I'm going to go with the majority of the population knows that this book is part of the series and how can you really jump in at book four without reading the first three; Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords.
As the dust settles from the previous battles and everyone looks to see where everything will settle, the crows look to pick amongst the survivors for new allies, alliances and ways to gain control and rule the seven kingdoms. In the wake of the battles, new people will rise, fall, suffer and die, only time will tell who will survive the Feast of Crows.
When I first saw the title is made me think there was going to be even more death as that is what I think is implied but comparatively there are not as many as the other books. I think that Martin knew that he had to give the readers a break from all the heartbreak. It was interesting that Martin decided to start the novel off with brand new characters but I guess if you keep killing characters off (especially those that everyone likes), you need to add some new ones in, which is why you get a few more in this book plus some people who were just a side note in previous books have full chapters dedicated to them.
There seem to be a lot of main characters missing within this book and only a few chapters from some characters I have come to love (I have read the book after this and found out that Martin decided that he needed to divide this book into two books in order to tell the story better, which I will agree with now but at the time I was reading this I was like where did everyone go). For me this novel was all about the women characters. They had the most interesting storylines when compared to the men in this book.
I found I liked Brienne more and more in this book but if I have to read "A highborn maid of three-and-ten, with a fair face and auburn hair" one more time I'm going to start pulling my hair out. I want to go back and count how many times she says this sentence as it became so annoying by the end of the book. However, I am really drawn to Brienne's loyalty and never wavering from the task that she is given even if they seem impossible. She has so much honour that she puts all the other knights to shame but this can also be her downfall as well.
I think one of my favourite things in this books is it shows the power of manipulation that Cersie has over people and the plans that she tries to act out. Cersie knows what her powers she has and these mainly stem from her beauty and her body and while she is rash and quick to anger there is no one in this book that is good of as manipulator as her. Men and women no one is really safe from her manipulations once she starts, she really is not even safe from herself.
There is really only mention of the Dragons in this book we do not have any new information about what is happening across the sea and there is no information about Tyrian as well. Only that people are looking and searching for information of both. I know I was disappointed that Tyrain was not in this book, as I found I missed the humour that he provided but as stated above Martin could not have every character in this book.
Well only one more book to go before I have caught up on this series and can start watching the HBO one as I heard that it is quite good, though mixes some of the books together in the seasons. I'm actually surprised that Martin has yet to release the next book in this series as to how popular it is. I just hope it is before I read the last one so I do not have wait along with the rest. This series continues to intrigue and surprise me and if you are a fan of the surviving women in this series you will enjoy this book too.