The Riftwar Saga, Disappointing?

Ranwulf

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I'd heard how great this series was, so after finishing Hobb's Farseer Trilogy (great trilogy), I broke down and bought the first two books.

I'm very disappointed. Looks like I'm going to barely finish the first book, then look for something better.

It's unrealistic.

Some kid, barely above a peasant, saves a princess, and is automatically elevated to the status of a lord? There are a lot of things like this. I almost pulled my hair out when he was allowed to hear some rediculously sensitive and confidential information just because "We won't look suspicious if we have the kid with us."

I almost forgot, the main plot is underdeveloped. They hear that there 'might' be an invading army in the mountains, and they wtf freak out. I don't know why, but I was very annoyed that they called these invaders by their name for themselves, seems like if you get invaded by aliens you'll probably call them aliens, not Vogmatorgen or whatever.

Despite this flaw, I do like the main character and his best friend, but the rest of the characters seem to be very boring. They lack discription and are very predictable, and the dialogue often seems....childish.
 

nixie

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Each to their own, I loved the Riftwar trilogy. Yes it is simplistic and predictable at times but still enjoyable. I wouldn't say the characters lack description. Feist for me has some of the most memorable characters in fantasy, Prince Arutha, Martin Longbow, Amos Trask, Jimmy the Hand, Father Tully, Kulgan, Meechan to name but a few, and I'm only thinking of the Riftwar.

As much as I enjoyed the Farseer books, Fitz most be the most annoying main character ever well maybe not Nevare from her Soldier Son trilogy is just as bad.
 

pyan

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I'm assuming you're talking about Magician...

Not only is this the very first book in the whole of the Midkemia/Kelewan saga, comprising (at the moment) of twenty-six books, but it's also the first book that REF ever wrote and had published.
As such, yes, perhaps it is a touch simplistic in parts, and the characters may be a bit stylised, but if you persevere, it does improve, not only in the book itself, but the series as a whole.
 

Grimward

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Have to agree with Nix and Py, Ran (and if I haven't already done so, welcome to the Chrons, by the way!). I especially liked Krondor's "Underground" and "The Upright Man", but Feist's Riftwar stuff definitely got better as it went along. Some of his latest stuff hasn't quite seemed up to par, but Riftwar I found to be enjoyable....
 

TorrnT

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It's unrealistic.

Some kid, barely above a peasant, saves a princess, and is automatically elevated to the status of a lord? There are a lot of things like this. I almost pulled my hair out when he was allowed to hear some rediculously sensitive and confidential information just because "We won't look suspicious if we have the kid with us."
Sometimes over expectation can ruin a book just as easily as a film, however, In order to make it more believable.
Would you make a lord of a boy that saved your daughter's life? if you were a Duke.
I know I would. So it is more believable to me.

I almost forgot, the main plot is underdeveloped. They hear that there 'might' be an invading army in the mountains, and they wtf freak out. I don't know why, but I was very annoyed that they called these invaders by their name for themselves, seems like if you get invaded by aliens you'll probably call them aliens, not Vogmatorgen or whatever.
Ah, you will find out why they are not called aliens later. As for the main plot, persevere and you will find out why it seems weak. A lot of questions in the first book do not reveal themselves onto the second and third books.

Despite this flaw, I do like the main character and his best friend, but the rest of the characters seem to be very boring. They lack discription and are very predictable, and the dialogue often seems....childish.
The characters distinguish themselves later, as for childish dialogue, There were some parts i admit to skipping...but that was on my second read a year ago :)
 

woodsman

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Well, I much prefered the Riftwar to Hobb, then again to each, their own!!

Having said that I thought the Serpentwar Saga and the Krondors son's were Feists best work so try them if you can!
 

Orian

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I really did like the Riftwar saga, a lot more than I've ever enjoyed reading Hobb and from what I remember of reading it last time...

Some kid, barely above a peasant, saves a princess, and is automatically elevated to the status of a lord? There are a lot of things like this. I almost pulled my hair out when he was allowed to hear some rediculously sensitive and confidential information just because "We won't look suspicious if we have the kid with us."
He saves the Princess from certain death, brings her safely back to the castle and is made a Squire for it. I fail to see how this is a ridiculous turn of events. He's an Orphan, the Duke takes a liking to him and wants to reward him for a truly valiant service down to the Duchy and his family. I have to agree with Torrnt that I would do the same thing.

I would say to definitely keep reading though, I know of many novels I've thought were terrible when I began them, and pretty amazing when I finished the series.
 
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Ross

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He doesn't exactly get elevated to a Lord does he? Isn't squire different from that.

He saves the Daughter of Duke Borric so I think I would have been as happy as he was.

I'd say squire is a pretty good reward - a small one for the price of your daughters life.

But if it's unrealistic, then why are you reading sci-fi/fantasy novels?
 

nj1

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I think the fact that Pug was raised to a squire shows you what type of man Duke Borric was and being raised to squire didn't actually mean that much, didn't Pug get a small patch of land to call his own and if he had settled there he would still be paying rent to Borric. Quite clever if you think about it, reward a boy who shows some initiative (sp?) and guts and he'll be indebted to you for life.

Also Ranwulf, I would recommend finishing the book before passing judgement as from what you've said it sounds like you're not half way through yet and it does get better.
 

MrWall

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OK lets take a look at this

I'd heard how great this series was, so after finishing Hobb's Farseer Trilogy (great trilogy), I broke down and bought the first two books.

I'm very disappointed. Looks like I'm going to barely finish the first book, then look for something better.

It's unrealistic


Some kid, barely above a peasant, saves a princess, and is automatically elevated to the status of a lord? There are a lot of things like this.
No, its entirely realistic. The rewards for service to the royal family has often been tracts of land and lesser titles (to begin with). And squire is hardly a title worthy of note. Fits in with most royal families throughout history.

I almost pulled my hair out when he was allowed to hear some rediculously sensitive and confidential information just because "We won't look suspicious if we have the kid with us."
True, a fault i find with most fantasy novels, in fact many novels in general

I almost forgot, the main plot is underdeveloped. They hear that there 'might' be an invading army in the mountains, and they wtf freak out. I don't know why, but I was very annoyed that they called these invaders by their name for themselves, seems like if you get invaded by aliens you'll probably call them aliens, not Vogmatorgen or whatever.
Firstly of course they call them by their real name, they have read the invaders mind and know what they are called, and thats their first introduction to them.... why would they then make up another name? Its not like they take up the entire language, in fact later in the book them giving up and referring to a character as charles is quite comic and realistic imo.

and freaking out? well they know they have an army invading because of what they found out from this characters mind. they have no forces to deal with but if they ask the king nicely they may well get some... does it sound rediculous then that they all think, quick, lets go ask for some soldiers? I don't think so personally.

Despite this flaw, I do like the main character and his best friend, but the rest of the characters seem to be very boring. They lack discription and are very predictable, and the dialogue often seems....childish.
Really? I really like Arutha, find martin very intriguing and Roland definately grew on me. Jimmy is entertaining in his cameo in this book, trask is good fun as well. The dialogue is not the best I have ever read, but by no means childish, at least to me

but as ever its each to their own tastes, I love the books, but found eddings to childish - many say he is far from that. Tastes vary wildly
 

Fake Vencar

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All of Feist's writing is based upon his simplistic dialogue. Sometimes this may seem a bit weak or overly strong but this just enhances the situation's theme and feeling. The dialogue, in my opinion, makes the books.
 

southron sword

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Magician in my opinion was one of the best books ive ever read. it does get better as you go alone. The series itself is good, but i think magician is the stand out. the other 2 add information and sum up the story well, but they just didnt come out as well as magician. the unrealistic comment i thought was rediculous. fantasy isnt realistic. if u want realistic read history books. this series has a big fan base, and its understandable. i know people who love it and i know ppl who dont. but like someone else said, dont pass judgement untill you finish the book, or the series.
 

Ruin

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The Magician is the first novel I ever read, way back when I was 8, and I found it very difficult at the time. Its simplistic style made it easier but it wasn't until I re-read it two years later that I fully understood it.

Quite surprisingly, despite the volume of novels I trawled through at the time, it has always remained my favorite novel, and to call it unrealistic would be grossly inaccurate. I am a fan of realistic fantasy above all, which has steered me off the course of David Eddings and Robert Jordan (rather towards David Gemmel), and I fell in love with the level of realism, backstory and good handling of the supernatural (where most amature fantasy authors fail).

"they called these invaders by their name for themselves"
Well they did capture someone before the war even started who allowed them to understand who they were.
 

Conan

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Each to their own, I loved the Riftwar trilogy. Yes it is simplistic and predictable at times but still enjoyable. I wouldn't say the characters lack description. Feist for me has some of the most memorable characters in fantasy, Prince Arutha, Martin Longbow, Amos Trask, Jimmy the Hand, Father Tully, Kulgan, Meechan to name but a few, and I'm only thinking of the Riftwar.

As much as I enjoyed the Farseer books, Fitz most be the most annoying main character ever well maybe not Nevare from her Soldier Son trilogy is just as bad.
Okay, hold on a sec. I think fitz is one of THE best characters in fantasy. He's real. Of course hes going to winge if he is a teenager (who happens to be victim of many assasination attemps). He displays emotion, and gets alot better in the tawny man trilogy, i could go on and on.

More Tomas. Less Arutha.:D
 

devilsgrin

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realism? in an REF book? you can't be serious in thinking that theres any more realism in his works compared to any of the major fantasy authors around. The only author who he has more detail than is Anne McCaffrey (of the majors of course).

While i like some of REF's books, they are simplistic, that back story is tacked-on and the characters can often be at the same time likable and the most irritatingly cliched hack characters imaginable. I truly came to despise Tomas, and Queen Aglaranna was the lamest attempt at a Galadriel impersonation i have yet to come across in fantasy fiction.

for parts of REF's works i liked Erik von Darkmoor, Nakor, Calis and i actually enjoyed some of Miranda's scenes. Jimmy the Hand of course, was perhaps one of the continually most enjoyable... but ALL his scenes and plotlines were as transparent as glass...

the only character i continued to like out of these books was Pug (my favourite scene with Pug, has him basically telling Prince Patrick to f$%k off), and it wasn't until the Empire series with Janny Wurts that another decently constructed character appeared - in the person of Mara of the Acoma (who is one of my all-time favourite characters in any series), and Kevin of Zun.

i agree with Conan, as much as Fitz is often frustrating, he's one of the most REAL characters ever set into a fantasy novel. Nevare is essentially a very similar character, but again is another real person, not some two-dimensional cut-out of a fantasy cliche - which almost every character in an REF book is. Realism is Robin Hobb's mainstay - especially in regard to her characters. they are very real for their world, and all their actions are in synch with their characters. Realism is certainly not a feature of any of REF's characters.
 
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I like REF's Riftwar saga as a rollicking adventure with some great characters. Magician was the first fantasy I ever read (other than Narnia) and so I owe a lot to the guy. I will agree with devilsgrin that Tomas was an excruciatingly boring and two-dimensional character, and in fact that the elves were cliched and disappointing (I am currently doing a reread, up to Darkness at Sethanon).

I will also agree with Conan and Devilsgrin regarding Fitz, who I think is also a great character because he always tries to do the right thing, no matter what the cost to him. Nevare is similar, but in very different circumstances so its still fascinating. I'm a big Hobb fan, I like her better than Feist.
 
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