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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 27 July 2003
Not what I was waiting for!For those of you eagerly awaiting the next instalment of Jimmy v The Crawler,you will be very disappointed.This book takes place between Magician & Silverthorn,initially set in Krondor,the book starts off well but after Jimmy has to flee for his own safety,the book rapidly spirals downhill!We are introduced to a host of new characters,of which maybe only 2 will we hear from again.There just didn't seem to be much depth to the characters & therefore didn't seem to bond with any in particular.
There also was a fair amount of padding,I could really have done without the Baron having the same dream, in detail,4 times.Also I think Feist is a bit better than the old heir fed to wolves at birth but no he was really brought up by farmers....In his afterword Feist explains about his 3 collabarations & perhaps where this book failed was that the 2 before were about different characters & not a stalwart of the Krondor series.Hopefully Feist has not fallen into the $ trap as some other authors in this genre,whereby the readership have to put up with inane drivel just to drag a story out!
Finally save your money,get this in paperback!
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VINE VOICEon 17 November 2003
Lets be clear: This is not Feist's best work by a long chalk. Neither is it his worst though. And it is worth remembering that Feist's worst is still better than some best!
This work sees Jimmy the Hand, boy-thief extraordinaire (though he says so himself), thrown out of the Guild of Thieves for breaking with the Upright Man's orders. What follows is the tale of Jimmy's adventures as he tries to stay out of trouble long enough to clear his name.
Jimmy the Hand was always one of my favouite characters, although I admit that I approached this book with some trepidation given the "Krondor" series, which I thought was pretty rough-cut.
I am pleased to be able to report that, while Jimmy does not have the depth and flow of some of Feist's great works (such as The King's Buccaneer, or Talon of the Silver Hawk), this is an entertaining read and a good backwards glance at a loveable character. A good element of humour has been added to this book that I can only attribute to Steve Stirling, the co-writer.
I'd certainly read a follow-up to this one. It is in my opinion the best of the co-written Legends series. You never know, I might even buy something by Steve Stirling!
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on 25 July 2003
"Jimmy the Hand" starts quick and exciting with Raymond E. Feist's legendary boy thief in the familiar settings of Mocker's Rest and the Krondor sewers, but the focus wanders when Jimmy and a companion arrive in the town of Land's End. Far too many fringe characters are introduced at this jarring shift, the original villain is completely replaced, the narrative stumbles over extended flashbacks trying to justify the new villain's actions, and the plot falls into an ordinary and predictable fantasy conspiracy.
"Jimmy the Hand" feels like a different author writing Feist's classic thief, and according to Feist's Afterword, that's exactly what happened. Feist writes that for each of the collaborative "Tales of the Riftwar" series (of which "Jimmy the Hand" is the third), the other authors wrote the first draft following a joint plot outline. The other two "Tales of the Riftwar" books didn't feel so much like pale imitations, perhaps because all the characters were new and the settings were better developed.
Regardless of how it was written, "Jimmy the Hand" falls flat once the action leaves Krondor and the narrative bogs down in peripheral characters and a silly plot.
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on 14 July 2003
This is not my first Raymond E Feist review. To place you in the context of my earlier estimations of his work, I loved his first 14 or so books, up to Shards of a broken Crown, but I disliked the Krondor serie based on videogames. As for the first two Legend of the Riftwar books, I find them interesting to read, especially Honored enemy, but nothing to write his mother about.
The 3rd book of the Legend of the Riftwar tells the tale of that much beloved character Jimmy the Hand right after Arutha gave him his rapier during his escape from Krondor. The first part of the book deals with the consequences for the Mockers to have helped in that escape, and thus we follow Jimmy in the sewers and holes of Krondor trying to help the Mockers. The second part of the book deals with Jimmy in exile in Land's End (for having once again disobeyed orders....). This part is creepy, there is an old haunted manor hiding a tragic history, and of course Jimmy is thrown in the middle things, helping everybody even against his better judgement :-)
The pace of that story is very good, and the various characters are well characterized while not exactly fleshed out. I think this book is better than Talon of the Silverhawk, though of course lacking in scope since this is a standalone novel. Hovewer, I'm thinking some connections are made with characters of this book and Feist's Krondor serie.... Jimmy the Hand is still a kid, and behave like and experienced boy, though very quick and talented. I think that Jimmy is better than the one in Krondor's books, however opinions differ on this subject.
In conclusion, a very good read, and fast paced. I would give it 4.5 stars, but that option is not there, so I give a five because to me it deserves more than 4 stars.
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on 10 July 2003
I wasn't sure what to expect after the last 'Legends' debacle, but this book was pretty good. It picks up right at the docks after Jimmy has helped Arutha & Anita excape from Krondor with Amos Trask, and the story continues right on for Jimmy as it did for Arutha in the Magician series. Some great new characters with story lines being explained from many books past. I really enjoy reading about how something happened that was mentioned off-hand in previous books. I didn't recall how Anita's father the Duke had died other than the fact that he died in the dungeon. This book tells the story, and many others referanced in previous books. Jimmy is still very young, and this book shows him growing up a bit, learning new things and getting his first taste of the dark arts and of the good life. Raymond Feist (with help from Steve Stirling) has not lost his touch for creating a good story and filling it with colorful characters. I like the fact that other characters from previous books are mentioned but not necessarilly brought into the story. Good fights, magic, and heroism. Overall a good read. The only reason it got a 4 star from me instead of 5 is it was too short (I never want these books to end), and not much summation at the ending as is Raymond's signature. I did really appreciate the forethought from Raymond at the end of the book. Nice to hear from the author on a personal level. Can't wait for more Conclave of The Shadows and the last Legends books. Keep 'em coming RayRay.
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on 28 July 2003
I must disagree with the previous reviewer and say that murder in lamut is worse. However this nearly equals it. I hate to say it but Mr feist must really buck up to keep his audience. The last 3 offerings have been somewhat dire. This book I thought had a great chance to do so, however it fails dismally. As in the last book it is a tired old story revamped with a few favourite characters to sell. The story line is thin, the characters implausable and overall a cpmpletely poor read. From being an avid feist reader, I will now wait till the library have the latest in stock and save my money
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VINE VOICEon 23 January 2005
Shortly after helping Prince Arutha and Princess Anita escape Krondor, during the Riftwar, Jimmy the Hand is temporarily exiled by the Upright Man. He finds himself in an out-of-the-way barony where there are sinister magics at work.
This is an old-fashioned sort of story, in which an intrepid group of young heroes have to infiltrate a dark castle and defeat an insane noble. As such, it's a very enjoyable tale, full of tension and dramatic action sequences. It's also interesting to see Feist give a bit more background to what I think is the author's own favourite character.
The story, being old-fashioned, is also nothing particularly new. It won't take you long at all to figure out what's going on in the castle, having read similar tales a dozen times before. As for the 'revelation' about the Baron's son, well, I saw that one coming a mile off.
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on 16 August 2003
Although the book is fairly short, Its an easy read, an starts of with quite alot happening. I think the book would have benefited if Jimmy hadn't left Krondor. As the moment he does, a whole new story begins, and we completely loose touch with all the characters Feist had been building up in the first half of the book. For a story about a thief, there isnt much theiving going on. Personally the Redemption of Althalus by David Eddings is probably a better Thief Tale, as Jimmy the Hand seems to spend most of his time rescuing complete strangers. Details and descriptions fall away up in the second half of the book giving the impression Feist was in a hurry, many things happen far too easily/quickly, and there isnt as much suspense I was hoping for, but overall if you want an easy read with familiar characters, and your a Feist Fan, then buy it now. If youve never read any of his books before, Id give it three starts instead of four.
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on 3 October 2003
As always with a Feist Novel I waited with intrepidation for its release. Unfortunately, this one doesn't live up to his mark. Other joint writings in the Rift War Saga have been excellent and I believe his best work has been with Janny Wurtz.
Feist has always lent realism to fantasy, striking a balance halfway between a truely historic campaign settling simmilar to Ancient Rome and the magical tales of Camelot. His books never get too fantastical to be unbelievable. However, this one does.
The story starts off along the right lines with a good pace and you begin to devour pages, but then the story loses a sense of realism as the main sinister tale develops. I found myself forcing my way through the last third, hoping for an improvement that never arrived. I now await his next solo work and consider this a small bump in an otherwise brilliant journey.
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on 7 August 2005
First of all completely ignore what is written on the back of the book--I've seen publishers get information wrong before, but never this spectacularly. It explains that after running afoul of Guy du Bas-Tyra's secret police Jimmy the Hand flees north to Sarth where he tries to set himself up in "business" but finds "a dark secret." Actually Jimmy goes south to Land's End--Sarth is never mentioned.
I have enjoyed each of the collaborations of the Legends of the Riftwar series, and Jimmy the Hand was no exception. I'm sure Jimmy is a favourite of many readers of the Riftwar Saga, and I'm no exception. There is just something about the young thief that is endearing. However nice it was to see him in Prince of the Blood and the Serpentwar Saga it wasn't quite the same. Here Steve Stirling and Raymond Feist have managed to capture the youthful Jimmy and detail one of his adventures.
The story opens right as Arutha and Anita are escaping from Krondor with the aid of the Mockers. For several subsequent chapters we see the aftermath of the Crydee Prince's exploits through the city and Jimmy, of course, takes center stage. After matters get a bit too hot Jimmy and Flora, a fellow Mocker, make their way to Land's End. She is searching for her grandfather and a respectable life, while Jimmy just needs to get out of town.
The tale is well told and an engaging look at Jimmy. It does though switch perspective several times to Larrie (a young farming girl from near Land's End), the Baron of Land's End himself, and a couple others. These changes are disconcerting at first, but become understandable after a couple pages. Jimmy shows some flashes of nobility, perhaps inspired by Anita, but is still a pragmatic thief at heart, even when confronting dark magic. I was surprised at the level of magic in the book, but as it is something supposed to be used in Midkemia it was nice to see more than in Feist's other books where we generally just see Pug and others associated with him employ spells.
This really is what I've enjoyed most about the Legends series--we get the chance to see a coherent view of Midkemia (aided by Feist's collaboration) that is nonetheless different from his usual tack. If you've enjoyed Feist's works then you should definately check out this trilogy, and you can't miss this chance to learn more about Jimmy the Hand!
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