books

Raymond E. Feist

Books

Riftwar Saga: Magician: Apprentice (1982), Magician: Master (1982), Silverthorn (1985), A Darkness At Sethanon (1986)

The Empire Series, written with Janny Wurts: Daughter of the Empire (1987), Servant of the Empire (1990), Mistress of the Empire (1992), Prince of the Blood (1989), The King's Buccaneer (1992)

The Serpentwar Saga: Shadow of a Dark Queen (1994), Rise of a Merchant Prince (1995), Rage of a Demon King (1997), Shard of a Broken Crown (1998) (Michael has read this series, I have not)

Thieves' World: Turning Points (2003)

Anthologies: Legends II (2004)

His series are based in the lands of Midkemia and Kelewan. The Riftwar Saga primarily tells the story of Pug the Magician, through his apprenticeship and eventually his mastery of magic, during the Riftwar. The Empire series is set in Kelewan and describes the power struggles there, and is quite oriental in culture and themes.

Riftwar Saga

 

Magician: Apprentice (1982), Magician: Master (1982)

Magician MasterMagician ApprenticeI wanted something that I'd read before as my vacation wound down. For some reason, this book wasn't as I remembered it. Not that it wasn't good, only that it wasn't what I wanted at the time.

In retrospect, I think I was remembering The Empire Series, Daughter of the Empire (1987), Servant of the Empire (1990), Mistress of the Empire (1992) which he wrote with Janny Wurts. What I wanted was political intrigue, but what I got was war.

Of course he does do a pretty good job of war, but then most of the fantasy I read does. People are wounded. People are killed. People are lost. War isn't easy, and it isn't quick. Which is one of the greatest strengths and weaknesses of the books. War takes time. As does the maturation of a boy into a man, and Feist acknowledges. Unfortunately, for me the way he does so seems abrupt.

Time passes and suddenly we're 4 years into the future.

I realize that I wouldn't want to read all about the intervening four years, but it also seems that things would have occurred that would have deserved a better explanation than a brief couple paragraph synopsis.

But it could be also that these weren't the books I wanted to be reading, and so I was less forgiving than normal.

However, despite these flaws, they are still good books, and more importantly a good introduction to the Empire Series.

 

Anthologies

 

Legends II (2004) edited by Robert Silverberg

I picked up this book just for the Neil Gaiman Shadow story, so the fact that I found it in the bargain bin means that any stories beyond ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ were an added bonus.

Homecoming - Robin Hobb
The Sworn Sword - George R. R. Martin
The Yazoo Queen - Orson Scott Card
Lord John and the Succubus - Diana Gabaldon
The Book of Changes - Robert Silverberg
The Happiest Dead Boy in the World - Tad Williams
Beyond Between - Anne McCaffrey
The Messenger - Raymond E. Feist
Threshold - Elizabeth Haydon
Indomitable - Terry Brooks
The Monarch of the Glen - Neil Gaiman

And 'Monarch of the Glen' was good. Very good. It made me want to go back and reread 'American Gods' Right Now. Which I have not done, but may very well do. Because I really like Shadow, and I liked reading more about him, as well as learning more about his past. I'm not sure what it is about Neil Gaiman's writing that I love so much, but it's there, and I read his on-line journal for the moments when his day to day bits turn into one of his small tales that draw me in.

Besides 'Monarch of the Glen' there were three other stories I read: 'Homecoming' by Robin Hobb, 'The Messenger' by Raymond E. Feist, and 'Threshold' by Elizabeth Haydon. All three stories had the same effect on the that 'Monarch of the Glen' did. I wanted to go back and reread that authors' other books. The Riftwar Saga, the Farseer Trilogy, and the Rhapsody Trilogy.

Robin Hobb's 'Homecoming' was especially good--the main character started out particularly unlikable, yet she managed to keep me reading despite that. It also gave backstory for an area of her world I knew little about.

Of the other stories in the book, there were three stories that I have no interest in reading (the stories by Card, McCaffrey, and Brooks) and stories that are from books that we have, but I have not yet read: George RR Martin, Tad Williams, and Robert Silverberg. Michael has read two of the three series, and loved them, so I should read them, but just haven't gotten around to them yet.

I'll let you know when I do.

 


 

 

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