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Rage of a Demon King (Serpentwar Saga) Hardcover – April, 1997
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From Kirkus Reviews
Feist's fantasy saga continues (Shadow of a Dark Queen, 1994; Rise of the Merchant Prince, 1995) as the folk of Midkemia, already battling the snaky Saaur and their Emerald Queen, face an invasion of hungry demons seeking new wellsprings of toothsome lifeforce for their insatiable leader, Great Maarg. Returning to the fray are the familiar magicians Pug, Miranda, and Macros, along with soldiers Erik von Darkmoor and his sidekick, Roo Avery--and they will still need help from their former enemies, the Black Robes of Kelewan. There's probably a kitchen sink in here somewhere, too. Somehow, Feist always manages to wring out another plot twist or scrape together a new and improved gaggle of bad guys to keep the stew bubbling; the real puzzle is how the fans tolerate his graceless, often downright inept prose and limping dialogue. (First printing of 100,000) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
"A fine yarn...vivid...suspenseful...the action is nonstop."--"Booklist"An epic reading experience."--"San Diego Union-Tribune --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
Things I like about the series are the interesting characters, and the fantasy elements. It's one large series, but instead of having a massive amount of information to slog through, its broken down into 3-4 book sections that each contain a story arch. Each section focuses on a particular time in the kingdom's history. This is a benefit for anyone who is busy or who is having trouble getting into books as it doesn't look like the monster series it is, but looks like a manageable 3-4 books at a time. Not having finished the series, I can't comment as to whether I feel a reader would be disappointed or satisfied, but based on his writing I think I will be.
The only thing I consider a con for this series, and I've just noticed it on this last read through, since I'm powering through them, is that he created these really powerful characters at the beginning of the series and often has what I feel are too lame of a reason not to utilize them. There is reasoning there and sometimes its better than others. For instance, the elf queens consort is a particularly powerful being. Every book he's been in, he's a powerhouse character who usually swats the bad guys like swatting flies and rarely has trouble with the nastiest villains. However, in the book that I'm just about the finish, he can't go destroy the threat because he got scratched by a poison arrow and is week. As far as I've read, this is the first and only time I remember him getting injured.
Overall, it's a good series that I highly recommend. I don't know if Raymond E. Feist planned the overall story plots or winged it, but he does a great job of incorporating past events into a larger plot. You read the insulated sections and feel like you have a handle until he tells you it relates to the meta series in a completely different way that's now clear to you.
The book - story, plot, writing, characters - was excellent. However, it was very clear that the book had been prepared for ebook format through an optical scan, not from a text file. There were numerous typographical, spelling and punctuation errors as a result. There are no characters or lines - only an extra space - to break scenes. Since the line spacing is fairly loose to begin with, that made for some confusing moments. The production of the ebook does not do Feist's works justice.
This assessment applies to the Kindle versions of all four Serpentwar books - Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King and Shards of a Broken Crown. All were apparently prepared for publication in the same way, sans proofreading, with text just dumped on the page.
The plot and character development in this book are classic Feist, in that the characters are the guiding force of the book. The plot is certainly good and well written to be sure, but the characters are what really draws people into these books. If you have read a Feist book or two then you certainly know what to expect here.
As I said above, this book follows Rise of a Merchant Prince, Feist received some negative criticism over Rise of a Merchant Prince as it deviated a little from most of his other books in that it dealt heavily with being a Merchant an d Roo's rise to prominence within Krondor. However, the plot of this book makes it crystal clear why Rise of a Merchant Prince was necessary in the storyline and could not be glossed over with a paragraph or chapter in a different book.
In Rage of a Demon King the reader is treated to a large scope war, but not just from the vantage point of the final battles. The reader is able to see the year or two leading up to the battle and how the anxiety begins to affect the characters, how they plan strategy, and how they gather the necessary resources to fight such a large battle. Of course, there are also side plots that Feist weaves into the book as well. However, I have said before about Feist, nothing he writes is done without reason. He does a fantastic job at weaving all elements of the story together to create a gripping tale that dares the reader to stop reading. Over the course of the last year or two, I have become increasingly jaded about reading large scale battles involving tens of thousands of people on each side. However, this exact thing occurs in this book, but Feist does it in such a way that I cared about the outcome. It was hard to know who would live and who would die. There is one complaint I have about this book, that I feel compelled to discuss. So I will do so in the next paragraph, if you don't want to read spoilers skip the next paragraph.
Feist has tackled the different dimension/planes thing in another book and even then I didn't like it. He has such a well rounded world here, then for some reason he drags his characters into the `Hall of Worlds' and the beginning of creation. I absolutely hated these sections of the book. They seemed out of place and contrived. It just didn't seem to fit the story as it was written. I understand the demons needed to come from a different plane, but so many planes make it less special to me.
*End of spoilers***
The character development in this book is right on par with what to expect from Feist. His characters are certainly heroes and have power to make decisions, but they also have flaws and weaknesses that Feist seeks to exploit from time to time. Weaknesses ranging from Lust, Greed, Power etc, he writes these characters so well, the reader begins to care about the struggles they are facing and rooting for them to pull through. I am also pleased that Feist doesn't seem to be restricted from killing characters. Some authors refrain from killing characters when hey should obviously die, not so with Feist, if a death could be very meaningful and powerful it can happen. I truly enjoy Feist's characters, as they are like us in so many ways.
All in all I would recommend Feist's books without hesitation to any fantasy fan. In fact, if someone is trying to decide if they want to read fantasy I don't think you could find a much better starting point than Feist and the Riftwar Saga. He has a very easy style that captivates the reader and makes for a very enjoyable ride. One I will gladly continue reading.
Most recent customer reviews
This one is not as well written.