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4.0 out of 5 stars You'd Be Mad to Miss It
The ideal middle part to a trilogy is one that hooks you, reels you in and leaves you desperate to find out what is going to happen next. Feist achieved exactly that with "Into a Dark Realm", the middle part of his Darkwar trilogy and so it was with excitement and anticipation that I turned to "Wrath of a Mad God".

Perhaps it's wrong, but an...
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Iain R. Wear

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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for wrapping things up, 0 stars for effort.
I hate having to do this with an author who was once my favourite but here comes another poor review.....

I guess I shouldn't have been overly surprised given his recent efforts (for my main gripes, see my review of King Of Foxes) but like many loyal readers, I simply wanted to know what happens to a number of characters and worlds about whom I care greatly...
Published on 3 April 2008 by Gareth Butler


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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for wrapping things up, 0 stars for effort., 3 April 2008
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I hate having to do this with an author who was once my favourite but here comes another poor review.....

I guess I shouldn't have been overly surprised given his recent efforts (for my main gripes, see my review of King Of Foxes) but like many loyal readers, I simply wanted to know what happens to a number of characters and worlds about whom I care greatly. I've felt that he has been rushing his books for too long, probably spending six months every year putting his feet up (and why not, he's earned the right to do so) but then spending the remaining six hastily putting together as many pages as he can muster in a short space of time in order to meet his publishers' demand that he put out a book roughly every twelve months.

The last book, Into A Dark Realm, ended so abruptly that I thought maybe Feist had died before he finished writing it. This latest offering literally picks up where the last one left off without any recap whatsoever, almost as though he threw what he had written at the publisher in order to meet their deadline and then carried on writing, so as a standalone book it would make almost no sense to a reader who hadn't read the last couple of books. Other reviewers have mentioned the factual mistakes so I won't go into these apart from to say that it simply isn't good enough. Equally, the number of typos in the book is disgraceful; HarperVoyager should hang their heads in shame.

I understand that Feist has started work on his next series and I pray that he will be allowed time to do them justice. I really don't care if I have to wait five years for the first book if that means it could present some value for money. I've just got my wife to start reading Magician and I could have cried when I picked it up again and realised that you could probably have fitted two to three of the pages from Wrath into one page of Magician, yet Magician is over twice as long. I really have felt ripped off by the last few books as, frankly, the whole of the Darkwar saga could have been presented as one, reasonably good value, book.

I suppose I should finish by saying whether I would recommend the book itself. If you're an avid Feist reader then you will have no choice but to read it as, like me, you will want to discover the latest episode in the lives of characters that have been around for over two decades. You'll probably agree that events in the book that would have previously been dealt with in epic proportions are now given little more than lip-service but I suppose it's better than nothing at all. However, even at Amazon's discounted price, I implore you to wait for the paperback version or get down to your local library. If you have never read a Feist book before, or haven't read the other Darkwar books, avoid this at all costs. If you fall into the former category, do yourself a favour and buy Magician - my wife hasn't been able to put it down and she isn't even a fan of the genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best since the Serpentwar Saga, but still doesn't recapture the magic of old, 15 Aug. 2011
By 
G. Maudsley (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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I finished this book feeling fairly satisfied with the ending: questions were answered - major ones - character arcs were tied off, and storylines were brought together and concluded. But it simply doesn't captivate like the Riftwar and Serpentwar Sagas.

The characters aren't developed, explored and furthered enough; I never feel like I know or can relate to many of Feist's newer characters. I also feel I'm losing touch with Pug and Tomas (barely used, and where he was, it didn't really fit into the conclusion), as their emotions and motivations aren't explored as they used to be, or as authors like Jordan or Martin might do. To be fair, Feist has always focused on scope, grandeur and philosophy (and on this last he's still the best), but it wouldn't kill him to explore his main characters more fully. Instead the feeling is that he's ploughing on doggedly for the ending - the last 30% - the best stuff of this entire Darkwar Saga.

And this last 30% IS really good. Oldschool Feist - scope, ambition, twists, ruthlessness and a load of action and magic. Very entertaining stuff. We find out the truth about that mercurial and brilliant character, Nakor, and the strange young warrior, Ralan Bek. Bek is one of Feist's best creations since Serpentwar, and his nature and abilities were always a pleasure to read about. The truth behind Nakor wasn't handled as well as it could have been, but was by no means a failure - it is just that you can sum his role up in a sentence, instead of listening to the luxury of his life story, as every Nakor fan yearns to do. We also have a twist in the foes the Conclave think they are facing - a good one, but one that reminded me too much of a big one we've witnessed before. Come to think of it, we've witnessed it twice before...

These two characters are arguably the most interesting in the whole series, and it remains a mystery why Feist opened this Darkwar trilogy with Caleb's two foster-sons, Tad and Zane, who feature in only a couple of scenes in the whole book. Feist's lack of conviction in these two characters was evidenced in 'Into a Dark Realm' when Jommy dwarfed the other two boys, who one can only assume were introduced as carbon-copies of the much-missed Roo and Erik.

Speaking of carbon-copies, and under-used and surplus-to-requirements characters, Feist again mines his glory days to try to reinvigorate a less-fresh series by introducing, out of left-field, another Jimmy the Hand. It was painful to witness, although the character was in himself likeable enough. Not only was he shamelessly named similarly, he had every attribute bar brilliant sorcerer, and one wonders why this guy wasn't brought in earlier, as he plays an important part and can seemingly do everything the unforgiving world of Midkemia can throw at him.

Erik does feature, but it's another reliving of glorious days past, and while it's a pleasure having Erik on my page again, he doesn't have the relevance he used to, and is essentially a 'yes-man' to the Conclave of Shadows.

But this story is all about Pug, really, and I think there's a sense that the prophecy delivered him years before in the halls of death is finally on the road to being understood. It's no secret Feist is ending the cycle in five books time, and I think he's getting everything out of the way to make way for a grand finale - here a trip to another realm, and a longer look at a foe not really seen since the early days. There's exploration of the role of the gods in the universe and the nature of the various realities - stuff Feist fans wait for with bated-breath, but it somehow feels a little confused and less sure than it used to. It may be that all the retconning seen in this book is catching up with him.

This last is very frustrating, coupled with the multiple continuity errors and poor editing. This, Feist suggests, is down to outsourced copyediting - an insult to Feist by his publisher, in my opinion. Surely they can afford to have someone who knows his books well read an early draft to pick up the bad continuity errors? Not only this, but the editing itself is poor. Whoever proofread this should be ashamed.

In summary, though, this does have a lot to like about it: the increasing pace and tension of the ending, the epic nature of the final struggle, a couple of cracking twists, revelations, and the beauty of Feist's universes. But it doesn't have the conviction and purpose of earlier works, and by those, we will always judge him.
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4.0 out of 5 stars You'd Be Mad to Miss It, 10 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Wrath of a Mad God (Darkwar, Book 3) (Paperback)
The ideal middle part to a trilogy is one that hooks you, reels you in and leaves you desperate to find out what is going to happen next. Feist achieved exactly that with "Into a Dark Realm", the middle part of his Darkwar trilogy and so it was with excitement and anticipation that I turned to "Wrath of a Mad God".

Perhaps it's wrong, but an opening scene which involves a major character being psychologically and magically tortured seemed like a decent start. In all ways, "Wrath of a Mad God" picks up where "Into a Dark Realm" left off. The linked worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan are under threat of invasion by the Dasati. There have been initial skirmishes from the Dasati into both worlds and Pug and his son Magnus have travelled to the Dasati world to try and prevent this.

It seems that the Dark God of the Dasati has the upper hand, however. Unlike the more human races, the alien Dasati have no qualms about killing as many of their own people as they have to in order to facilitate an invasion. Pug and a few rebel Dasati have to try and prevent the threat from the Dasati end, as their weight of numbers and evil nature threaten to overwhelm the worlds they are trying to invade, as they seem intent more on killing the people, not conquering them.

As ever, Feist drops you into the story on the assumption that you have read the previous books in the trilogy. Indeed, this time around, he assumes you've been reading his work for some time, giving back story to some of the characters that not only covers books I haven't read over the last few years, but goes back to books I read more than a decade ago. Whilst this is an exciting read, it certainly isn't one for newcomers to Feist's work.

For the fans who know what to expect and who won't be put off by the back story making reference to important events they have very little knowledge of, this is a decent read. Feist once more doesn't rely on magic as a plot device, but as a tool, so there aren't so many strange things happening as in a lot of fantasy and much of the magic used here will be familiar to his fans. His other strength has always been concentrating on his character's feelings much more than many fantasy authors, so we don't see the characters as all powerful magicians, but as real people with similar fears to our own. I felt that the interaction between Pug's wife Miranda and their son Caleb was particularly well done, as it was a wonderfully emotional part about a parent's love for the black sheep of the family which many of us will be able to relate to.

This has always been Feist's way of involving the reader in the story and he doesn't disappoint this time around. It is always very clear who are the characters you are supposed to sympathise with and who is the enemy. If there is one minor complaint, it is that the two human races, the Midkemians and the Tsuranuanni are quite similar and with the alien Dasati making incursions into both worlds, it's not always immediately obvious whether they are on Midkemia or Kelewan. The difference between good and evil is always obvious, but the split between the different kinds of good, especially when the Midkemians are helping out the Tsurani army is a little muddled.

My other issues were that there was the inclusion of Tomas, a character from Feist's early work. His inclusion involved a sub plot that appeared and ended part way through and didn't have any obvious bearing on the plot of this story. It seems that there may be more to come from Feist, but this part of the story just didn't seem to fit in here and it made me feel as if he'd dropped in a plot from a different book by mistake. Maybe a bigger fan of Feist than I am would see the significance of this portion of the plot, but to me it seemed largely irrelevant, seeming to be a self contained story in its own right, but not one with any importance here.

The other disappointment was in the ending of the book, which seemed a little weak to me. After all that had gone before, it seemed to be over quite quickly and the ending seemed to be a little too convenient and easy. It felt as if Feist was either in a hurry to finish things or if he'd run out of ideas and just wanted to tie everything up as quickly and easily as he could just to get it done.

This aside, this is another decent book from Feist. All the things that made me a fan and have kept me reading his books are here and as good as ever. Apart from the ending, his pacing of the story is as good as ever, with plenty of action going on and the constant swapping of perspective keeping you involved with the whole of the story. It's not his best and not the best ending to a trilogy, but it is still a decent book and well worth a look for any fan of Feist, although I would recommend his earlier works such as "Magician" for the newcomer. Perhaps the most interesting thing for the fan could be that the plot strands that don't seem to fit here suggest that Feist isn't finished yet and there could be more to look forward to in the future.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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3.0 out of 5 stars A hard slog to get through - yet worth it in the end!, 27 July 2013
This review is from: Wrath of a Mad God (Darkwar, Book 3) (Paperback)
I initially struggled to get into this book at first, and I have been an avid Feist Fan since I first picked up a copy of Magician fifteen years ago! It seemed to have been written by two authors - the first half was disjointed, hard to read, and was full of typographical and factual errors to the extent that I put this book down twice, and turned to something else. I stuck with it for the third time, as I really, Really wanted to find out what happened next...and with the third time being the charm, I am so glad I did! The second half of the book was pure, old Feist (albeit with typo's and factual errors) and the ending tied up a number of character arc's that I have been following for said fifteen years (it's okay - no spoilers here) - what makes my "trouble bump" itch is why? I may never find out, and you may never find out either - however, the fact remains that if you have heavily invested a large part of your heart to Feist's work (as I have) you will need to slog through this in order to satisfy your Midekemian cravings - I'm glad I did...and now? I'm onto to Rides A Dread Legion :)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Feist's best work, but if you're a fan still worth reading., 2 Sept. 2008
This is the last book in Feist's the Darkwar trilogy, now for a bit of the story.

In this novel we see the evil and blood thirsty Dastai gain a foothold in the world of Kelewan, the Tsurani warriors do there all to fight agianst the death magic of the Dastai mages and the brutality of there warriors, on there side though they have some of the great military leaders of Midkemia, Eric Von Darkmoor, the former Duke Kasper and from the far land of of Novindus the general Alenburga to fight and lead the warriors, but will that be enough? On the Dastai home world we see Pug and his followers battle the evil Dread Lord and his minions with the aid of the white, a political and military group of Dastai who strive for the good of their people, but will they all make it out of the battle alive?

This is a good book, it's no where near as good as his previous work but it is still worth reading, the one point the irked me was in the book we see Feist tell that Eric Von Darkmoor served all his like with the Kingdom and was never married or had children, when any fan of Erik's knows his was married to Kitty in the Serpent war saga, this mistake is unforgivable when you consider Erik is one of the main characters in Fiest's work, hence the reason for three stars and not four.

I hope this review was of some help to you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent High paced fantasy!, 7 April 2011
This review is from: Wrath of a Mad God (Darkwar, Book 3) (Paperback)
This was what I was looking for from this book. Plenty of excitement and a cataclysmic ending! There are very mixed reviews here, possibly because people want something with the emotional depth and engagement with characters that you get in the the Empire series. However those books were written with Janny Wurts and I would't say those are typical of his style of writing. Instead go back to the Riftwar and Serpentwar saga's. I would say the Darkwar trilogy is Feists best work since the serpentwar Saga. I would critise whoever edited the book, as spelling mistakes and poor sentence construction are a problem, which lets the book down to some extent. However I can forgive that and for the excitement and adrenaline rush it gave me I'll give it 5 stars!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best for a long time!, 12 Oct. 2008
The last few Feist books, whilst all very good, have had the feel of "smaller" novels without the grandeur of scope that the Magician or Serpentwar series had.

This is back to the things that brought us to Midkemia and Kelewan in the first place. Vast empires, lots of magic and feeling of scale - the feeling of the Riftwar. Huge of scope - this is a rollicking ride with a stupendous ending.

There could be at least two full books in this one and I look forward to the 20th anniversary "directors cut"

Read it, and then like me - read it again.

Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better, but still good, 30 April 2009
By 
R. Bell - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wrath of a Mad God (Darkwar, Book 3) (Paperback)
A must read for any Feist fan. I agree with the other reviewers that it is not as good as his earlier works, but I still read it through without putting it down once.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well, who'd have seen that coming, 7 April 2014
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What has been a trilogy of defining plot twists and the development of some of the lesser characters, this story finished with a bang. Not since the emerald queen decimated the western kingdom has feist changed the landscape, a nod to the other races of kelewan seemed a bit forced, adding little other than nostalgia. That aside the sadness with which this finished was well written despite the unusual twist. I do hope for a return of the nameless one, you know who I mean...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What has happened to Raymond E. Feist?, 7 April 2009
By 
B. D. Wilson (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wrath of a Mad God (Darkwar, Book 3) (Paperback)
In my review of "Into a Dark Realm", I stated that I absolutely loved the Riftwar series, but that nothing Raymond E. Feist had written since then had ever got even anywhere near to matching it.

For a long time, I thought "Wrath of a Mad God" was going to change that trend. It gripped me right from the start, and seemed to have the same kinetic energy and gripping storytelling as "Silverthorn" and "A Darkness at Sethanon". I was ready to come on here and give it a rave review.

And then it just...fell apart. First of all, I don't know why it has become so difficult for Feist - and a number of other noted fantasy authors - to write a decent battle scene. This trilogy was called the "DarkWAR", and yet, hardly any trace of the actual war can be found within it. The few battle scenes there are get skimmed over as if they are not important, when in fact the entire survival of a planet's population is supposed to be at stake. I just don't understand why Feist and others seem intent on PURPOSELY glossing over epic battles like this.

Aside from this, in the final quarter, the novel takes a number of unnecessary diversions just as it's supposed to be building to its climax. Then several major incidents occur in only a few lines. Macros just completely disappears about half way through the book and doesn't return. There are several glaring continuity errors between this book and Feist's other works that I simply don't know how they came be printed.

This book is a shocking mess throughout its final third, and while it does still contain some nice surprises, it is yet another crushing disappointment from an author who is rapidly becoming a sort of one-hit wonder in my mind. Something compels me to keep buying his books in the vain hope that he will recover his Riftwar touch (so for that reason I will probably buy his latest, "Rides a Dread Legion", some time in the next few months), but I remain unconvinced that he ever will.
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Wrath of a Mad God (Darkwar, Book 3)
Wrath of a Mad God (Darkwar, Book 3) by Raymond Feist (Paperback - 5 Mar. 2009)
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