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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Midkemia: The Chronicles of Pug (The Riftwar Series)
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 25 September 2017
Great book if you are into this writer. Would recommend.
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on 26 April 2017
It's all here
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on 11 July 2017
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on 23 June 2017
Beautiful book. Just don't read it until you have read all the series as there are loads of spoilers.
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on 5 November 2013
I understand this was what was originally to be called the Atlas of Midkemia - or rather that evolved into this before it was published.

I pre-ordered this back in the Summer and it happy arrived today (5th November)

Having started Magician in 1989 this year i read Magicians End and it bought an end to a huge chunk of my literary life - and then this came along. If you havent read his books do not buy this, but for those of us who have this is a really decadent treat filled with insights and some great pictures and drawings which finishes of the series for me nicely.

For those who are wondering if their Feist reading partner would like this for Christmas the answer is YES, the really really would.
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on 12 November 2013
Nice product well presented, however! The artwork is superb but would be so much nicer if they didn't super impose real life actor type models over the top! It makes the pictures look tacky and some of the actors are just nowhere near a good character fit. The pug and Magnus characters being particularly wrong to me. Also the other gripe is that some of the "detailed" city maps are not as detailed as they could be. Other than these two gripes it is a very well made product which a Feist-ite would love to have as an addition to their Midkemian collection!
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on 10 August 2014
This book is disappointing. It comprises a journal-like entry of Pug’s son, Magnus, in which he recaps the events and characters of the Rift War etc.. There are a few maps that are small and difficult to read and there are some weird photo/composite pictures that look cheap and tacky.
I wished I hadn’t bought this book, but it’s probably my fault for not researching it's contents better. I had understood that this book would comprise a solid character and event guide with good diagrams, legible maps, and a history/timeline, but instead we got this effort.
I hope we’ll get a good guide book in the future, but I fear this is it for the fans. Sad face.
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on 30 December 2013
When I first ordered this it was called 'Atlas of...', and although the pictures are great, and there are some maps, I really do miss the 'maps' that usually make up an Atlas.

Apart from that, this is really a great book if you like/love the books of Raymond E Feist.

Being a 'Dutch' reader I noticed how some names were altered in a way it is sometimes hard to make out which person is actually which person, but it is fun and a good way to check if I actually read the books alright.

Some great artwork is present, a Lot of work has gone into this. Just look at the picture of Crydee ... Wow. I would have loved it to have that on a big fold out poster. Missed chance maybe :-)

Anyway, that are some personal feelings.

I doubt you will be disappointed by buying this book if you like his works.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 13 November 2013
Earlier this year, Raymond E. Feist concluded his Riftwar Cycle of epic fantasy novels. The sequence that began in 1982 with the publication of Magician concluded with Magician's End, resulting in a massive series consisting of thirty novels spread over ten sub-series. Six of the novels were co-written with other authors, but the rest are solely by Feist. However, it's less well-known that the world of Midkemia is not Feist's creation, instead being conceived by Stephen Abrams. Abrams and Feist attended the University of San Diego together in the 1970s and Abrams created the world for use in roleplaying games. Feist later (with Abrams's permission) used the setting for his novels, fleshing it out further.

Thirty-five years later, Feist and Abrams have regrouped to deliver a companion book to The Riftwar Cycle, featuring maps, artwork and further information on the world of Midkemia not given out in the novels. Whilst I haven't followed the later Riftwar novels (I bowed out after the quite amazingly boring Talon the Silver Hawk), I did enjoy the early ones and particularly liked the worldbuilding (haphazard as it was) depicted in the books and the spin-off computer games (Betrayal at Krondor and Return to Krondor), so I was looking forward to seeing that background fleshed out.

I was disappointed. As a companion book, Midkemia: The Chronicles of Pug is sorely lacking in almost every department. The first thing that grates is a lack of proof-reading: the book is riddled with spelling errors on both the maps and in the text (Shamata is frequently rendered as 'Shomata', whilst 'Murmandamus' is spelt in several different ways depending on the writer's whim of the moment). The maps are pretty, but difficult to use. The fonts render many names difficult to read and the artist seems to frequently get bored and only fill in the trees around the edges of the forests, making it look like Midkemia's woodlands are all plains surrounded by a ring of trees. Also - though this is a long-standing problem from the book maps as well - the mountains are depicted as quite ludicrously-sized given the scale used. The continent of Novindus continues to look like a small island instead of a huge landmass. There is also a discrepancy between the size of the Empire of Great Kesh on the maps and its reported size in the books (several times that of the Kingdom, whilst the maps show it as roughly the same size), and contradictory statements in the book which say that Kesh is sparsely-populated with the cities separated by vast gulfs of wasteland, whilst the novels report that Kesh has many times the population of the Kingdom. There's also the problem of the maps featuring locations that don't actually exist when the map was supposedly made: Port Vykor (or Vikor, as the maps never seem to agree on a spelling), founded after Rage of a Demon King, is shown on maps pre-dating Magician, more than fifty years earlier. Oh yes, and there's supposed to be two world maps of Midkemia, showing the state of the world at the start of Magician and after Magician's End (both visible on various fansites promoting the book) but only one of the two world maps is actually in the book. The other one seems to have simply been forgotten. This is made more amusing by the surviving book having 'MAP II (2)' written on it with 'MAP I (1)' nowhere to be found (in the UK first edition, it should be noted; the US edition and later editions may have fixed this).

Then there's the actual text itself. Those expecting a book which talks about geography, history, society, customs, cultures and so on like previous fantasy companion books (like The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, The World of Shannara and next year's World of Ice and Fire) will be in for disappointment. The text is a fairly basic plot summary of the events of The Riftwar Cycle. Sidebars and illustrations show there is some potential in this approach: a map of Sorcerer's Isle appears at the relevant point in the text, followed by maps of the Sunset Islands when they first appear and so on. Occasionally the summary of plot elements the reader is probably already familiar with is interrupted by a little bit of background information on politics or culture, but such moments are rare and fleeting. The depth and usefulness of the plot summary amusingly mirrors the general consensus of the quality of the books: the events of Magician are covered in substantial depth, then Silverthorn through Rage of a Demon King in somewhat less detail, and then all of the books afterwards (which is almost two-thirds of them) are covered in just a few pages of confusingly repeated names and events which sound generic to the point of painfulness (having bailed out after Talon of the Silver Hawk, I see I'm not missing very much).

The book is accompanied by artwork from Steve Stone. These aren't actual illustrations, however, but rather stiff and unconvincing 'photo art' featuring posed models in front of CG backgrounds. Occasionally this is effective (Amos Trask's ship running the Straits of Darkness is pretty good) but most of the time it's awful, not helped by occasional re-use of the same model to depict completely different characters.

There are moments when the book comes to life: the opening couple of chapters feel more inspired and some of the maps expanding on the somewhat-confused geography of Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon are genuinely useful. Occasional bursts of background material hint at much more interesting detail. Getting 'canon' maps of the Keshian Confederacy and the full Empire is also gratifying (though it turns out they are pretty much the same as the ones that have been available on the Elvandar website for many years). But ultimately this is a companion book which tells us almost nothing about the history, chronology, societies and cultures of the world it's named after, which is a baffling choice.

Midkemia: The Chronicles of Pug (**) is a disappointing volume, featuring almost none of the information that I suspect readers will really be interested in or expecting. Instead, it's an unproofed plot summary of books they've already read, interspersed with bad artwork, ill-detailed maps and an astonishing number of spelling mistakes. There are a few, scant interesting nuggets of new information to be found and some maps that helpfully clarify confusing descriptions in the books, but beyond that this book is not really that useful. One for die-hard fans and completists only. The book is available now in the UK and USA.
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on 14 November 2013
Beautiful addition to any fantasy collection and specially for Raymond E Feist fans it is a pleasure to delve into time and time again. I can't wait to find more time to read through it again!
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