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A Kingdom Besieged: Book One of the Chaoswar Saga Hardcover – April 12, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Chaoswar Saga Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Originality and wit a rollicking tale Feist’s narrative skill, ingenuity at creating systems of magic, and eye for plausible militaryscenarios stand him in good stead. His many fans will be pleased.” (Booklist)

“Sheer readability.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“[Feist] introduces a new dimension to his universe and added new depth to recurring characters while creating fascinating new heroes and villains. With a fast pace and clean, crisp storytelling, this fantasy saga belongs in most libraries.” (Library Journal)

“A promising start to what looks like a strong, dire trilogy of fantastic adventure.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

“Fast action, appealing characters, and a splendid setting will delight readers of fantasy and leave them eager for the next battle.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A massive, entertaining tale.” (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel)

“There’s an evil sparkle here, brighter and hotter than any of Feist’s works since the Magician trilogy. The Dasati and their world are sumptuously realised . . . It’s an entertaining, at times intoxicating mixture.” (SF Site)

“Feist brings a new world alive.” (The Oregonian (Portland))

“Originality and wit... A rollicking tale... [Feist’s] narrative skill, ingenuity at creating systems of magic, and eye for plausible military scenarios stand him in good stead. His many fans will be pleased.” (Booklist)

“Feist has a natural talent for keeping the reader turning pages.” (Chicago-Sun Times)

“[A] compelling and profoundly moving tale… an invaluable addition to a beloved canon.” (barnesandnoble.com)

“This tale of shape-shifting magicians, human sacrifice, man-eating demons, and a little young love will satisfy Feist’s fans, and the ending will leave them waiting for another volume.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Action and intrigue and evocative writing . . . Feist brings a new world alive.” (The Oregonian (Portland))

“A sensitive coming-of-age tale in which brutality and camaraderie are equally present, Feist’s newest saga has a freshness of vision that suggests it will avoid the staleness that often eats away at multi-volume epics.” (Publishers Weekly)

“An epic reading experience . . . Unpretentious, fast-paced . . . Shadow of a Dark Queen works admirably.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

“A story of redemption and heroism featuring an unlikely hero . . . This classic fantasy should find a welcome audience among the author’s fans.” (Library Journal)

“A great read and a wonderful addition to Feist’s collection.” (SF Site)

“An action-packed story of intrigue and betrayal.” (Library Journal)

“A fine yarn . . . vivid . . . suspenseful . . . The action is nonstop. (Booklist)

“As usual, Feist brings this off wonderfully.” (Science Fiction Chronicle)

“Another crowd-pleaser for Feist to add to his already impressive resume.” (Publishers Weekly on King of Foxes)

“CLASSIC.” (Chicago Tribune)

“Feist has the universe firmly under his control, and the adventure is grand[.]” (Contra Costa Times)

“Feist’s fans will look forward to the saga’s final episode.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Feist is at his best.” (Science Fiction Chronicle)

“Originality and wit . . . A rollicking tale . . . Feist’s narrative skill, ingenuity at creating systems of magic, and eye for plausible military scenarios stand him in good stead. His many fans will be pleased.” (Booklist)

“In the forefront of contemporary fantasy adventure.” (Library Journal)

“FUN . . . A place to start for those yet to discover Feist’s fantasy worlds.” (Locus)

“Fine entertainment . . . Feist works his signature magic . . . an absorbing and carefully crafted adventure with pleasing density of plotting, good characterization . . . this is populist Dickens out of Tolkien, and it works.” (Sydney Morning Herald)

“Sure to please Feist fans and win new ones.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Splendid . . . fast action, appealing characters . . . (It) will delight readers of fantasy.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Shows Feist in top form.” (Adelaide Advertiser)

“This simple, charming fairy tale will appeal to adult fans of the Riftwar books as well as mature teens who don’t mind a bit of romance in their sword-and-sorcery.” (Publishers Weekly)

“This is a series that gets better as it goes along.” (Science Fiction Chronicle)

“With his storytelling mastery and ear for colorful language and nuance, the author of numerous books set in the dual worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan here launches a series that takes his fantasy universe into a whole new phase. ” (Library Journal)

“The prose is smooth, the plot is exactly what you’d expect and the characters do exactly what Feist tells them . . . File under guilty pleasure.” (The Guardian)

“The most interesting character in the saga to date, Kaspar . . . another complicated and compelling protagonist . . . [W]ill have Feist fans eagerly awaiting the next installment.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Well-paced storytelling by a veteran entertainer.” (Kirkus Reviews)

From the Back Cover

After nearly thirty years and more than two dozen novels, Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Cycle has become one of the most iconic, beloved, and enduring sagas in modern fantasy. The Riftwars—including the original Riftwar, the Serpentwar, the Darkwar, and the Demonwar—were epic battles between Good and Evil whose ramifications have echoed through generations. The latest entry in the epic, A Kingdom Besieged, ushers in the most fearsome threat the Kingdom has yet faced—the Chaoswar—a magic apocalypse with cataclysmic results.

A Kingdom Besieged

Years ago, the Empire of Great Kesh failed in its attempt to conquer Krondor after the Serpentwar, thanks to the bravery, cunning, and magic of the sorcerer Pug and the Conclave of Shadows. Since then, peace has benefitted both nations, and the Kingdom has been free from the threat of another Keshian invasion. Yet now, the dark clouds of war gather again. . . .

From the Far Coast in the west to the frontier with the Eastern Kingdoms, rumors, uncertainty, and political instability are rampant. Spies have gone missing—some were murdered while others have turned traitor. Factions are rising, powerful legions from the Keshian Confederacy have been mobilized, and an attack on the kingdoms of the Isles and Roldem is all but certain.

As the men of the Western Realm begin to mount a defense, Martin conDoin, the middle son of Lord Henry, Duke of Crydee, finds himself leading the charge against the invaders—like his legendary ancestor, Prince Arutha, who stood firm to the death against the Tsurani invasion. But Arutha had an entire army at his command. Martin has just a ragtag force comprised of a few old men and young boys.

As Kesh's invading hordes once again descend upon the Kingdom, no one is safe—not experienced masters of intrigue Lord James Dasher Jamison and the beguiling and deadly Lady Franciezka; not the brave warrior Knight-Adamant Sandreena and a new generation of loyal yet untested defenders; not even the great Pug himself, the most powerful magician the world of Midkemia has ever known. A threat far more terrifying has arisen, an evil whose burgeoning power portends Midkemia's demise. And soon even the Kingdom's enchanted defender will find himself questioning everything he's ever held abiding, true, and treasured . . . including the loyalty and desires of his beloved son, Magnus.

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Product Details

  • Series: Chaoswar Saga (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; First Edition edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061468398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061468391
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being a long-time fan of Raymond E. Feist (in fact, he is my favorite author and has been ever since the first time I ever read Magician), even I have to admit that his last few books were a little below par for him. Many have said that they have felt like placeholders, and I have to agree; in truth, they more or less were, being that they were mostly used to introduce new characters and move the story into a direction where it would be possible for his current works to take place the way he envisioned them. Still, even with all that, I have never failed to enjoy any of his books, and I'm always among the first to pre-order the hardcovers as soon as they are available (even going so far on a few occasions as to order the books from Amazon UK when it just so happened that they were available in Europe before they were here in the U.S.).

When it comes to this current title, however, I must agree wholeheartedly with other reviewers who have said that it seems to be a return to the old Feist. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and devoured it very quickly (much to my horror when I realized that I now have to wait and wait for the next book in the trilogy to come out). Without giving anything away by way of spoilers, this book contains a lot of intrigue between the major kingdoms and ends with two very surprising plot twists that made my jaw drop. I'm still not sure why the publisher has the Kindle edition priced so expensively, but if you're one of those people who find yourself teetering on the fence of whether or not to buy it, I would advise you to go for it -- expensive or not... If you're a fan of Feist's early works, you will not be disappointed!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read all of Feist's previous `war' saga books (sans the special character stories). I have a propensity to like Feist. This book starts a new era called the Chaos Wars. Unfortunately, this 1st book is mostly cliff note primer of the past saga's stories. Yes, such reflection is necessary to get the reader current, except that the extent of back story seems like half the book. The problem is that the book is only 350 pages to start with and `new' stuff is certainly less than 200 hundred of those pages.

Not much here in my opinion. The story will be unfolded as Feist releases more books, but this first in the series is not worth it at the moment. Wait for more installments to be released for a seamless read. That's what I've decided after this disappointing entrée.

PS ... giving the author repeated 1 star reviews because of wacky kindle pricing is bogus and unfair. Whining about kindle pricing is a publisher issue and is overwhelming the purpose of a book review. Amazon as the Kindle provider isn't even offering the kindle edition for gosh sakes. You are paying Amazon "partner" prices that are not doing Kindle any favors.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own all of Raymond Feist's books, and absolutely loved the magician and many others. Raymond Feist has created such vivid and beautiful worlds, and he has done so through the people and cultures that inhabit those worlds.

His latest books, this one in particular, are one dimensional and everyone in the book seems very much alike. He seems to move everyone around like game pieces, from one crisis to another, with very little explanation of what is going on. You don't get to know the characters or the communities and the worlds they live in. He goes into no one in depth, except in this book, the Child, a demon. He has also killed off all the interesting characters, and has replaced them (or not replaced them) with one dimensional and very boring people.

A well planned war is coming from Kesh, but what is going on in the City of Kesh, with the emperor and his brother who rule there? What is happening in Krondor and Rillanon? How did Pug and Magnus deal with the death of Miranda, and through at least 8 books, who is Magnus? What is his life like, who has he loved and what does he think? We have never gotten to know him after all this time. What is going on with the Star Elves and the Queen and Tomas? What is happening on the new world that the Tsurani have settled on? How are they coping with all the problems of rebuilding their cultures and societies? So many strings hanging out there, and so many unanswered questions.

In his recent books, the type face has gotten bigger and bigger, and the books shorter and shorter. It's too bad that he seems to have lost interest in his vivid beautiful worlds, and I am losing interest in this author as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book reminds me of "Magician", appropriately since it is the lead up to his final book, "Magician's End". It takes place years after the tragic events that lead to the death of many of Pug's family members and while he struggles to keep going forward it seems that new threats are appearing that are beyond even the Conclave's ability to handle. A sudden war from out of nowhere, demons appearing that might be as much the victims as they are the villains, questions once forgotten such as the purpose of the Lifestone being brought to light again, and events of the last 150 years all starting to come together makes this a great read for anyone who's read the previous books as well as someone new to the series. My only complaint, I don't want to wait until the next book!
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