragons in 2006 :)

At the same time, I’ve only been waiting for this book for under two months. The ire of those people who have been waiting the five years since the last book was published may be understandable!


asg 05.31.05 at 9:57 am

some bad guy/good guy thing which he has until now completely refused to countenance.

Until someone describes some redeeming characteristics of Joffrey, or the slaver kings in Yunkai and Astapor, or Viserys, or Euron Crow’s Eye, etc etc etc., I refuse to accept the oft-advanced view that GRRM’s books contain only shades of gray.


geoff 05.31.05 at 10:59 am

Does anyone know of any good online summaries of the books so far? Every time a new entry in the series comes out, I have to reread the entire set to remember who is doing what and where everyone is…


Ser Paddy 05.31.05 at 11:56 am

Try this site. Its a set of chapter summaries. Probably not as short as you’re looking for, but a handy reference none the less.


Roman Levin 05.31.05 at 4:46 pm

Until someone describes some redeeming characteristics of Joffrey, or the slaver kings in Yunkai and Astapor, or Viserys, or Euron Crow’s Eye, etc etc etc., I refuse to accept the oft-advanced view that GRRM’s books contain only shades of gray.

Joffrey and Viserys are both sadistic homocidal maniacs (they aren’t even full fledged characters really. Not human, as it were), and the slaughter of the slavers was not shown as an overwhelmingly good thing. I don’t think anyone ever said that there are only shades of grey, but it’s obvious that the gap between the “good” and the saner “bad” characters is almost nonexistant. For example, even though Eddard is the most moral of all the characters, he is responsible for a lot of death and suffering, just because he clings to his morals above all else.


Ser Alrik 06.01.05 at 1:31 am

It’s OUT it’s OUT it’s OUT!!!

Joy joy joy, and please stop bickering about the cut in half thing. I personally believed that Mr Martin would suffer a heart attack or something else (die of old age) before he finished the book – I honestly didn’t expect it this year (and I have been waiting and reading and waiting since 1997 and busying myself meanwhile with the trading card game and the boardgame (this one’s awesome!))
Anyone knows if Spectra’s planning an Hardcover? I have all the others in Bantam/ Spectra but so far only Voyager offers a Hardcover edition – I’ll buy the first one anyway.

Let us all wish Lord George Martin nimble hands and good health!


asg 06.01.05 at 8:54 am

Joffrey and Viserys are both sadistic homocidal maniacs (they aren’t even full fledged characters really. Not human, as it were)

“Joffrey is no TRUE Scotsman!”

I agree that all the major characters in ASOIAF are flawed (although: has Jon Snow done anything really terrible and/or caused any real suffering in the books yet? I confess I didn’t read his chapters as closely as I read some of the other characters’). I just reject the idea that there are no “good guys” (Eddard is clearly a good guy, regardless of the costs of his naivete) and “bad guys” in GRRM’s books. They’re certainly more nuanced and interesting than the standard heroic fantasy tropes, but they’re still identifiable as such.


erg 06.01.05 at 9:59 am

I don’t think GRRM is pulling a Jordan. For one, his stories are a lot more interesting. Also, if he had been money grubbing, he would have published book after book where nothing happens in the last 5 years. Unlike Jordan, GRRM is keeping the pace moving. Remember the Red Wedding in the last book ?

The one part of the book that is slowed down is the part dealing with Dani. But that is probably needed anyway since Dani can’t return to Westeros until the right time.

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