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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginning to what should be another great series!
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...
Published on 12 Aug 2007 by Patrick St-Denis

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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent
It's a decent attempt. Catches your attention and holds it. It could be better. The subtext, the underlying story of a woman making her own in a male dominated world, is not fully fleshed out.
Published 16 days ago by Mr A A Okeke


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginning to what should be another great series!, 12 Aug 2007
By 
Patrick St-Denis "editor of Pat's Fantasy Hot... (Laval, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.

Characterization is a facet in which Friedman excels. It's a little harder to judge how memorable some of these characters will be, for Feast of Souls is comprised of multiple viewpoints. Hence, since the story reveals itself through the eyes of various POV characters, the narrative is not as powerful as that of the Coldfire trilogy. I'm not saying that the characterization leaves something to be desired, far from it. The author introduces us to an interesting and disparate cast of characters that give substance to this novel. The problem is that she leaves you wanting to learn more, again and again. This is especially true with Kamala, as well as the Magisters Colivar and Ramirus. More will be disclosed in the forthcoming volumes, of course. Sue me for wanting to know more right now!

One word of advice, though: C. S. Friedman now belongs to the school of thought which feels that having characters survive countless ordeals and star in multiple books/series is a somewhat obsolete concept. À la Martin, Lynch and Erikson, she has no qualms about getting rid of main characters when you least expect it. Consider yourself warned. . .;-)

The absence of a map did irk me to some extent. What can I say!?! Maybe I'm too "old school," but I'm one of those people who like to know where the action is taking place.

Imaginative and entertaining, with an ending that I never saw coming, Feast of Souls is probably the most underrated fantasy book of 2007. Give C. S. Friedman's latest a shot, lest it remains this year's best-kept secret!

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eagerly awaiting book 2, 11 April 2008
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginning for a new series, 4 Mar 2008
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, 27 Jun 2014
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It's a decent attempt. Catches your attention and holds it. It could be better. The subtext, the underlying story of a woman making her own in a male dominated world, is not fully fleshed out.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not keen on story line., 20 Feb 2014
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May go back to this book at a later date .I though written more as a film script.not my usual read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 11 Jan 2013
By 
Couchgrouch (Birmingham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Feast Of Souls: Magister: Book One (Paperback)
My one big downer with this book is that yet again, we are presented with an 'End of the world at the hands of an ancient evil' trope. I'm so bored of this in fantasy/SF, seriously! Minus one star!

Apart from that, the rest of the story I found very interesting, and the characters are definitely not shallow or two dimensional. I liked the distinction between Witch and Magister too; the former using their own life force to make magic, the latter using other people's.

While vampires of one sort or another are old hat, and way too mainstream these days, the parasitic relationship between the main character and the prince did not have the ending I was expecting, so that's another thumbs up to the author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 16 Sep 2011
By 
J. Bradley "hmm?" (Mare Crisium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Feast Of Souls: Magister: Book One (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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Feast of Souls - Quick Review, 22 Jun 2011
This review is from: Feast Of Souls: Magister: Book One (Paperback)
I found this book to be absolutely fantastic.

The story of the characters doesn't fit into the stereotypical heroine falling in love with the runaway prince but rather introduces levels of intrigue and emotion that I have found to be missing in other fantasy books,

The view on "magic" and its uses was also somewhat unique and different to most, if not all, other fantasy books available today. I anxiously await the arrival of the next two books in the series as I thoroughly enjoyed the first one!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Epic and engrossing dark fantasy, 29 Oct 2010
By 
Voracious for Books "Voraciousforbooks" (South London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Feast Of Souls: Magister: Book One (Paperback)
This is my first book by this author but it certainly won't be the last. I was enthralled by the characterisation and world building and glued to every bit of the darkly rich plot. If you love George R.R. Martin's writing then you will love this book. I can't wait to get my teeth into the next book. I found that the characters and story stayed with me long after I'd read the last line.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Took a little time to get going, 23 Aug 2010
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I had never read anything by Celia Friendman before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. This book is the 1st of 3 in the 'Magisters Trilogy'. I found the book a little slow to begin with, but after a little while the story really took off. I totally loved the main characters, Friedman has a way of making you really care about what happens to them, and she keeps your nerves on edge waiting to see what will happen next!! A fabulous read and once I had finished I had to start the next book (Wings of Wrath) straight away!
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Feast Of Souls: Magister: Book One
Feast Of Souls: Magister: Book One by Celia Friedman (Paperback - 5 Nov 2009)
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