The Book: Last spring I raced through the first three books in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Okay, so raced is not exactly the right word. I listened to the fabulous Roy Dotrice read the books to me, which took about 120 hours. Nonetheless, I felt as if I had zipped through the story because I listened to the audios almost back to back.
To learn about this fantastic series, see my reviews of A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords. Today's post isn't much of a review; it also contains no spoilers.
When I picked up the audio for A Feast for Crows, I was dismayed to see there was a new reader, John Lee, and almost elected to read the book in print. Let me clarify that dismayed. I am very familiar with Lee, and it's likely his voice has been in my ears for 200 hours or more over the years. The disappointment came with the abrupt switch in reader midstream.
The solution? Wait a few months before jumping into book 4. I'm glad I did. A Feast for Crows (a mere 31 hours in audio) took me immediately back the Seven Kingdoms and the fight for the Iron Throne. I had heard that many readers were upset by this entry in the series because Martin introduces new characters and new plot lines. In addition, many familiar characters are either not mentioned or never appear. I am not in that camp.
I loved getting to meet new people and visiting new towns. Although I missed some of my favorite characters, I was interested in the additional background and smaller political factions. The novel can be thought of as transitioning the reader into the next stage of the epic battle for the Seven Kingdoms.
To say the plot gets more complex is an understatement. Political alliances bubble up and then dissipate, siblings support and then betray each other, people forget their vows of loyalty, and nothing is what it seems. As with the other novels in the series, A Feast for Crows is less fantasy and more medieval tale. In this very adult world, death and torture come easy, and good people are not immortal. I can't wait to get to the fifth book (probably in December).
The Tea: This week I tried a new to me tea blended by Adagio called Ginger Tea. This is not a sweet tea or an herbal tea; it's a ginger-flavored black tea, and it's fabulous. A definite winner, probably one of my favorite ginger teas ever. The company's website says this tea "combin[es] the fresh, warming heat of ginger with the rich tang of Ceylon black tea." The aroma alone will win you over.
The Assessment: This is tough. The Seven Kingdoms are barely at peace. The land is still awash in blood and destruction. Most people would be lucky to get a cup of clean water or bit of ale. Perhaps Cersei Lannister, one of the richest women in the kingdoms, could afford tea. In fact, I'd recommend she drink this tea. The ginger would help calm her stomach, which is likely churning as she plots and schemes to keep her hold on the Iron Throne.
What About You? What would I find in your glass or mug this week? And don't forget to let me know what you're reading.
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Thursday Tea was the brainchild of Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.