The Riftwar Saga, Disappointing?

ratsy

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Yeah, I think it was fairly new back then...when is it from ? 1984?

I like that selective amnesia...it would probably make most books better :rolleyes:
 

Ray McCarthy

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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.
Published in 1982. It was re-published in 1992 with bits supposedly cut by publishers restored. I think though he mentions somewhere doing SOME editing of it. I read both versions about the time they came out.

I just read Maisie Dobbs thinking it was a new book I'd got maybe at Christmas. I realised about 2/3rds way through that I've had it for ages and read it once before. I don't think this is encouraging.

It would be nice to be able to have some kind of selective amnesia when reading something like this.
No, I don't think so. However I thought Ian M. Banks was worse for describing his Resurrection devices, Orbitals and AIs as if they are the best thing ever in Stories ever. IMO encountering semi-stereotypical Elves, Dwarves etc not so bad. Actually they hardly much are in a lot of later Midkemia books.

I just recently did a book with Elves, Dwarves, Dryads and Fair Folk. But I like to think I'm just taking advantage of North and Western European mythic stuff over a 1000 years old with my own twist on it. Some people like this sort of stuff, especially if very Celtic + Norse flavoured. Tolkien wasn't anything like as original as most people think. Really only the hobbits were Tolkien. His Elves were based on one thread of Celtic myth, his Orcs on MacDonald's Goblins and other older tales like Beowolf, his Dwarves and their runes Scandinavian. He said Middle Earth is Europe, The Horse people (germanic/Central Europe), The Numenoreons =Atlantis etc.
 

HareBrain

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Tolkien wasn't anything like as original as most people think.
True, but even reading him now, I get less of a sense of wanting him to get on with it than I do with Magician. Maybe he describes more selectively than Feist, or maybe he's just better at it.
 

Brian G Turner

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I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more when I was younger.
I certainly agree - I think it sits more comfortably next to Dragonlance than much of what is published now in epic fantasy. Worth reading if you want to see where the genre has been, but not so mentally challenging as other adult fantasy fiction. There are some decent highlights, but it was always a very long book, that got longer in the retelling.
 

Ray McCarthy

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he's just better at it
Partially he was better ... but also he spent half a lifetime on it. Look how many books Fiest & Co have?
I only really count The Hobbit, LOTR and 1/2 count The Silmarillion (which is almost a scholarly thing rather than relaxing entertainment). All the other books are more Christopher's idea.
Though LOTR was published much later than the Hobbit with main Editing / Writing between 1937 and 1949, he probably started work on it in 1917 or earlier. Published in three volumes between 1954 and 1955. It wasn't a rushed job.

So of course it's better. But we practically got the Hobbit as a bonus and the Silmarillion is practically the camp fire stories of the characters in LOTR. He wanted to create a world and re-create pre-Anglo-Saxon British Myth. He wanted the real world to be like the Shire. I think even getting ONE coherent completed Epic Fantasy from Tolkien was nearly miraculous.

I've only read one Dragonlance book (and recently), I thought certainly it was closer to the Eddings and Fiest and Maggie Fury than Tolkien for sure. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I'd rate Fiest better, but that's unfair as I've only read one Dragonlance and read loads of the Midkemia stuff.
If I want mentally challenging I read a good mystery / detective / whodunnit, Or maybe some of the better Spy Thrillers (Le Carre or Len Dieghton, not Fleming) I read fantasy for relaxation and escape! :D
 
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Grimward

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For my part, I'd encourage you to soldier on, Hare. Feist had quite a bit of foundation to lay in that first book, and I do recall the first 200 pages or so being a bit of a slog. Better things are coming, and continue in the next two books, too.
 

Peter Vida

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The Rift War Saga was the first truly fantasy novel i ever read and i love it still to this day. The series is just a joy to read. I always shake my head when a friend goes to a movie and complains about this or that, or they read a book and complain about this or that. When i read something i go in with no expectations and i enjoy what the author provides. So long as is not a grammatical cluster and as long as the story is halfway engaging i will enjoy it.
 

HareBrain

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but not so mentally challenging as other adult fantasy fiction. There are some decent highlights, but it was always a very long book, that got longer in the retelling.
I think this is a good summary. I've decided, about 2/3 through now, that I won't carry on. It just wasn't doing enough for me, and I never got the feeling that there was any more to the characters than was laid out on the page. (Clearly, people like Macros have got loads of backstory that hasn't been revealed yet, but even he doesn't strike me as being that interesting a person.) But I can see how it would have a hold on people who read it young. I sometimes wonder if I'd get into Tolkien if I first read him now.
 

HareBrain

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HB, did you get to the Pug scenes on the other side of the Rift?
Yes, and it did get more promising then, but not for long enough. I should add that I didn't hate it, or I would have jumped ship sooner. It just took too long to do too little, in my opinion.

Aww , go on, go on, go on, go on, :D
Only if there's cocaine in it. (Or raisins.)
 

Brian G Turner

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Yes, and it did get more promising then
The Magician is basically "Lord of the Rings meets feudal Japan" Literally.

Feist also makes a lot of effort to ensure a sense of historical realism for the mediaeval setting. And yet there is the science fiction element to the Rift technology.

IMO all this makes The Magician really unique and clever as a story setting. I'm really surprised not to see more imitations. Or perhaps there have been, but nothing memorable.
 

ratsy

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I agree Brian. It is quite unique and gets even more so, with a lot of inter-dimensional travelling, aliens, gods and goddesses, demon planets, and all sorts of crazy things. It is much more than a traditional fantasy story. My biggest complaint about the series is that it spans over a century, and we see a lot of characters get old and die, only to have young, coming of age characters in each series, essentially the exact same character type, and almost always teenage boys. There wasn't much diversity in his character types.

HB, I am reading LOTR for the first time now (on the second book but put it down to read other things but will make my way back) and I'm enjoying it. More for the fact that I can see the classic in it, and the pioneering it was for the genre.
 

HareBrain

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I agree Brian. It is quite unique and gets even more so, with a lot of inter-dimensional travelling, aliens, gods and goddesses, demon planets, and all sorts of crazy things.
That does sound good. But it's sooooo llllllllloooooooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnggggggggg.
 

Ray McCarthy

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@HareBrain
With no compensating chocolate.
Speed reading is the solution. Get reading Shirer's "Rise and fall of the Third Reich" down to under 3 days and you'll be fine for LOTR or Magician. Now, Wheel of Time, that's a long book, never mind the characters dying, even the Author needed a stunt double.

Or Marcus Heitz, "Dwarves" comes as four fat volumes.
 

ratsy

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HB, its only about 30 books...and they read pretty quick. haha

Ray, I read all the WOT a couple years ago and it was a challenge, but I did enjoy them.

Just between Feist and Jordan/Sanderson, that's like 45 books!
 

Judderman

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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.
That is interesting. I absolutely loved Magician, though the writing is not complex I would put it up as a great Fantasy work. I read this before ASOIAF, Wheel of Time or Malazan so maybe wasn't expecting complexity. Though I had read LOTR already.
Darkness at Sethanon has a couple of fantastic sieges, definitely worth a read. Silverthorn though I thought was rather a standard band of adventures type of fantasy story.
 
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