This is one of the early Warhammer 40k books and as such sets the scene for much of the universe. It is particularly remarkable for its description of the navigators art with more detail than seen anywhere else.
In addition there is the lore around the relationship between the Eldar and Chaos with a description of the the birth of the Chaos God Slaneesh.
As if that wasn't enough, the main characters are excellently drawn, Janus Drake - rogue trader, the Eldar, Simon Belisarius the Navigator, Sahaa Gaathon etc
Whilst it cries out for a sequel, or even a trilogy, one never came and these characters were sadly lost in the mists of time.
I am only disappointed that "Farseer 2" has still to be written as I as hoping to order a copy today. Writing about aliens is a very difficult thing to do yet William King has done a great job. The fact he interweaves the Eldar into a human scenario - that of a rogue trader - allows the reader to seamlessly splice the two different worlds together, and the contrasts between the two races is made easy to grasp. It is this intimate contact between the main characters which enables the racial divergencies to be easily contrasted and appreciated. The story is excellent, character development flawless and the twists and turns of meaning lead to a very enjoyable plot line - beware the tricks of the eldar... Please let's have book 2, 3, 4 etc. as the characters have become fascinating by the end of book 1...
This book is a great look into the world of the eldar from the point of view of a "Hasbin" named Janus Darke. Once famous in the galaxy, Janus loses all he has in a war and suddenly finds himself a struggling Rogue Trader attempting to pay off major debts. After trouble with local gangsters, Janus Regains his ship and finds himself, along with Eldar companions, fighting to save the universe. The Lives of countless worlds in his hands, Janus knows that he can never return home.
This book gives an interesting view of the Eldar's dark past and I would recommend this book to any Eldar fan, although i do not feel that this book was as good as William Kings other unforgetable novels such as the Space Wolf novels.
After much hype about finally writing a novel about the eldar, I felt let down by this first foray. Instead of a novel about craftworlds, colony worlds, exarchs and the Avatar himself, I found a naovel concerned with a rogue trader as the main character and a Farseer and his companions as the token eldar. I feel that with a whole enigmatic race to write about the author seems to have stuck to the tried and tested human element. There is a better vision of the eldar in Dan Abnetts "Ghostmaker". Had this book been sold as a book about rogue traders it would have been more accurate and less disappointing.
Take the sweep of one of Henlein's actioners (say "Starship Troopers") add the scale of great space opera (say EE Smith's "Lensmen" series) drop in a smidgen of "Dune" and slot the lot into Games Workshop's slam bang Warhammer 40k universe, and what do you get? A whole lot of fun, that's what. Whether you're a misty eyed fan of golden Age SF, a mirror-shaded cyberpunk or a died in the wool gamer, you'll find something rewarding here, in one of Bill's quickest moving, most tightly woven and instantly involving books. Now if only we can tempt him away from the Ragnar's Wolves and Slayer series', and get Farseer 2 out of him...