Top critical review
New Quest Begins in Feist Sword & Sorcery Fest
on 8 August 1999
Here Feist continues his Riftwar romp with a new quest as lighthearted as his earlier works. Though a bit more focused in plot than "Magician," Feist follows the formulas used in the earlier books, devoting most of his energy to action narrative in which the characters remain caricatured stereotypes all too familiar to fans of the genre. His cast of characters neglects none of the usual inhabitants of the fantasy realm, ranging from elves and goblins to dragons and pirates, as well as the inclusion of samurai (The Tsurani), Moslem warriors from the era of Saladin (The Empire of Kesh), and here ewoks thinly disguised as "gwali." The princes of the realm are handsome and heroic, their princesses beautiful and spirited. The good guys, even when rascally criminals, are brave and true and, after much hardship, their defeat of evil is assured. All in all, a storyline that could have been lifted from a D&D script. I continue to find a lack of weight or substance to the tales, and harbor some doubts that the "Riftwar Saga" will eventually devolve into a series of repetitive, banal quests. Nonetheless I will admit that so far Feist's stories do offer facile moments of unadorned diversion and amusement.