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Raymond E. Feist

Raymond E. Feist(1945- )
Raymond E. Feist is a Southern Californian by birth and a San Diegan by choice. He was educated at the University of California, San Diego, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts with Honors in 1977. His hobbies include collecting movies on DVD, fine wine, books on the history of Professional Football, and the works of American Illustrators. Learn more at Raymond E. Feist’s website.

Magician: Apprentice: A less graphic reminder

Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist

Raymond E. Feist’s Magician: Apprentice was one of my favorite books in the mid-1980’s — I read it over and over. If I have read this book less than 20 times I would be completely amazed. The wonderful part of re-reading it recently and having 20 years plus of fantasy literature experience is that I can appreciate something sublime.

Pug and Tomas are best friends raised practically as brothers at the Keep of the Duchy of Crydee. Tomas’ parents are in charge of the kitchens and the boys have lived a fairly happy childhood. Pug is an orphan who has lived at the grace of Duke Borric. It’s a wonderfully typical beginning for a fantasy novel.

During the course of the story, Pug is selected as the Apprentice to the court Magician, Kulgan and has a lot of interesting experiences as he learns to harness his gifts. Tomas, the stronger and more ch... Read More

Magician: Master: Fascinating world and characters hampered by lazy plot

Magician: Master by Raymond E. Feist

Magician: Master is the second book in Raymond E. Feist’s widely acclaimed RIFTWAR saga. In Magician: Master, we follow the life of Pug four years after he is captured by the Tsurani and enslaved in the Empire of Kelewan. Pug’s homeland, Midkemia, and his new home, the Empire, remain locked in a deadly war that is gradually weakening both worlds. Though Midkemia’s elves and dwarves and still fighting valiantly, the conflict is slowly tilting in the favor of the Tsurani, especially since Kelewan’s black robed sorcerers joined the fray. Meanwhile, the Midkemian king has passed away and the throne is left to Prince Lyan, who feels honor bound not to accept the crown. What’s more interesting is Tomas’s love story with the elf queen Aglaranna, which is hindered by his internal conflict with the Dragon Lord. All in all... Read More

Daughter of the Empire: Life on the other side of the rift

Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts

THE EMPIRE CYCLE is the second trilogy set in Raymond E. Feist’s (and in this case Janny Wurts’) Riftwar universe. Readers of the RIFTWAR SAGA (the first trilogy by publication date) will know all about the world of Midkemia and its war with the otherworldly Kelewan. Daughter of the Empire (1987) takes place entirely in Kelewan and so offers a new insight into the Riftwar universe, from the other side of the rift. Readers familiar with the earlier works will enjoy spotting the veiled references to familiar events and characters, but these are not central to Daughter of the Empire, which can e... Read More

Servant of the Empire: Intense and exciting middle book

Servant of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts

Note: May contain spoilers for the previous book, Daughter of the Empire.

Servant of the Empire (1989) is the second novel of the EMPIRE TRILOGY which is set in Raymond E. Feist’s RIFTWAR world and co-authored by Janny Wurts. This story takes place in the Tsurani empire which is an enemy to the Midkemian heroes of the RIFTWAR SAGA (e.g., Pug, Tomas, Prince Lyan). Some of the RIFTWAR characters appear, or are mentioned, in THE EMPIRE TRILOGY, but it’s not necessary to have read RIFTWAR first. However,... Read More

Mistress of the Empire: An emotionally satisfying ending

Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts

Mistress of the Empire (1989) is the final book in Raymond E. Feist and Janny WurtsEMPIRE TRILOGY. It’s an exciting, emotional, dramatic, and ultimately satisfying end to the story. Please don’t read it before you read Daughter of the Empire and Servant of the Empire. (And please note that this review will contain spoilers for those two previous novels.)

At the end of the second book in the trilogy, Servant of the Empire... Read More

Jimmy and the Crawler: Plugging a plot hole

Jimmy and the Crawler by Raymond E. Feist

In May 2013 Magician's End, the final book in Feist's long running RIFTWAR series, appeared. It was the final chapter in a series that had been going for over thirty years. Earlier that year, Feist published the novella Jimmy and the Crawler to tie up a loose end in the series. As usual with Feist, I read it in Dutch translation. One of the earlier translators of Feist's works, I think translator Mat Schifferstein is the fourth to have a go at RIFTWAR material, and has decided to rename the character Jimmy the Hand, hence the Dutch title Robbie & de Kruiper.

This novella is part of the RIFTWAR LEGACY subseries, which is tied to the PC games Betrayal at Krondor (1993) and Return to Krondor (1998) whic... Read More

Honored Enemy & Murder in LaMut

Honored Enemy & Murder in LaMut by Raymond E. Feist, William R. Forstchen & Joel Rosenberg

Raymond E. Feist has always been notable for his willingness to share the world of Midkemia. In all his acknowledgments and dedications, Feist notes that from its very inception the world has been a collaborative effort. His Empire trilogy was a collaboration with Janny Wurts, and the computer game Betrayal at Krondor had to be shared, by its very nature. He has returned to the tradition of collaborative effort in his Legends of the Riftwar series.

Taking... Read More

Flight of the Nighthawks: An evil mad sorcerer in Midkemia!

Flight of the Nighthawks by Raymond E. Feist

Flight of the Nighthawks is another installment in the seemingly never-ending chronicle of the world of Midkemia. Raymond Feist continues to tell his story of a world that is plagued by repeated incursions of evil forces who seek to conquer the world. It’s standard fantasy and Flight of the Nighthawks is simply another novel in another trilogy that is linked with everything all the way back to Magician, which I read in the early 80s.

Feist continues to use some of the same beloved series characters; Pug and Tomas are still defending their world from constant threats to their civilization. He introduces some new supporting characters, too. Throw in a recurring evil mad sorcerer and you have the basic plot of the book.

... Read More

At the Gates of Darkness: Nowhere near Feist’s best

At the Gates of Darkness by Raymond E. Feist

At the Gates of Darkness is the second book in the Demonwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist, and while his work is some of the first fantasy I've read and enjoyed enough to purchase, over the years my appreciation of his work has waned somewhat. This is partly because I have discovered books that are qualitatively much better, and partly because I have developed my taste as a reader of fantasy. I do have fond memories of his first dozen books, however, so every time a new one hits the shelves I find myself reading it against my better judgement.

At the Gates of Darkness continues the story that began in Rides a Dread Legion and chronicles the efforts of Pug and his Conclave of Shadows to deal with the threat of... Read More

Magician’s End: Ties up the loose ends

Magician’s End by Raymond E. Feist

When I was in my late teens I went through a spell when I hardly read any books at all. Literature classes at the time seemed to be aimed at forcing the most boring reading material on you, or else books that were way over the head of your average teenager, making reading seriously unappealing. I've always wondered how many people never got back to reading again after going through those classes. I returned to reading in 1996 when I entered college, mostly to take my mind off the more technical stuff I had to read as part of my education. Raymond E. Feist's novels had first started appearing in Dutch translation back then, and he is in part responsible for my reading habits these days.

Feist was quickly followed by other big names in fantasy and science fiction. It didn't take me that long to figure out h... Read More

King of Ashes: Feels a bit too “been there, done that”

King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist

Back in the 1980s, like a lot of people, I was eagerly consuming Raymond E. Feist’s RIFTWAR SAGA, which began with Magician: Apprentice and continued onward through a host of novels. I loved Magician, though I have little memory of it, and read the next few books in the series, though eventually I lost track, whether that was due to lack of interest or not, I have no idea. But Feist ended RIFTWAR a few years ago and is now back with a new book — King of Ashes — and series — THE FIREMANE SAGA. And it’s a bit like being in 1980 all over agai... Read More

More fantasy by Raymond E. Feist

Krondor’s Sons — (1989,1992) Takes place 20 years after The Riftwar Saga and before The Serpentwar Saga. Publisher: Set twenty years after the events in The Riftwar Saga, Prince of the Blood follows the intrigues and adventures that erupt when a group of powerful nobles attempts to overthrow the Empress of Kesh, bitterly dividing the court. In the centre of the conflict are the two princes of Krondor, Boric and Erland. When Boric is kidnapped and overhears a plot to assassinate them both, he escapes and makes a desperate journey back to the court to warn of the traitor’s plans — which, if they were to succeed, would start a war that would tear the Empire apart.

Feist Krondor's Sons: Prince of the Blood, The King's BuccaneerFeist Krondor's Sons: Prince of the Blood, The King's Buccaneer

The Serpentwar Saga — (1994-1998) Takes place about 50 years after The Riftwar Saga. Publisher: Something dark is moving in distant nations, and ancient powers are readying themselves for a final confrontation. A Dark Queen has raised a standard in remote lands and is gathering armies of unmatched might. Into this battleground of good and evil come a band of desperate men whose only hope for survival is to travel to face this ancient power and discover its true nature. Their quest is at best dangerous and at worst suicidal. And with these men travel the mysterious Miranda upon whom all must wager their lives. She appears to be an ally but knows much more than she is willing to tell. Does she prove ally or even more deadly foe when the final confrontation is at hand?

Feist Serpentwar Saga: Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King, Shards of a Broken CrownFeist Serpentwar Saga: Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King, Shards of a Broken CrownFeist Serpentwar Saga: Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King, Shards of a Broken CrownFeist Serpentwar Saga: Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King, Shards of a Broken Crown


Conclave of Shadows — (2002-2004) Another series set in Midkemia, but only peripherally related. Takes place a few decades after The Serpentwar Saga. Publisher: Among the Orosini tribe, every boy must undergo the traditional manhood ritual in order to understand his place in the universe and discover his manhood name. Kielianapuna must survive on the remote mountain peak of Shatana Higo until the gods grant him his vision. But Kieli has already waited for four days and nights, and now he is cold, lonely, despairing, and very, very tired… When he is woken by the terrifying sensation of sharp claws piercing his skin, and finds a rare silver hawk upon his arm, it is such a disorientating moment that he is not sure whether it has even happened, or whether it was a vision. Returning to his home, nameless and still a child, Kieli stumbles upon devastation. His village is being burned, his people slaughtered. Although it means certain death, Kieli throws himself into the battle… Against all the odds, he survives, alone of all the Orosini, who have been cut down where they stand: every last man, woman and child. A distant voice echoes in his mind: Rise up and be a talon for your people…The visitation of the bird on Shatana Higo was indeed his naming vision. He is a boy called Kielianapuna no more. Now he is Talon of the Silver Hawk, a man who must avenge the murder of his people, whatever that may take…

Feist Conclave of Shadows: Talon of the Silver Hawk, King of Foxes, Exile's ReturnFeist Conclave of Shadows: Talon of the Silver Hawk, King of Foxes, Exile's ReturnFeist Conclave of Shadows: Talon of the Silver Hawk, King of Foxes, Exile's Return

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsFaerie Tale — (1988) Publisher: Phil Hastings was a lucky man-he had money, a growing reputation as a screenwriter, a happy, loving family with three kids, and he’d just moved into the house of his dreams in rural of magic-and about to be altered irrevocably by a magic more real than any he dared imagine. For with the Magic came the Bad Thing, and the Faerie, and then the cool… and the resurrection of a primordial war with a forgotten people-a war that not only the Hastings but the whole human race could lose.