03 November 2011

Thursday Tea: A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

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.

Thursday Tea was the brainchild of Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.

Published by Random House / Bantam Spectra, 2005
ISBN-13: 9780553801507
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Rating: B+

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)
FTC: I buy all teas myself, I am not a tea reviewer.


Scribacchina 11/3/11, 6:10 AM  

and good people are not immortal
This sentence caught my eye n your review. I am currently reading book #3 and it looks like almost all the good people are already done with :-/
But it's good to read that the series keeps on on the same track. Thank you for sharing :-)

Oh, also: Cersei drinking tea? I'm not sure. IMO she's too sanguine to settle for anything less than good wine.

Beth F 11/3/11, 6:38 AM  

@Scribacchina: you are probably right that Cersei would not likely be seen with a mug of tea. It might help her disposition though. :)

bermudaonion 11/3/11, 7:43 AM  

31 hours! I'm amazed - I'm not sure I could stick with an audio book that long!

This week I'm drinking Earl Grey, I Love Lemon, and Mandarin Spice teas.

Daryl 11/3/11, 9:02 AM  

I need help ... I read Game of Thrones and LOVED it.. so I downloaded A Dance with Dragons, A Feast for Crows, Storm Swords and Clash of Kings .. did I start the series in the middle? What's the 'correct' order, please ... help.. I think however that Cerci doesnt need tea she needs a good swift kick out a window along with Jamie...

Beth F 11/3/11, 9:06 AM  

Here's the correct order:

A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
Feast for Crows
Dance with Dragons

And Cersei definitely needs a swift kick in the butt & out the window.

Nise' 11/3/11, 11:40 AM  

I am so glad for the heads up about the narrator change. I am listening to book one and love Roy too. I will take your advice and take a break before book three. My brother has been telling me to read this series for the longest time.

Bob 11/3/11, 2:10 PM  

I recently listened to the A Dance With Dragons, after having read the print versions of the earlier novels. I'll be interested in what you think of Doltrice's return to the series. I had issues with his narration, and from some of the comments my review received, it seemed others did to.

On another note, my next audiobook will be GRRM Superhero Anthology series Wildcards, which I read years ago as a teenager. Should be interesting.

Zibilee 11/3/11, 2:15 PM  

My husband is in the middle of book three right now, but he took a break to read the Steve Jobs book. He says that although he stopped for a bit, he is loving the series, and that he thinks I will appreciate it too. It's a major time investment, but I hope to read these soon. The tea sounds excellent! I love ginger and it's piquancy and might have to see about finding some of that for myself. I have been doing some read teas, as I am having a sensitivity to caffeine this week. I have a great red tea with vanilla that I am loving now.

Chris 11/3/11, 3:03 PM  

Mmm. I love ginger tea, and yours sounds divine. Glad you made it through the narrator switch. It's sad John Lee's on the receiving end of so much angst from the GRRM community. He does such good work. Change is hard.

caite 11/3/11, 4:21 PM  

I must say I find your tea choice very interesting.
The book, I am not sure sure. ;-)

Dorte H 11/3/11, 4:39 PM  

I have not tried George Martin yet, but drinkswise, I ran into total disaster today. Wrote 700 words & needed a mug of coffee. But my husband had kidnapped our huge jar of NescafĂ©, and I couldn´t find it anywhere!!! Need I tell you I haven´t written more (but he has bought more coffee for me so don´t worry; I´ll survive).

Margot 11/3/11, 5:55 PM  

You make this series sound so appealing. I like the sound of ginger tea too.

Julie P. 11/3/11, 8:31 PM  

Not sure about the books, but the tea sounds delicious.

Michelle 11/7/11, 5:13 AM  

I know I could never read these books (audio or otherwise). Not because of the subject matter but the sheer length alone. They are far too intimidating to me. I'll stick to the television show and get the highlights. :)

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