The Riftwar Saga, Disappointing?

Ruin

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The elves were dissapointing, it's true. However no fantasy major character has ever been realistic. They almost all follow the pauper-to-prince or kingly redemtion storyline, and both of these lend at least some unrealism to the story.

Having detail is not the same as having realism, the two are very much seperate. You can tell the story of WWII in a paragraph and it would still be as realistic as the book-long version.

I find the back-story intricate and well thought out (especially how it ties in world to world), and the simplicism is a boon rather then a fault.

I have to say that the Empire series was the favorite of my REF books barring Magician. After Magician the Riftwar books tend to move on to a far more epic scale (with the exception of the princes of blood and king's buccaneer (sp) which I thoroughly enjoyed), and this caused an alienation from the characters. I was especially disspointed with the anticlimatic death of Jimmy the Hand.
 

Grimward

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However no fantasy major character has ever been realistic. They almost all follow the pauper-to-prince or kingly redemtion storyline, and both of these lend at least some unrealism to the story.
( Fair Disclosure: I'm a fan of Feist's, but an even bigger fan of Wurts, so you may reasonably infer some bias here....;) )

I also liked Jimmy the Hand. Among Feist's characters, he was pretty hard to top, although I found Roo Avery in the subsequent Serpentwar series almost as enjoyable (after a slow start, character-wise). In both series, I enjoyed the way that Feist wove his separate world-level ( Jimmy the Hand, Avery, etc.) and universal (Pug, Macros, the Hall of Worlds, etc.) level plots together. I didn't get the same level of entertainment from the Conclave of Shadows books, though....

As an aside (and If I may!), would suggest that you pick up Wurts' current epic, Wars of Light and Shadow, starting with Curse of the Mistwraith if you'd care for a departure from pauper-to-prince and kingly redemption. Although this tale is about two princes, neither falls into either of the above storylines in their subsequent development, and while it OF COURSE is a fantasy, much of the character depiction and action description is well-grounded in realism. The granularity and detail in this story is extensive, so allow a few chapters are necessary for Wurts to set the stage and get the underpinnings in place.
 

Conan

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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).
Well Tomas is my favourite character, because he has alot of potential to be a great character.
 

Rahl Windsong

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Magician being one of the first fantasy novels I ever read, it still holds a very dear place in my heart and it always will. It was stories like this that got me hooked on fantasy and I can still vividly remember characters like Tomas, Pug, Jimmy the Hand, and many many more.

Also one of my favorite all time computer roleplaying games was the one by Dynamix, Betrayal at Krondor.
 

Grimward

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*Does double take on, well, double takes!*

Gah! Attack of the twin avatars (at least as of this date)! I liked Magician too, Rahl, and I liked Tomas' character in that first book, Conan. The imperiousness of Ashen-Shugar took over, though, in later books, and I found him a little too over-bearing for my liking. Then again, he's part Valheru; what should one expect? :)
 

ratsy

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I am not sure why anyone would compare the Riftwar books to Hobb's Farseer books...they are completly unrelated story lines. Although I found Hobb's books to be some of the best I have ever read, I still enjoy Feists books for what they are. I am in the middle of re-reading the Riftwar books and actually find them a lot better written than I assumed they would be. It seems to me that Feist put a little more effort into these first ones than he does nowadays...

So I by no means find the Riftwar books disappointing, rather I find them refreshing and enjoyable. I almost have to pry them out of my hands to stop reading.(that being said, it is the same way with anything I read)
 

Vertigo

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OK I know this is an old thread but still seemed relevant - I have just completed Magician which is my first Riftwar book. I must admit to being in some agreement with Ranwulf at first. Up to about half way through the books I found the whole style a bit stilted; it just didn't seem to flow as well as I had expected with all the talking up of his stuff I had seen. I thought the two worlds he had created a bit flat and cliched somehow - and lets face it he does squeeze in just about every race you can think of human, dwarf, elf, troll, goblin, gnome. The only one missing seems to be orcs, and the trolls only appeared once to provide an opportunity for Pug to be a hero. Surely if two them just come ambling up out of the woods we should have seen a lot more of them with all the running around the woods that went on throughout the war? I thought the story meandered along a bit aimlessly and some of the detail was just unnecessary. To be honest I felt it showed that this was his first book and partly for that reason I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and continued. Though also because it wasn't that bad :eek:, just not as good as I had been lead to expect.

I am glad I did; the second half of the book picked up significantly and even though some of the fantasy became a little more extreme, just stand back a little and look at what happened to both Pug and Tomas, the writing on the whole became much more believable; it really started to flow, the whole story fleshed out and became much more of a page turner. At the end I was well satisfied and now look forward to tackling the next one.
 

Brian G Turner

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Some kid, barely above a peasant, saves a princess, and is automatically elevated to the status of a lord?
I did comment on that, too, in the other thread. However, there's something somewhat fairy-tale about the Crydee setting - everyone is friendly to one another, and there's little observation of the differences in social class. However, at least some part of this seems intended to create a juxtaposition to the strict observance of hierarchy among the Tsurani.
 

Ray McCarthy

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Well, Pug is specifically a Freeman and adopted by the castle's senior cooking couple?
Of course the Trolls attack is just a sort of Maguffin to change Pug's status. It could have been done some other way (discovering his father was a Noble etc) but that wouldn't have easily affected his relationship with the Princess.

there's little observation of the differences in social class. However, at least some part of this seems intended to create a juxtaposition to the strict observance of hierarchy among the Tsurani
I think so. Though the Castle is a smaller more close knit community than the town. It's not so close knit that Pug doesn't worry about Capital Punishment when he has a visitor in the night.
There does appear to be more class divisions in Krondor and other big cities and Towns. Part of it is also Crydee is a frontier settlement?

It depends on the sort of fantasy you like as to if you'll like the Rift War saga and related books.
 

BAYLOR

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I read the first 4 books and found them to be quite entertaining stuff. For some reason I never went further in the series.
 

svalbard

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I have happy memories of reading the first trilogy and still rate Silverthorn as one of my favourite fantasy books of all time.
 

svalbard

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Just re-read Silverthorn (enjoyed it again after over 20 years) and I wondered did it partly inspire Eddings "The Diamond Throne".
That I cannot answer. Although I loved the Belgariad, devoured the series in record time, I never could get into his later works.
 

J Riff

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Hmm. I live on Silverthorn Ave. at the moment and it is not so exciting as these books appear to be. Still not going to read them though. )
 

HareBrain

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I'm checking out this thread as I'm 200 pages into Magician and was wondering if it's worth continuing. It's likable, but there's no real sense of urgency about it, and the bit where Tomas seems about to meet a horrible fate in the Mines of Moria, but ends up handed a cache of +5 weaponry, just seemed ridiculous from a plotting point of view. But having read the comments above, I'll see if the book does improve in the second half.
 

ratsy

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HB, I can't speak for everyone, but I love these books but probably out of nostalgia because that was the book that got me interested in fantasy and reading in general when I was a teenager.

I did re-read them a couple years ago and still really enjoyed the series. (I've read every one of his 30 books)
 

Brian G Turner

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I'm checking out this thread as I'm 200 pages into Magician and was wondering if it's worth continuing. It's likable, but there's no real sense of urgency about it, and the bit where Tomas seems about to meet a horrible fate in the Mines of Moria, but ends up handed a cache of +5 weaponry, just seemed ridiculous from a plotting point of view.
Totally agree - at first it threatens to be a slightly charming, if otherwise tired retelling of a traditional fantasy role-playing game. However, you're almost up to where it's about to diverge into something potentially more interesting.
 

HareBrain

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It does seem to have got somewhere, though there was a time in between when I feared it was getting worse. Thanks for the encouragement to keep going.

I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more when I was younger. The trouble is that Feist describes a lot of things as though they're special and noteworthy, when actually we've seen them all a hundred times by now. It would be nice to be able to have some kind of selective amnesia when reading something like this.
 
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