This was a frustrating one. The fourth book in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Feast for Crows continues where its predecessor left off…but seems more like half a book than a full novel.

It’s an enjoyable read, but it focuses primarily on the evil scheming folks down at King’s Landing. Jaime’s character development continues, there were a few good chapters with Arya Stark, a few with Samwell, and absolutely none with Jon Snow, Tyrion or Danaerys. The book mainly bounced around between Brienne of Tarth and the two Lannister twins, with a couple chapters here and there with a different perspective for variety.

This is explained by a page at the end that says the plan is for the next book, the famous Dance with Dragons that fans have been impatiently waiting 5-6 years for, will center around the Wall and the characters that were left out in this one.

Complaints aside, there is still a bit going on in Crows. Several big things happen, culminating with a series of intense cliffhanger chapters that I imagine must have been maddening to have haunting earlier readers these past years. (Supposedly the next book will be coming out this year if all goes well. Fingers crossed.) Cersei finally gets something like poetic justice, though it was rudely interrupted by the end of the book.

Looking further to the bright side, none of the primary characters were killed this time around that I remember. A secondary character who was an interesting read in one of the preceding books got the axe in a mentioned-in-passing sort of way, but it’s not like bloodbath in the last book. I see that as a major plus.

Anyway, it wasn’t a bad book, but it was a little weak by comparison.