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Shadow of a Dark Queen (Serpentwar Saga) Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Eos; Reissue edition (1 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380720868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380720866
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.7 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,424,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Feist is one of the world's leading fantasy writers. His Riftwar and Serpentwar Sagas have been global bestsellers for years.
Born and raised in Southern California, Raymond E. Feist was educated at the University of California, San Diego, where he graduated with honours in Communication Arts. He is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Riftwar Saga.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Raymond E. Feist:

‘Fantasy of epic scope, fast-moving action and vivid imagination’ Washington Post

‘A fine yarn . . . vivid . . . suspenseful . . . the action is non-stop’ Booklist

‘File under guilty pleasure’
Guardian

‘Well-written and distinctly above average… intelligent… intriguing.’
Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Author

When did you start writing?
If you mean when did I seriously start writing, that was in 1977, the year I graduated from University. I really got serious a year later which was when I took a rough coming-of-age story and started turning into Magician, my first published novel.

Where do you write?
I have a home office.

What are the pros and cons of being a writer?
The same as with any self-employment: you’re your own boss, you set your own schedule, you determine the quality of the product, etc. The downside is you have no corporate safety net, no unemployment insurance, no health care benefits, no retirement plan, so you bear responsibility for all of those things. It is not a job for the timid.

What writers have inspired you?
Too long a list to cover them all. Anything good, in one fashion or another influences. There are some very obvious names, to begin with: Shakespeare, Marlow, Dickens, the Russians, Twain, Melville, and some slightly less obvious, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alexander Dumas, Anthony Hope, and the other "boy’s adventure" authors. Also, historical authors like Mary Renault, Rosemary Suttcliff, and Thomas Costain. And the pulp authors: Arthur Conan Doyle, H. Ridder Haggard, A. Merrrit, and among fantasy writers, Fritz Lieber. Toss in as diverse a range of writers as Zane Grey and Louis L’amour in westerns to Dashel Hammett , Raymond Chandler, and John D. McDonald in mystery, to comedic writers like Max Schulman and Dan Jenkins. I could keep going, but that’s the tip of the iceberg.

How important is a sense of place in your writing?
Tough question to answer in brief; every element in a fantasy has to “make sense” to the reader. You can not condescend to your art because it’s “make believe,” so even though the place in which I set my work is a fantasy world, it has to feel “real” structurally, else the reader will ultimately be unhappy.

Do you spend a lot of time researching your novels?
Only enough to convince the reader the characters know what they’re doing. I don’t have to be the expert; I just need to be persuasive.

Do your characters ever surprise you?
All the time. In fact, as I get older, more and more often. I suspect this is a function of my subconscious coming up with better story notions than I had originally planned.

How much of your life and the people around you do you put into your books?
In specific, none of it; in general, all of it. The old saw is that writers write what they know. It’s like what actors call “sense memory.” You have to sell emotion and there has to be a foundation of validity or it will not work. How did it feel when you saw your book in print for the first time? A little disbelieving, and very pleased.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing now?
Probably looking for a job, given this economy. My last one was in the health field as an administrator. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 6 July 1999
Format: Paperback
Another excellent installment in the Midkemia books started with 'Magician'. Old favourites like Nakor and his everlasting bag of oranges return. My brother couldn't read the Midkemia books because he found a character called Pug hard to take seriously. Get past this and you find perhaps one of the best developed Magician characters going. His ideas of his limitations mean that you will not find impossible situations fixed at the drop of a sorcerers arm, meaning Feist has to have intelligent solutions to get his other characters out of a fix.
The Hanging sequence was gripping and tense, the emotions running throught the characters real and believable.
I hope Erik Von Darkmoor is developed further.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether you've read REFs books from Magician onwards or not, you could still pick this up and go with it. Feist is far from the perfect writer but he has a style and method that is endearing to readers of all types.
This is the first of a series that begins some time after the RiftWar and features characters from previous books. Feist explains and introduces them within the storyline almost seamlessly.
The series hinges on serious events but builds on the lives of two characters in particular: Erik von Darkmoor and Rupert Avery, two boyhood friends who through various misfortunes, find themselves in deep, deep trouble. Just when things can't get any worse for them, it does.
Coincidentally the world of Midkemia is facing destruction from armies over-running the continent of Novindus, and when they're done there, they will probably destroy the rest of the world too.
What to do? Read on of course. Feist doesn't just produce character after character. He has them behave like normal human beings and manages to combine storylines about people, planets and existence, with unprecedented skill. They are insinuated into your own life without you being aware of it. You really want to know what happens next.
Some of the text is at times disappointing and somewhat patronising, in particular where he mixes colloquial Americanisms and 16the century English. But so what? They're rollicking good stories and despite borrowing from other fantasy writers, he puts it all together so well you don't really mind.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this sequel to The King's Buccaneer, author Raymond Feist takes us back to his magical world of Midkemia, some twenty four years later. Erik von Darkmoor and Rupert Avery have been convicted of murder, but are offered their lives if they will join a mad scheme, joining a group of desperate men on a secret mission from which they may or may not return. The evil Pantathian snake men are hatching a new plot on the continent of Novindus, and someone needs to find out what they are up to and, if possible, to stop them. But, this is indeed a dangerous mission. Can Erik and "Roo" survive? And, what will they find in Novindus?
Raymond Feist's Riftwar books were great, with epic adventure and magic, while his later books enjoyed a somewhat smaller scope. But, with this, the first book of the Sepentwar Saga, Mr. Feist has returned to the big time. The story is grand, with adventure written as big as the continent that it takes place on! The action is gripping and will leave you on the edge of your seat - it starts on page one, and, after a somewhat slow introduction of the main characters, gains momentum, and charges through to a magical (literally) crescendo!
Yep, this is a great book, the start of a great trilogy. I like the characters and the setting, and really enjoyed the new race introduced, the reptilian Sauur. Most of all, I liked the Hall of Worlds with its fascinating inhabitants. I so hope that Mr. Feist will consider writing a book that develops the Hall of Worlds more!
So, I would say that this is a simply excellent fantasy book, one of the best that was ever written, and I highly recommend it to you. Buy this book!
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Format: Paperback
At first I was disappointed as I read this book, so much was set up in the previous two books, prince of the blood and Kings buccanear, that wasn't explored as I had hoped. A large time gap occurs between the events of kings buccanear and this book.
So it begins with completely fresh characters in a vaguely familiar world, things have changed a little, society has advanced slightly in the economicak sense anyway.
The story centres on Erik Von Darkmoor, the bastard son of a Baron in the kingdom of the isles. Erik is a young blacksmith whose life under goes dramatic turns for the worse because of the jealousies of his legitemate half brothers. On the run with his friend Roo he quickly ends up as a soldier on a secret mission to the continant of Novindus.
The serpent war saga is my favourite series in the Midkemia books, it needs to be read by YOU.
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Format: Paperback
Very mixed feelings about this book. When I started, I got very involved with it, the events were very exciting and varied, the plot seemed like it was going somewhere, and the fact that most of the characters are VERY shallow didn't bother me much as I thought they would be developed further later on.

However, later on, things only got worse. The characters are 2D and most hold no presense in the scene. They feel like if you turned them sideways you wouldnt be able to see them anymore, essentially. This is true to such an extent that in some scenes I wasn't even aware that the main character, Erik, was even present in a scene until he was mentioned at the end of it, and I remembered that we are generally following his perspective. On top of this, many many MANY characters (there are many characters) are introduced as "a large man". What does that even mean?! Are they tall? Are they fat or muscley? What?!

On this note, why is Erik, a prisoner and lowly soldier, always present when the princes and leaders are making their big military decisions?

The interesting nature of the events declined once many events are basically repeated. There are many scenes where Erik rescues girls who are being raped, and he gets a bit angry to prove he has emotions, or realises that a random horse has a gammy foot, seemingly just to prove, yet again, in case we could forget, that he is good with horses.

Finally, at the beginning I eagerly awaited a bit of goblin slashing actions, maybe some trolls or dragons etc. If you're going to write a standard fantasy novel, these features should at least be present! Nearly all the characters are, however, human. There are some snake people, who are essentially human, and a dragon, who gets no action whatsoever.
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