No plot spoilers.
Capsule review: We waited five years for this crap?
Finished reading A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, earlier this week. After a five-year wait since the previous volume this is a huge dissapointment. Essentially nothing happens, the book mainly has viewpoints from the most boring characters of the earlier books, and introduces a bunch of pointless and mostly boring new viewpoint characters. The only exception to the boredom are the Cersei chapters which I find rather entertaining.
Supposedly the original intent was for a multi-year gap in story time between books three and four. Actually this book picks up where the previous one started, and moves forward maybe a couple of months. And to top it off, the next book is going to be in parallel to this one. If something had actually happened, this might be acceptable, but as far as I can tell, the story has completely ground to a halt here. Not quite a Robert Jordan-style halt where, when I finally stopped reading, a book consisted of three story days of people having internal monologues and sniffing, but the signs are there.
There's of course a fair bit of the ASoIaF trademark cruelty, violence and sex (ooh, hot medieval lesbian bondage action...), but it feels somewhat contrived compared to the earlier books.
Wait for the mass market paperback. If you absolutely can't wait and live in the Helsinki area, I'd be happy to sell you the hardcover... :-)