Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Christmas Beer-Feast

I tried this beer last week whilst decorating my Christmas tree and was very happy. Brewed by Bethlehem Brew Works, it has all the spicy goodness associated with Christmas – nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. In sum, it leaves my belly feeling real nice even if it isn’t quite as smooth as Harpoon’s Winter Warmer. In terms of flavor and robustness, it is pretty close. It only comes in 20 oz. bottles and I think it is only available here in NJ as well as NY and PA.

I finished up A Feast for Crows a couple of days ago and it left me wanting more. I re-read the whole series in preparation for the Feast, so Following up A Storm of Swords was a difficult task and ultimately, the two were simply different books.

If you don’t want the book spoiled, stop reading now.

Are you sure you don’t want anything spoiled?

Fine then.

Here goes…

Many people have been judging Feast on what it could have been or should have been, not on what it was. I liked getting in Cersei's head, but gods I thought Tyrion had some daddy issues. He's got nothing on his sweet sister.

Following Jaime's character evolution over the past two books has been one of the strengths of the series. Watching him crumble Cersei's letter near the end of Feast was a powerful scene in which illustrated the culmination of this evolution. He is almost a man without a country and it will be very interesting to see the paths he takes as the series progresses.

One thing I've learned in reading this series, unless the body is in plain view of a town of people, don't consider any character dead - and I wouldn't be surprised (perhaps disappointed) if Ned actually did return. At no point did I (when reading) or do I know think the Clegane brothers are dead. Whether or not they eventually clash is another story, and one that may not even happen. However, both of their stories are incomplete at this point, despite the Hound and the Mountain being indisposed.

Brienne has to be alive, like all have said, much of this book would be useless fodder if she were to have died at's hands. Littlefinger is proving to be perhaps, the most interesting player in the game of thrones.

One thing I've taken as an overriding theme of this particular volume is that of Identity. For example, Arya changed names/identities quite a few times. Granted that's been her M.O. throughout the majority of the series, but it came more into the light here. Sansa is now Ariana, the hound is no more, but we all know Sandor lives. Brienne goes by a couple of names and Samwell of course has a couple of nicknames.

In conclusion, I have to say it was an excellent book - not the strongest volume in the saga, but definitely worthy. Now all I want is more.

And remember, GO JOIN/VOTE at SFFWORLD for your favorite FSF book of 2005!

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