A Feast For Crows - Publication

Publication

Martin released the first four "Iron Islands" chapters of A Feast for Crows as a novella called Arms of the Kraken, published in the August 2002 edition of Dragon magazine. Another chapbook featuring three Daenerys chapters was published for BookExpo 2005, although these chapters were subsequently moved into the forthcoming fifth volume in the series, A Dance with Dragons.

Martin originally planned for the fourth book to be called A Dance with Dragons with the story picking up five years after the events of A Storm of Swords (primarily to advance the ages of the younger characters). However, during the writing process it was discovered that this was leading to an overreliance on flashbacks to fill in the gap. After twelve months or so of working on the book, Martin decided to abandon much of what had previously been written and start again, this time picking up immediately after the end of A Storm of Swords. He announced this decision, along with the new title A Feast for Crows, at Worldcon in Philadelphia on September 1, 2001. He also announced that A Dance with Dragons would now be the fifth book in the sequence.

In May 2005 Martin announced that his manuscript for A Feast for Crows had hit 1527 completed pages but still remained unfinished, with "another hundred or so pages of roughs and incomplete chapters, as well as other chapters sketched out but entirely unwritten." As the size of the manuscript for 2000's A Storm of Swords, his previous novel, had been a problem for publishers around the world at 1521 pages, Martin and his publishers had decided to split the narrative planned for A Feast for Crows into two books. Rather than divide the text in half chronologically, Martin opted to instead split the material by character and location:

It was my feeling ... that we were better off telling all the story for half the characters, rather than half the story for all the characters. Cutting the novel in half would have produced two half-novels; our approach will produce two novels taking place simultaneously, but set hundreds or even thousands of miles apart, and involving different casts of characters (with some overlap).

Martin noted that A Feast for Crows would focus on "Westeros, King's Landing, the riverlands, Dorne, and the Iron Islands," and that the next novel, A Dance with Dragons, would cover "events in the east and north." Martin also added that the A Song of Ice and Fire series would now likely total seven novels. A Feast for Crows was published months later on 17 October 2005, over five years after the previous volume in the series, A Storm of Swords. The parallel novel A Dance with Dragons was released on July 12, 2011.

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