Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Boiled Leather Audio Hour #20: Feast/Dance!

Feastdance: The Combined Reading Order for A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons

Hang on to your hardcovers, fire up those ebooks, and arrange the dulcet tones of Roy Dotrice into an appropriate iTunes playlist: Today Sean and I are discussing the combined reading order I came up with for reading A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons simultaneously. As you’re no doubt aware, the concerns that kept these two novels apart — they cover the same period of time, only with different characters at the forefront — were primarily IRL logistical ones. Weaving their chapters back together creates a very different reading experience, revealing aesthetic and thematic unities that make it well worth the effort. For both Sean and myself, this has become the method of choice for reading this second-act section of A Song of Ice and Fire. In this podcast, we’ll explain why.
Here are a few links you might want to take a look at as you listen:

Sean's original combined reading order
Sean's new-reader-friendly combined reading order (this preserves the Dorne reveal; I actually prefer this one now) Sean's entire series of “Feastdance” posts on reading the two books together and what he got out of it
My essay on the two books’ parallel themes for Tower of the Hand

Happy reading and happy listening!

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  1. Thanks for the great podcast, Stefan. Enjoyed it as always.
    Still I won't go as far as recommending this new order to a first time reader. By some manipulations Dorn chapters are set in order, but another "secret" in a different story line is revealed much sooner than GRRM intended. I am talking about switching babies at the Castle Black which Sam (and the reader) learn about closer to the end of AFFC, while in the proposed chronological order Jon's chapter where he commands Gilly to switch babies comes way before the revelation aboard the ship.

    1. I thought the same at first, but it's not true. The second or third Sam chapter (the one in which they travel to Braavos) gives it away, so when you use this reading order, you learn about it a hundred pages earlier at the most.

    2. 18 chapters apart to be precise, but it doesn't matter even a page earlier it is still a spoiler. I understand somebody deciding to try a different order for re–read (and I am in the middle of such combined re-read myself), but I still disagree that it would be a good choice for a first time reader.