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A Darkness at Sethanon: 3 (Riftwar Saga 3) Paperback – 1 Sep 2008
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A Darkness at Sethanon completes the "Riftworld saga" which started with Feist's Magician. When Raymond Feist's enormous novel was published, critics called it "the best new fantasy concept in years", and Feist has refined and explored that concept over a dozen novels. His "concept" was to bring together two (and later, more) whole, intricately realised Fantasy worlds. Midkemia is a Tolkienian realm, a European-Medieval series of kingdoms in which magic is prominent, and where men share the earth with dwarves and elves. Feist's genius was inventing another sword and sorcercy realm based more closely on eastern models, the Empire of Tsuranuanni, as vast as Ancient China, as formalised and devoted to the arts of war as a samurai Japan. A magical rift in time-space brings these two worlds clashing together, and the young boy Pug and his soldier friend Tomas are thrown into the ensuing maelstrom of invasion and epic battle, before embarking on a more fundamental magical journey towards the very roots of evil itself. Feist's two sequels to Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon complete the richly conceived "Riftwar Saga", and Fiest has gone on to chronicle other aspects of his invented worlds. With Janny Wurts he wrote the "Empire" trilogy, which charts the rise, through the rigid patriarchy of the Empire of Tsuranuanni, of a remarkable female heroine, a woman who eventually reaches the heights of the imperial throne itself Daughter of the Empire, Servant of the Empire and Mistress of Empire. More recently he has returned to the world of Medkemia, and to his hero Pug, with the Serpentwar saga, beginning with Shadow of a Dark Queen and continuing with Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King and Shards of a Broken Crown. Heroic Fantasy is a crowded-enough field, but Feist stands out in it for his sheer inventive power, the scope and range of his narratives, the diversity of his characters and his thundering battle sequences. Start reading here, and you may find yourself unable to stop until you have followed the saga right up to date. --Adam Roberts --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Epic scope… vivid imagination… a significant contribution to the growth of the field of fantasy.”
“Well-written… intelligent… intriguing.”
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Top Customer Reviews
The story sees Pug and Tomas scouring the universe for signs of Macros The Black, the great sorcerer who they hope will be able to give them information on the true nature of 'The Enemy.' It is becoming clearer by the day that this would appear to be power behind the Morehdrel Murmandamus and his armies, and their threat to The Kingdom of The Isles. In the meantime the war against Murmandamus is being fought by characters such as Arutha, Guy, and Jimmy The Hand.
Pug and Tomas do eventually find Macros, and learn to their horror the true nature of 'The Enemy.' They also learn that not just Midkemia is under threat but the very existence of all living things....
The Riftwar trilogy features some of the best characters that Ray Feist has ever created. It established his 'eternal' characters of Pug, Macros, and Tomas and indeed these all appear to varying degrees in the following books and series concerning Midkemia. If anything though, the lesser characterisation in later books, has not been quite up to the strength of the likes of Jimmy and Arutha, and these characters have been sorely missed in these later volumes. It is of no surprise, therefore, that Feist has returned to these characters to write extra volumes about them...Read more ›
"A Darkness at Sethanon" possesses most of the flaws that have plagued the previous books: An event driven narrative that expends little time on characterization or descriptive detail, players that are stereotypical and more characteristic of cartoons than fiction, as well as a world that to a large degree dwells within the conventional. Further, Feist is starting to show evidence of predictability. Most of this has been noted, though more stridently, by previous detractors.
However, unlike many of those, I felt this book to be the best so far in the series, and were it not for the chapters devoted to Pug and Tomas, as well as the pollyanna quality of the final chapter, I might have felt this tale deserving of a 4 star rating. Much of the story following Arutha and friends appeared to be rising above the level of the earlier tales, both in focus as well as the use of dramatic tension and an embryonic exploration through new characters beyond the often juvenile caricaturization that's dogged Feist from the beginning. Unfortunately these rudimentary advances were greatly undermined by the overblown magic and almost omnipotent powers possessed by Pug and Tomas in their portion of the tale, their bald rehash of the Grecian underworld, and the appearance of the ridiculous and incidental tigermen. What little credibility remained was decidedly discarded in the final chapter.Read more ›
But while it is almost impossible to fault the narrative, plotting, characters and general construction of this novel, unfortunately the story cannot help but fall short when compared to the past exploits of our heroes and in particular that spark of ingenuity and intelligence, so meticulously imagined and crafted in 'Magician'. This is undoubtedly an unfair comparison (it isn't as if I would have preferred a repetition of that first story), but it was a comparison I just could not help but make. As well as being far too short and lacking any great innovation this story also lacks some special ingredient, especially when compared to our introduction to the Riftwar Saga; the enemies don't inspire the same fear or revulsion, there doesn't seem to be as much at stake for our protagonists and the general impression is one of everyday heroes who will very obviously in the end win the day.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The third and final book in the original trilogy. Nice take on the use of magic as well as war, I'd had enough of the Black Sayers in the second book, so I was rather bored of them... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Spyro
Great book great price brought as part of a birthday gift.Published 5 months ago by phillip whitlock
Having been weened on fantasy since a young age through the likes of hobbs and eddings and ofcourse tolkien, I at first scoffed at the seemingly "simple" writing styles in... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mr. M Perryman
If you are wondering whether tk buy this or not, then the answer is: Buy it. You will love this book and every book that goes with it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by @Frayzurr
Have just bought this for my kindle although already have hard back book. Started series again and soooo enjoying it even though think third or fourth time of readingPublished 9 months ago by Mrs. J. A. Newman
I hadn't read in a while and a friend recommended me the Riftwar saga. I really enjoyed all three books and arguably the final book is the best out of the threePublished 10 months ago by Kixkal