Review | A Feast for Crows

Title: A Feast for Crows (2005)
Author: George R.R. Martin
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Read: 19th April – 3rd May 2017
Genre: fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

In this fourth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, the sheer weight of political machinations and the implications of several key deaths in Westeros slowly begin to take their toll on the houses of the kingdom as a more subdued, but nonetheless bloody, war dawns just as it seems the War of the Five Kings is coming to an end.

“History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging.
What has happened before will perforce happen again.”

Warning; if you have not read the first three books in the series, probably don’t read this review as the first section synopsis alone will spoil the events of the previous books. You have been warned.

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Friday Reads | 5th May 2017

Well guys, not to sound like a broken record here but it’s the end of another working week which means it is high time for another Friday Reads in which I will discuss the book I’m currently reading and my bookish plans going into this upcoming weekend.

I haven’t done a Friday Reads in a few weeks (my last one was back in March, yikes!), mainly because I was battling through A Feast for Crows for what felt like for-ev-er but in reality was only a fortnight or so but, believe me, I felt every single minute of that time. Which is weird because I actually ended up really enjoying this fourth volume in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. It’s safe to say that this book is very politics heavy… there aren’t a lot of action scenes (especially not compared to the bloodshed that takes place in the previous books) but everything feels very calculated and conniving and you just know that though the characters aren’t actively moving from one place to the other they are moving their little pawns all over the board in the hopes of gaining the upper hand. All of this is why I ended up loving the book, as I was sure I would if I just stuck with it. People are right, though, if you’re in it for the political machinations of the Tyrells and the Lannisters and their scheming at King’s Landing, then this volume could well be your favourite, but if you’re more so in it for Jon Snow and his brothers on the Wall, well, I hate to spoil things but he doesn’t even make an appearance in this one.

Now, I’m not enough of a masochist to move straight on to reading the next ASOIAF book, A Dance with Dragons, though I do really want to get to that soon so I don’t end up forgetting what is going on in this series. However, I am enough of a masochist to move from one mammoth of a book to another, this time with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. I was so excited to hear of the TV show being developed, especially when Bryan Fuller was attached to it, because I knew it would turn out stunning. But (and it’s a big ‘but’) I would like to read the book in its entirety before I allow myself to watch the show on Amazon Prime. I’ve previously tried to read American Gods, both in paperback and via audiobook formats, but never got any further than the scene where Shadow and Wednesday visit Czernobog and the Zorya Sisters. (No, I categorically do not know what it is about that scene that’s a sticking point for me because it’s really good so why on earth I stop at it each time I do not know for the life of me.) Anyway, I need to properly commit to this and give it another chance because I love Neil Gaiman’s writing and I’m sure I will adore this once I get fully invested in the storyline. It features gods and mythology after all – I am all over that crap.

At the time of writing this post, I can officially state that I have now read further than I ever did before (i.e. past that scene with the Zorya sisters) so I am hopeful that the rest of today and this weekend will bring even more progress on American Gods. I would certainly like to be a chunk of it through the novel by Monday, so maybe then I can allow myself to watch the first episode of the TV show since it premiered this past Monday.

Aside from that, I don’t anticipate reading much of anything else in the coming days. This past week was the start of my new job so I’ve been a big ol’ ball of anxiety and, you know what guys? That’s tiring as hell. So this weekend had better be full of a lot of not doing much or I will end up very grumpy indeed. Liz and I are planning a Tavern breakfast and that is the full extent of my plans for this weekend. Sounds good to me to be honest, I’m well in need of a very low-key weekend and a rest. Let’s hope a good chunk of reading happens amidst all that rest, eh?

That was my Friday Reads for this week but enough of me – what are you currently reading going into this weekend? Are you planning much for the next couple of days? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear it!


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T5W | Books That Took The Longest To Finish

top 5 wednesdayWelcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books That Took The Longest To Finish. As Sam specified “These are the books that you had on your nightstand “in progress” for months or years. The books that you took weeks to read because they put you in a slump. Those books that were an uphill battle. These are books you started and actually read, not books you’ve just had on your shelf the longest.”

So there might be a few reasons for a book taking for-ev-er to read: it’s rather long and difficult to read, it’s not your cup of tea and you put off reading it, or you don’t want it to be over so you take your sweet time reading it. My Top Five for this week feature a mixture of these reasons but, one thing is for sure, these books took much longer for me to read than they realistically should have.

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Friday Reads | 30th September

Well, it’s that time of the week again – the time when I realise I haven’t done quite as much reading as I would like in these past few days and so I foolishly try to claim I’m going to make up for it by reading, reading, reading this weekend. I inevitably won’t but, hey, good intentions are the best kind of intentions. Or so I hear.

Today and into this weekend might potentially be very busy with very boring tasks – the arduous process of unpacking the rest of my belongings which are being brought over to my new abode by my parents this evening. They’ll only be staying with me tonight and they’re off early tomorrow morning so whilst I doubt that will dissuade me from reading, I probably should immediately unpack the (many) boxes they bring with them rather than procrastinating that task by reading. Still, if I get that done early then I’ll have a lot of the weekend for reading… whilst I’m waiting for the coats of paint I’m painting my room with to dry. Fun, fun, fun.

Yesterday I finished my re-read of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, a re-read which I did because I had fallen into kind of a funk with only reading (YA) fantasy recently. I picked up a book I was sure to love and wouldn’t be too hefty to carry with me on the train to/from work. I really enjoyed the change of pace/tone that reading this classic this week provided – but now I’m hoping to try to get back to the fantasy I’m in the middle of with some kind of renewed vigor.

So, in the same vein I intend to read some of the following:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I’ve been re-reading this one in preparation for picking up A Torch Against the Night which has arrived since I started the re-read but I have yet to get to it because I seem to be taking forever to read the first book! I intend to remedy that this weekend. I even made a start on the train this morning since I happened to have my Kindle with me which, luckily, had An Ember in the Ashes loaded onto it. I hope to continue reading on my train journey home and maybe I’ll pick up the physical copy again this weekend. I really want to try to finish it asap so I can move onto the sequel!

A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin

I’ve been reading this one for waaaay too long. I was meant to have it finished this month, as part of the #readasoiaf readalong. I highly doubt that will be happening, since I have some 600 pages to read and the end of the month is today! Still, I hope to finish it sometime next week so I’m not too far behind with the readalong – we’re meant to be moving onto A Dance With Dragons in October. I really don’t want to crash and burn out of the readalong since I’ve got this far and I know if I tried to pick up the series again sometime next year instead, I would have to re-read the volumes I’ve already read because I undoubtedly would have forgotten what had happened. I don’t have time for that, so I need to continue. Yes, it’s a need.


So there we have it, that was my Friday Reads.
Do you have any books lined up for today and into this weekend?
What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!


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Friday Reads | 9th September

Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today! Here I’ll share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead but, as we all know, I rarely follow through on reading plans once I document them here. However, I’m hoping this one sticks since I have the house all to myself this weekend and therefore absolutely zero distractions… well apart from watching Gilmore Girls of course, which is a pretty sizeable distraction in itself. I must resist!

A Feast For Crows – George R.R. Martin (x)

As I’ve mentioned countless times, I’m participating in the #readasoiaf readalong where we read a book from the A Song of Ice and Fire series every month. This month’s book is the fourth in the series – A Feast For Crows – and after the slog that was the first part of A Storm of Swords last month I’m so excited to get to this book. I’ve heard this book is very political and scheming-focused and I’m actually really looking forward to that because that element is my favourite part of the series.

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Review | A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

asoscoverTitleA Storm of Swords (2000)
published as Part 1: Steel and Snow, Part 2: Blood and Gold 
Author: George R.R. Martin
Read:  Part 1: 18th July – 17th August | Part 2: 21st August – 29th August
Genre: fantasy
Rating: Part 1: 3.5 out of 5 stars | Part 2: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The third book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga, A Storm of Swords takes the feuding kings and lords of Westeros into a territory fondly know as ‘shit meets fan’ and leaves the series in grittier and darker places than ever before. All the political manoeuvring and scheming to this point, and throughout the course of this book, tips the narrative over a precipice from which it can never return, not to mention many of its principle characters.

” ‘Woman?’ She chuckled. ‘Is that meant to insult me? I would return the slap, if I took you for a man.’ “

Opening in the aftermath of the Battle of Blackwater Bay, A Storm of Swords sees a retreating Stannis Baratheon’s plans pitted against the “rightful” claim of his nephew, King Joffrey, to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. The Young Wolf, Robb Stark, proclaimed King of the North, continues to rule over territory through a mixture of wars and alliances whose cracks truly begin to splinter and show. Meanwhile, on the edges of the picture, exiled Daenerys Targaryen makes her way across the Dothraki Sea accompanied by the remaining paltry excuse for a khalasar and her three growing dragons, heading for Slaver’s Bay and its army of slave soldiers in the hope of gathering more men behind her. And the fringe threat of the barbaric wilding army also appears, roaring, on the horizon of the Seven Kingdoms, promising terror and blood.

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#readasoiaf | Progress Update

Well, since we’re over halfway through August I thought it was high time to share my progress in the #readasoiaf readalong challenge.

readasoiafprogFor those unaware, I’ve been meaning to read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series for years at this point and, whilst I was at university, the TV show blew up in a huge way and it seemed like I was the only one not watching it. (It’s kind of a running joke between me and one of my ex-housemates that I still haven’t “caught up” yet with the TV show, despite numerous occasions and plenty of time to do so.) Whilst I really want to watch the TV show (and I have a boxset of the first 4 seasons to get me going) I also feel like everyone ever says they will read the series at some point. I was one of those people… until I realised that if I didn’t just commit to the challenge, I would never actually get round to it. So, enter the #readasoiaf readalong, which came at the perfect time for me.

The concept is simple. Read a book a month, until October. It started back in June with Game of Thrones, then came A Clash of Kings in July, and in August we’re reading A Storm of Swords before we’ll move onto A Feast for Crows in September and A Dance with Dragons in October. Continue reading

Friday Reads | 12th August

Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today! I’m going to ambitiously share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead but, as we all know, I rarely follow through on reading plans once I document them here. However, I am sitting pretty at 49 out of 52 books in my 2016 Reading Challenge so I think I’m doing just fine.

Which is a good thing because my reading this week thus far hasn’t been brilliant. I should probably finish up some books I am halfway through so I can get my reading down to one, or two, items, but I’m nearly always a polygamous reader so I’m sure I will be diving into all of the following books intermittently over this weekend:

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June 2016 | Reading Wrap-Up

I can’t believe we’ve already reached July. It’s scary how fast the first half of the year has gone.

This June has been… well, interesting to say the least.

I finished my job at Teesside University on Tuesday 21st and was suddenly and abruptly very sad to realise I wasn’t going to be working there anymore. My coworkers got me a lovely card and a Waterstones gift voucher, because they know me too well. Then I had a job interview on that Thursday at Liverpool University and I’m still waiting to hear back from that so it doesn’t look brilliant in terms of whether or not I did manage to get the job. Job hunting is a whole different issue that really effects my already pretty shaky self-esteem so it’s not exactly been a barrel of laughs this month. In other news (I swear I’m almost done), we lost my nanna this past weekend so it has been a few weird and unsettling days, to say the least. It probably still hasn’t really sunk it, and won’t until the funeral, but we’re all keeping busy until then.

But the fall out from that combined with job hunting means I probably won’t read a huge tonne of books in July… or maybe I will, as a form of escapism. Who can tell? Only time, it seems.

Now onto the books I did read this past month…

In June I read a total of 8 books – 5 fiction (4 fantasy, 1 contemporary) and 3 non-fiction, which somehow amounted to a total of 3031 pages. I say somehow, I know exactly why I read so many pages – a little thing called #readasoiaf.

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#tometopple | Updates Post

As you might have seen on my recent TBR post, I’m participating in the Tome Topple Readathon hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. You can find all the information about the readathon via the aforementioned blog post or pop over to Sam’s channel to see her announcement video for the readathon.

Since it lasts for a fortnight, it seems a good idea to have a single update post I can come back to and edit periodically so this is that post! It will be a nice neat way to collate all my (hopefully daily) updates about my reading so stay tuned if you’re interested…

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