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Shards of a Broken Crown (The Serpentwar Saga, Book 4): Serpentwar Saga Bk. 4 Paperback – 5 Mar 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; New Ed edition (5 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006483488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006483489
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 325,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Shards of a Broken Crown takes us again to the distinctive Fantasy worlds Feist created 15 years ago with the first of his Riftwar epics, the acclaimed Magician. The four-book Serpentwar Saga, which this novel concludes and which started with Shadow of a Dark Queen, is surely Feist at his most characteristic. He writes sword-and-sorcery in a rip-roaring old-fashioned manner, grand and magical, human an involving, by turns. Shards of a Broken Crown picks up where the previous volume, Rage of a Demon King, left off: there James, noble Duke of Krondor, defeated the evil of the Demon King and his army by sacrificing himself and his city--pouring Quegan fire oil into the sewers of Krondor and torching everything, including himself. Now a new menace has risen from the ashes, in the scarred shape of one of the army's surviving generals, Fadawah. Jimmy and Dash, grandsons of the dead Duke, try to piece together the wreckage of the shattered Kingdom of the Isles, the Shards of the title's Broken Crown.

Feist isn't the world's most sparkling stylist, but there is a cumulative something, a genuine power, about the various treks his characters make across this desolated landscape. The characters themselves are diverse and appealing, and Feist's great strength is in the way he is able to deploy the conventions of heroic fantasy with which we are so familiar (even over familiar) --the sweeping landscapes, titanic battles, the maelstrom of the clash of good and evil--while never losing sight of the particular. He is good on aspects of his fantasy world other writers tend to gloss over (for instance, mundane things like the worlds of trade and work, the jobs ordinary people do--the Serpentwar saga in particular tells us as much about merchants as it does about warriors and magicians). A gripping read.--Adam Roberts --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"FEIST BRINGS A NEW WORLD ALIVE."

Portland Oregonian

"Feist brings a new world alive."--"Portland Oregonian""An epic reading experience."--"San Diego Union-Tribune" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 28 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
As I have been in a reading frenzy of Feist books for the last year, from the Magician to the Sepentwar Saga, I found this book cleverly written but not as exciting as the first ones. Maybe that comes with a familiarity of characters, but Pugs characteristics and motives seems to be transparrent here. However, I can only applaud the way that Arutha, Dash, James and Patrick have been woved into this part of the story. Dealing with their own "ghosts" and the continuously moving events seems very real to life.
This is more of a set of personal struggles being overcome rather the the good guys against the bad guys kind of book. The only thing that really leaves me wondering about is, "who is Nakor?". His character and past are revealed more in this book than any other in the series, and yet you still find yourself knowing very little about him. Its that strange conflict, that again can happen in real life, that makes it such a point of interest.
I guess the whole of the books of the Serpentwar saga could have been reduced somewhat in volume, but now Feist has a set of people with real characters of their own. Not just puppets of the writers whims. I know he has written more books, and I want to read them, but I want to believe that the excitement will come back to his books.
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Format: Paperback
I sometimes wonder what people really want. Any series as long running as this is bound to get somewhat familiar. IF anything, it's a tribute to Raymond E Feist that he can still entertain with this. In particular, I gotta say that I can never get tired of Nakor's whimsical view of life, no matter how much religious fervour he takes on. Sure, there are only so many times you can battle the Valheru, or grow characters that are already staggering. It was with this is mind that I was particularly pleased with the larger roles given to James & Dash, allowing relatively new characters to come more to the fore. It's no Magician, but then nothing is. It's still a damn good book, written in Feist's normal readable style, and is well worth the read, especially considering the lack of really good authors in this genre. Keep it up Raymond.
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By A Customer on 21 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
To be honest I agree with both the praises and criticisms of the book. Yes it was not the most original book, or ground breaking however it did expertly bring the end to an otherwise excellent series. Of course, it does not capture the Riftwar's magic but on it's own it is a superbly written series, and this last book was no exception.
Feist did not sell out and re-hash time-worn fantasy cliches. Instead he kept it real and believable and this was demonstrated in the unceremonial deaths of many key characters, keeping them real and brutal - not overdressing.
I was worried when reaching the end of the book as so much was going on with little pages left. However Feist created a well thought out and un-rushed conclusion. Although it has shamefully left the door open to further adventures (as has been noted), the truth is you want more...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Currently on a 'Fiest Fest' - reading all of his material in chronological order. All good so far.

Not a review of the book/story, more one of editing.
Normally when there's a change of character, location or significant 'fast-forward' in time the text is broken up by a few carriage returns or other device. That's not the case here, they're either missing or deliberately not included. Chapters seem more as signposts of progress rather than anything meaningful.

The result is characters and events shifting within a paragraph and if you're reading quickly you miss them, having to go back and re-read to catch-up/follow.

Such a simple thing but it really hampers the enjoyment of a good story.
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I have followed this series through some frankly disappointing tracts, because the good parts more than balance them. It seemed at least half the book went by with no sorcery and precious little sword! But, in the end, the ideas and general storyline were worth all the work.
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Sadly I must write a review which does not extol the virtues of a good story with twists and vivid imagery, but I must express disappointment at the mixed plot, random encounters and somewhat under used possibilities. Suffice to say this is a sharp decline from the serpent war saga which is head and tails above this story.
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Didn't like it. Third in this series I have read. I do not like the magic elements if these tales. Good characters some good story lines and some irritating plot holes. Not every main character survives which does have the effect of some mild peril as they say.

Who would like this book. Fantasy readers who prefer tales of wizards rather than physical hero's.

The real reason it gets a two is that it has taken me months to get through it. I read books I like in a day or two.

I obviously did not like it.
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Format: Paperback
I love the characters, I love the ideas - but what's the difference? What's new? So I don't mind authors debating with themselves a little in books but when that becomes a main focus it's ridiculous. It seems all the time was spent on Nakor's whimsical fantasies and religious revelations but little thought was given to developing a new and interesting plot. Please don't be another one of those churn-em-out authors whose readers keep buying in the hope that something new will appear. Although, full marks for the characters, they're still as lively as ever even though they're still just trying to bash up the ugly-buglies.
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