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April 15th, 2011, 17:47
Yes, book 4 was a disappointment. Too much meandering around, traveling through grim wilderness, etc. But I am a huge fan of these books.

I hadn't read a single fantasy or sci-fi book in probably 15-20 years, then a few years back I picked up Game of Thrones based on something I read online. Blew me away. Loved it from the start, and read them all voraciously.

Hungering for more, I started looking for other fantasy recommendations. I have been disappointed by every single one I tried. I read all three Abercrombie books, which by the end were extremely tiring. I felt he simply adored and copied Martin's style but just didn't pull off an interesting story, and the brutality and sadism in his books seems like an added on selling point versus a natural part of the book.

I tried reading Lies of Locke Lamora, and just lost interest. The opening parts were pretty good, but it didn't hold up. I tried reading Name of the Wind. I can't believe how much praise that book gets. It was competently written, but so drawn out and tedious in stupid minute details, and the main character is an unrealistic super-human who excels in every aspect of his life. I read Tad Williams Dragonbone Chair which I enjoyed a bit, but after the first book it got less and less interesting. I tried reading a couple Erickson Malazan books and thought they had some interesting ideas, but were a horrible mess of a chaotic jumble. I pretty much hated what I read of him.

I've since accepted that the fantasy genre is just not for me. Outside of GRR Martin, I haven't found a single modern fantasy author whose books I like. MArtin is a great story teller, and is excellent at moving the story along and dragging you in for a good ride, like Stephen King. Neither King nor Martin will ever be considered among the greatest authors ever, but both are extremely skilled at writing and imagination.

In fact, that's where Feast for Crows fell apart for me — the pacing. It didn't have the fun thrill ride pace as the other books with cliffhanger first person chapters making you want more. The fact that he was still introducing new characters out of nowhere that far along in the story makes me think his publishers made him fatten and pad out the books to sell more product. I don't have much faith that the series will ever end very satisfactorily, but I do have hope that it will.
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