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Flight of the Nighthawks (The Darkwar Saga, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – March 27, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Darkwar Saga Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This first of a new fantasy trilogy from bestseller Feist (Exile's Return) reintroduces a now ancient but well-preserved Pug (the juvenile hero of Magician) plus numerous generic situations, not the least of which is the return of Pug's old nemesis, the evil wizard Sidi, and a further menace that threatens the land of Midkemia. All the characters talk in completely 21st-century vocabulary, and while some of the inhabitants of the imaginary setting have unusual names suggestive of alien language and culture, we also meet folks named Miranda, Tomas, Magnus, Caleb and Zane. The result does not add up to any sense of a real, other place like Middle Earth or Earthsea, in which mythic events might plausibly occur. Those looking for the numinous wonder of Tolkien or the beautiful language of Ursula Le Guin will have to look elsewhere, but readers seeking to move one step up from adventure-gaming tie-in novels will find this a good starting place. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Feist expands the uber -saga of Midkemia again with a new trilogy, The Darkwar Saga. In it eventual arch-mage Pug (see Exile's Return, 2005) is much younger, his vast powers are still forming, and he hasn't yet acquired the array of family ties that will make him so wonderfully human later on. Right now he is trying to contend with evil sorcery and win the tolerance, if not allegiance, of the emperor. Reinforcing him are two fugitive farm boys, Tad and Zane, and their mentor, Caleb, whose aid proves invaluable as all three youngsters mature, the farm boys with the additional help of another mage's daughters. The boys' growth entails some of Feist's most notable feats of characterization, feats that testify to the substantial improvement he has made as a writer during a career now approaching the 20-year mark. He leaves us curious, even eager, to see what the succeeding two books will reveal about Midkemia's history and what parts Tad and Zane play in it, though perhaps under new and different names. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Darkwar Saga, Book 1 (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (March 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060792795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060792794
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joe Sherry on February 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Flight of the Nighthawks" is the first volume in Raymond Feist's new trilogy the "Darkwar Saga". Set two years after the conclusion of "Exile's Return", the story here takes what we knew of this new threat to Midkemia in the form of the Talnoy and a race called the Dasati and expands upon it. Where the "Conclave of Shadows" series turned out to be nothing more than a long three book prologue for this series and featured almost exclusively all new characters, "Flight of the Nighthawks" opens with the now famous first line to "Magician" "the storm had broken..." and features Pug dreaming of that very event.

Finally after many books and decades in the world of Midkemia, the magician Pug is a major focus of the book because now there is a threat vast enough to warrant Pug's direct intervention. The Talnoy are like overgrown suits of armor but are immensely powerful and extremely hard to kill and the Dasati (beings not only from another world, but another dimension) employ these killers in a blitzkrieg fashion and all who stand before the Talnoy will be crushed...and the fear is that Midkemia will fall prey to the Talnoy as there are already dormant Talnoy on the planet. How and why is a matter to be discovered.

The way the story is told here deals with Pug and the magicians of the Conclave trying to discover exactly how the Talnoy will be brought into play and what the deal is with these new rifts that are appearing on Midkemia and Kelewan and their apparent connection with the Talnoy. Also, we are introduced to Tad and Zane, two boys raised in Stardock village and soon to be adopted by Pug's son Caleb. These two boys will also have a role to play.
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Format: Paperback
After bringing us the opening three novels concerning Tal Hawkins and Kaspar, Duke of Olasko, Feist opens his third great Midkemia series, The Darkwar Saga, by expanding on the discovery of the Dasati and their automaton army, the Talnoy. It is the greatest danger to face the conclave since Pug's involvement in the Serpent War and finds us delving into new dimensions for both Midkemia's and Kelewan's newest enemies, as Magnus discovers that the immobile Talnoy are acting as a beacon for the Dasati and rifts are beginning to form between the two worlds.

We commence in bucolic bliss as Caleb, the non-magical son of Miranda and Pug finds himself apprenticing the son and foster-son of Marie, Tad and Zane, two eager lads who have not much to do and an eye for trouble. After they save him from death at the hands of a bandit ambush, we then travel with them as they are turned from soft layabouts into hardened Conclave soldiers and we then learn of a series of murders of Truebloods in the Empire of the Great Kesh. The resulting concern finds Tal and Kaspar and Caleb entering Kesh at different social levels to track down the infamous lair of the Nighthawks, whom they believe responsible for the murders that seek to place Kesh in a state of civil war as the current Emperor nears the end of both his life and reign. In the meantime, Nakor has discovered greater powers are rumbling as he finds the tiniest spark of the Nameless One in the darkly Herculean Bek that promises that there could be a return for Ishar.
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Format: Paperback
With Flight of the Nighthawks, Raymond E. Feist begins yet another series of books set in the Midkemia universe. Also yet again, he writes a fairly enjoyable tale with a lot of little problems that bring it down to just an enjoyable read instead of a standout. One of the problems is the same as it always is, and he has corrected most of the other ones, but this time, some sloppy writing kept throwing me out of the book that I happened to be enjoying at the time.

Flight of the Nighthawks is a continuation of Feist's "Conclave of Shadows" trilogy, but it has its own series name: The Darkwar Saga. I didn't understand this at the time I read Exile's Return, but now I do. Feist has changed the focus to make it much broader. The back cover copy emphasizes the two brothers, Zane and Tad, but it truly covers the entire Conclave. While I don't mind a limited viewpoint, as in the previous series, it was nice to get information from a bunch of sources this time around. We have not only the boys, but Caleb, Pug, Kaspar and Talwin Hawkins, all involved in the plan to bring down the Nighthawks. The variety of viewpoints gives the book more of an epic feel that I really enjoyed.

While once again Feist avoids any potential misogyny charges by not featuring any female characters, the men he does populate the story with are well-drawn and interesting. He gives us some of the boys' training, but doesn't concentrate on it as much as he did Tal's in the previous series, and he intersperses these chapters with events elsewhere in the world, so that the training sequences don't slow the story down. The wide number of characters also helps in the fact that the boys just weren't the interesting.
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