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Feast Of Souls: Magister: Book One Paperback – 5 Nov 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (5 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841498343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841498348
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 639,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Friedman. . . writes bright, clear prose that can shine like gemstones or cut like broken glass. If you haven't read her work you need to do something about that right now (Tad Williams)

Book Description

The first volume in a compelling fantasy series from the acclaimed author of the Coldfire Trilogy.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Patrick St-Denis, editor of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist on 12 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
Inexplicably, this latest offering by acclaimed author C. S. Friedman has been flying under the radar since last January. And given its quality, this sad state of affairs continues to baffle me. Feast of Souls marks Friedman's return to the fantasy genre. That, in and of itself, should be reason enough to buy this book! Like many other readers, I have been waiting for this moment since Crown of Shadows was published.

And yet, having read both Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind and Williams' Shadowplay earlier this year, I decided to wait a while before giving this one a chance. I try to balance everything by reading titles from various publishers -- an attempt to spread the joy, if you will. However, electing to wait before reading Feast of Souls proved to be a dumb move on my part, for the first volume of the Magister trilogy is without a doubt the very best of Daw Books' "big guns" of 2007.

More epic than dark fantasy this time around, Feast of Souls is a compelling opening chapter in a tale which appears vaster in scope than anything C. S. Friedman has written up until this point. Having said that, I feel that it's also the least self-contained novel the author has ever written. Whereas each volume of the Coldfire trilogy was more or less stand-alone -- even though part of an overall story arc -- Feast of Souls is definitely an introduction to a much more ambitious and complex fantasy epic.

Richly detailed worldbuilding intrigues the reader from the beginning. It's obvious that this book is meant to lay the groundwork for what will unfold in the upcoming sequels. As such, it makes for a slower pace for the better part of the first half of the novel. After that, the pace quickens and the storytelling makes it difficult to put this one down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aingeal Fiction on 11 April 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was a really good return for me to the SF genre after a year and I was not disappointed. At first, the book began with different points of view and at one point **spoiler begin** I was confused as to how long Kamala had spent with Ethanus I thought it was a year because the wasting had only hit Andovan for a year but the book indicates a longer time with Ethanus **end of spoiler**. I too missed the map and hope that this is included in the next part of the trilogy - i could not put the book down and read it in one weekend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
To be honest a book that I missed originally and one that I've come to lament in certain respects as it has some wonderful moments within the pages. Bigger, better and perhaps longer than anything Celia has written before this epic novel really does hit the spot for fantasy fans. Richly painted in descriptive words you can't help but get sucked into this world however youre really going to want the additional novels when you pick this up as to be honest its not neatly tied up with a bow by the end in much the same way that her other novels are but perhaps best of all are the characters within, each one ready to jump off the page to the readers imagination and I hope that they will continue to grow with each subsequent outing. I will eagerly await the next novel.
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Format: Paperback
Whilst I tend to read fantasy more than any other genre these days, my first love has always been the horror genre. So when an author promises me a fantasy novel with a dark twist, then I am always likely to be interested.

"Feast of Souls" certainly offered this, with a couple of dark twists to the traditional fantasy themes. Prince Andovan is dying of a disease known as "the Wasting" and a large group of Magisters have been called together to try and find a cure. However, they alone know that the cause of this illness is their particular form of magic, which drains the life force of other beings to allow them to create spells. This means that one of their number must be killing the Prince.

In another part of the world, completely unknown to all the others, a woman called Kamala is going through her own preparations to become a Magister. This is unheard of in Magister circles, as none of their number has ever been a woman before. Combined with all this is the return of an ancient foe known as the ikati or soul eaters, a deadly enemy which existed before the Magisters ever came into being and who no-one alive knows how to defeat.

Even before the story really got started, I was intrigued by the idea of Magisters draining life source from others to perform their magic and witches having to drain their own life source to cast spells. The thought that to perform magic you either had to kill yourself or someone else was certainly different and reduced the chances of magic being a solution to every problem going, which happens a lot in the field of fantasy. There is even some time given over to the psychological implications of this as part of Kamala's teaching, which I found particularly interesting.
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By J. Bradley on 16 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
To be blunt I found this book quite compelling. The motivations behind many of the characters were certainly ones I could relate to. The plot was novel enough as were elements such as the magic mechanics. Characterisation was fine, perhaps not a vast amount of depth to each character but certainly sufficient to give each of them personality. The world building however is quite poor so don't expect anything of Robert Jordan standards there.

Fitting with the theme of the book the author has no compunctions about killing off characters. A significant portion of the cast is dead by the end of the book. Partly for that reason I wish this wasn't a series as I have my doubts that sequels will do well after quite so brutal a culling. That said I'm still going to buy and read the second so fingers crossed.
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