Hey all. I doubt if anyone remembers, but a few months back when I began reviewing A Song of Ice and Fire, I said that I would be ending the series with the fourth book. After completing A Storm of Swords, I figured one more book was enough. After all, with Dragons just released and the buzz claiming that there would be at least two more books to come, I was sure that I would have to cut myself off or risk being totally sucked in to Matrin’s “Wheel of Time”esque vortex.
But, and here where’s things get awkward, that was a lie… apparently! Last night, I finally finished A Feast for Crows and purchased A Dance with Dragons. And believe it or not, it was the not the cliffhanger ending in book four that made me want to do that, though that helped give me a final push. In truth, friends of mine, such as Goran Zidar, and a slew of other people have been saying how book five is really good and covers all the threads that were strangely missing from book four. So really, the decision to buy it was made several weeks ago, but after getting into the last few chapters, a number of sudden twists piqued my interest and I found myself wanting to know what happened right away!
And, interestingly enough, I also discovered that the final chapter of Crows was not a chapter at all, but a note from the author. In it, he explains that book four was the way it was - namely, bereft of any information about Tyrion, Jon Snow, Daenerys, or Stannis and Melissandre – for a simple reason. Basically, he went this way because to include what he had planned for all of these characters – plus those of Samwell Tarly, Cersei, Sansa, Arya, Brienne, Jaime, et al, – would have turned Crows into a tome the likes of which had not been seen since War and Peace. Okay, he didn’t say it in those words, I’m just adding them for dramatic license
Hence, he decided to break all he had planned for the fourth installment in the series into two volumes. And instead of telling all of the stories half-way, he chose instead to select half the stories and tell them in full, the rest to be followed up later. I can see the wisdom in this, and the marketing angle, because it certainly worked on me. Damn you, Martin! I swear that this is the last of your books that I’m going to read… It probably won’t be. I’m sure I’ll be checking out book six, especially if this one is as good as they say. I hate you, sir! Keep up the good work!