Raymond E. Feist's latest novel has arrived in Australia entitled
A CROWN IMPERILLED that returns readers to the rich tapestry of
the fantasy world called Midkemia. The novel is book two of the
Chaoswar Saga that is part of the famed Riftwar Cycle and Feist
links this current story to some of his earlier novels that include
The Magician and A Darkness at Sethanon.
With a variety of intertwined stories happening at once, Feist
continues to flesh out the world of Midkemia as the book
reintroduces the Moredhel (The Dark Elves) into the current plot who
have become troubled from the recent events on their world such as
the arrival of the Taredhel, the powerful and warlike elves of the
stars who have brought a darker force to this planet.
Now one of their warring Chieftains Arkan must venture into the
world of man in order to find Pug the Magician who has been
prophesied as the saviour of their world. However along the way,
Akran is drawn to Calis, the son of Tomas and the demons Child and
Belog who are now human and have been given the memories of Miranda
and Nakor by a God.
Unfortunately not even pug can rely of Jim Dasher, great grandson of
the famed Jimmy the Hand whose spy network has been compromised. As
Jim continues to investigate the multitude of problems that are
occurring in the Kingdom, it seems that something bigger is
involved. Meanwhile, Pug, Sandreena and Amirantha attempt to seek
consensus within the Conclave of Shadows, however once again the
task seems stuck to them as the venture into a variety of deadly
locations such as the Island of the Serpent Men in order to solve
this puzzle. With more and more demons infiltrating their realm of
existence, it seems that the Dread are waiting for the right moment
compound the situation, The Kingdom is also in disarray as Crydee
has fallen from Keshian invaders which has left brothers Martin and
Brendan fighting off the Dog Soldiers in the last stronghold of the
Kingdom, the city of Ylith. As assassins continue to hunt the
rightful heir of Crydee, Lord Hal ConDoin, he has joined Ty Hawkins
in an attempt to smuggle the beautiful Princess Stephané out of
Roldem to Rillanon. Sir Worthingon of Roldem is planning a coup
d'état of their kingdom with the countries spymaster deciding that
Rillanon is the safest place for Stephané. Although Feist focuses on
the classic characters of his series, he does a remarkable job at
bringing in new characters and once again, it's very hard not to
like these characters such as Hal and princess Stephané.
Feist also focuses on some of the politics of Midkemia, especially
the smaller lands around The Kingdom which does create a sense of
intrigue and dark politics. This is where Jim Dasher comes into the
picture who although is almost a carbon copy of Jimmy the Hand, his
character is still very intriguing to watch. What I do like about
Feist's writing is that you never know what's around the corner and
whether it's an existing character making a return (like the awesome
tease at the end of the last book) or the ending of the book that
will make you go wow... it's good to see Feist on his A game again
with all his twists and intricate plotlines.
As always, Feist continues to be a master scribe and this book
flowed extremely well from start to finish. Their were some
inconsistencies along the way, however as you are so engaged with
the characters and the story, it's very hard to fault this book,
especially for those readers who call Midkemia their second home.
That's why the book was just short of 10 out of 10 because one scene
had Pug and his son Magnus mixed up... I'm really not sure how this
got through the editing process. Even so, still thoroughly I
enjoyed the various surprises that Feist threw at the reader and it
was great to see Tomas who is seemingly the last Valheru play a more
potent role in this book.
What can I say but bring on the next novel... Magician's End!