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on 12 August 2012
SILVERTHORN is the sequel to the epic MAGICIAN, which I read about five years ago. While MAGICIAN was very self-contained with a definite ending [his editor didn`t like the idea of a sequel], in SILVERTHORN a new threat and quest is set-up with many of the old characters.

Prince Arutha is about to marry his sweetheart Anita, when a Nighthawk -a secretive sect of assassins- is discovered on the roof of the palace, attempting to kill him at the ceremony. However, his bride Anita instead gets injured and falls into a deep coma. The magicians and healers of the royal court are able to suspend time around Anita`s chamber, thus offering a hope to find her cure, a rare but special plant, named Silverthorn. It is this quest that makes up the spine of the novel, as Arutha and his companions race around the country, first finding information on the plant, and finally, in a trap meant to kill the young prince, locating the plant itself. It transpires along the way that a new nemesis, Murmundamus, has his evil heart set on domination, and that an old prophesy telling of the death of Prince Arutha, will help him to consolidate his armies and power. Also here is more of the ancient Enemy, which popped up in MAGICIAN, and of fears slowly growing that it is about to return.

This book was okay, and had some really interesting and exciting parts in it, several well-described monsters, and reasonable villains like the moredhel [basically dark elves]. I enjoyed the last fifty pages or so particularly, as the ending sets up well a further sequel A DARKNESS AT SETHANON.

A few small gripes; in a sub-plot Pug, the hero of the first novel, uses a rift to visit Kelewan, and, while this gives the reader an opportunity to see what has happened on this world since the end of MAGICIAN, it is nevertheless confused by internal politics. Also, I found it sometimes difficult to delineate between some of the secondary characters, and they didn`t seem to have their own characteristics or mannerisms.

This aside, though, SILVERTHORN was largely enjoyable and the short epilogue will keep me interested in reading the next book in the series, A DARKNESS AT SETHANON.
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on 6 December 2013
The long awaited and joyous wedding of Arutha, Prince of Krondor, to the beautiful young Princess Anita, is cruelly cut short when Anita is struck by a poisoned arrow, from the bow of the Nighthawks - an underground cult of death, in league with the darkest and most evil powers.
It is discovered that the nighthawks are being used by the enemy, the dark lord, the enemy, Murmandamus, to assassinate the Lord of the West, Arutha. This in order to fulfill the ancient prophesy, necessary for Murmandamus and his evil minions to take over the world of Midkemia, and cast it into darkness.
Prince Arutha, assisted by his brother, the skilled huntsman Duke Martin of Crydee, the veteran Captain Gardan, the troubadour Laurie of Tyr Sog, the former Tsurani, Earl Kasumi of La Mut and the artful boy thief, Jimmy the Hand, set off on a quest to get hold of the antidote necessary to save Anita from death, and at the same time to learn a thing or two about the terrorist nature of the forces that threaten the Kingdom of the Isles.
This novel is filled with suspense and mystery, as we explore magic, the history of the elves and Valheru, and a deeper understanding of the connection between the worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan.
New characters are introduced into the saga, such as Gamina, the child who talks with her mind , and the Hadati Hillman , Baru.
The momentum set by Magician is not lost for a moment and it is difficult to put the book down as we follow the saga of magic and a momentous battle between good and evil.
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on 14 November 2003
This book is the second book in Raymond Feist's Riftwar Saga, and picks up after the accession of the conDoin family to the throne of the Kingdom of the Isles. When Jimmy the Hand stumbles upon a Nighthawk (member of the guild of assassins), preparing to kill Prince Arutha, it becomes apparent that something strange is going on. But, when the Prince and his men confront the Nighthawks, it soon becomes apparent that a creature of limitless power, and equally limitless evil, is on the march and wants Arutha out of the way. The situation goes from bad to worse, when Arutha's bride is shot with a poisoned arrow during their wedding. The poison is from a plant named Silverthorn, and to effect a cure, Arutha and a band of compatriots must venture into the lair of this evil and snatch one of the plants. But, there is more danger on the path than anyone could ever have expected...
This is a great book. It has a different feeling than the first book of the series, Magician, but includes many of the same characters. The action is intense, even more powerful than in the previous book, with scenes that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up! I loved this book, don't hesitate to recommend it to Fantasy lovers everywhere!
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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.
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on 7 January 2001
Silverthorn is the stunning sequal to Magician. This work takes on a more "High Fantasy" role, and for me, this seems to build upon the reality created in the 1st novel.I am very bored of comparisons with Tolkien - all he did was to consolidate the myths and legends of England - he did n't INVENT elves and dwarves. To my mind, Feist's work is better than TLOTR in total. ALthough the sheer epic quality does n't compare, the reality of his characters, settings and enjoyment of reading marks it as the best High Fantasy series of novels around.
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on 4 November 2001
"Magician" was the start of something special, an epic trilogy. The sequel is a true masterpiece. Feist's depiction of the characters is astonishing, realistic and above all sincere. The fighting scenes are beautifully described and you will feel like you are watching it! Feist has a knack for developing amazing races and the moredhel are something special. This is an excellent read, if a little too short but a brilliant book.
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on 18 April 2015
A year after the events of Magician, the Kingdom of the Isles faces a threat from an ancient enemy, and the heroes of the first book of Feist's Riftwar Saga are once again called to action.

Whereas Magician presents us with a war spanning several years, Silverthorn only covers a short period of time and focuses more closely on individual characters, and how the events of the book affect them. There are also fewer principle characters in this one, resulting in a story that feels much more intimate than the first one, and for me this made this a more enjoyable read.

For the most part the action follows Arutha, Jimmy and Martin (introduced in the first book) as they embark on a quest to find out who's behind a plot to have Arutha assassinated, though there is also a brief inclusion of other characters, most notably Pug. Even more than in the first novel we get a strong sense of the characters here, and while there's still an undeniably epic feel to the story, Feist presents the characters in such a way that it's very easy to become invested in their tale.

All in all I really liked this book, and am glad I made the effort to re-examine the series.
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Silverthorn is a very good book, and it took me less than a day to read it, but it seems incomplete. Magician was two books that tied straight on to each other, so it made sense to put them together as one. Silverthorn and Darkness at Sethanon do this too, but because they're split, it makes the story seem disjointed. I have to admit, though, the Tsurani were cool, but this Murmandamus is brilliant.
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on 28 November 2007
This is book II in the Riftwar saga, which follows mainly the lives of Arutha, Jimmy and Pug after the events of the first book, Magician.

Silverthorn is definately a darker, nastier book than its predecessor. The theme of the "undead" being controlled by an unknown "enemy" is not similar to anything which was found in the first book. The characters have developed well, and are independent. Arutha is the quiet, often brooding but intelligent Prince, Jimmy is the rough-cut, crude yet incredibly quick witted thief-cum-squire, while Pug has become almost cryptic in his role as the greatest magician ever to grace Midkemia.

However, the book lacks the depth and scope that was present in Magician. From the first contact to the resulting war took a long time, it kept us waiting while it slowly uncovered this race to us like a slow, sly disease. In Silverthorn, there is obviously less mystery surrounding the worlds, and the new main story was not as compelling as that which was centrepiece to Magician.

That aside, it is a good, solid sequal which has good points which far, far outweigh the bad.
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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2002
One of Feist's most interesting qualitites as a writer is that no two of his stories are alike in style. So if you're expecting a re-run of 'Magician', you'll be disappointed by 'Silverthorn'.
Instead of an epic and sweeping tale of an entire war, this book centres on a small group on a desparate, fairy-tale, quest. However, as it moves along, it begins setting the stage for a greater conflict to come, with the mysterious Murmandamus rallying the moredhel, raising the dead and being backed by the dreaded Enemy that forced the Tsurani through the rift millennia before.
The band of heroes involved in the quest are, as is to be expected, an unlikely mix (a Prince, a minstrel, a Duke, a thief, a mercenary, a young squire and a highlander) and it is their varied skills that give them the ability to overcome the endless obstacles that bar their way.
Basically, the idea is fairly fomulaeic, but Feist's talent, his characters and his beautifully realised world all add together to make a fine book.
Also, Pug's discovery on Kelewan makes for a great cliff-hanger.
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