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Shards of a Broken Crown
Raymond E. Feist
Avon Eos Books, 432 pages
Volume 1 Shadow of a Dark Queen
Volume 2 Rise of a Merchant Prince
Volume 3 Rage of Demon King
Volume 4 Shards of a Broken Crown

Shards of a Broken Crown
Raymond E. Feist
Raymond E. Feist has produced some remarkable novels. Most fall into his Riftwar Saga consisting of Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon along with his Midkemia series consisting of Prince of the Blood and The King's Buccaneer plus The Serpentwar Saga consisting of Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King, and Shards of a Broken Crown. He developed the basis for the award-winning game, Betrayal at Krondor.

Raymond E. Feist Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Serpentwar Saga
SF Site Review: Rage of a Demon King
Return to Krondor (computer game) FAQ
Betrayal at Krondor (computer game) FAQ
download Betrayal at Krondor

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven H Silver

Raymond E. Feist's Shards of a Broken Crown completes the Serpentwar Saga, his latest fantasy epic set in the world of Midkemia. As the series title suggests, and as Feist's earlier works indicate, war plays a major role in this novel. The Kingdom of the Isles is suffering from a Novindian invasion and the royal forces must attempt to retake their lost lands. A Novindian, the King of the Bitter Sea, has set up his capital at Yabon and is making noises about taking the burnt-out remains of Krondor. Furthermore, all the news reported to Prince Patrick of Krondor indicates that the Westerners are in dire straits.

Feist does a good job in letting the reader know the back story. For those readers who have read the previous books in the series, the mentions Feist gives in the early chapters will rekindle memories of the details. For those who are picking up Shards of a Broken Crown without previous knowledge of the series, these same mentions serve as tantalizing hints of the specific events, but provide enough knowledge to enjoy this novel.

Feist's protagonists, especially Roo and Eric, have changed over the course of the novels as their circumstances have changed. No longer condemned criminals, they have both achieved positions of respect, if not admiration, and have become an integral part of the war effort. Feist's characterization has been strong since his debut novel, Magician (Bantam, 1984). His characters have always been strong, and frequently likable. He continues that tradition with his latest novel.

What has always set Feist's fantasy novels apart even more than his characterization, was the interesting, yet realistic society he has built up on Midkemia. Granted, much of the background in the early novels may have come from Feist's role-playing experiences, but for several books now, Feist has managed and manipulated his land to create a fascinating world in which his characters continue to explore and expand.

While Shards of a Broken Crown may not be the best of Feist's novels, it does provide a strong conclusion to his latest series with hints of more Midkemian fantasy in store for readers. Not a good place to be introduced to Feist's world, Shards of a Broken Crown is a nice return visit for those who are already familiar with the world.

Copyright © 1998 by Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is one of the founders and judges for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. He sits on concoms for Windycon, Chicon 2000 and Clavius in 2001 and is co-chair of Picnicon 1998. Steven will be serving as the Programming Chairman for Chicon 2000. In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is trying to get his short stories published and has recently finished his first novel. He lives at home with his wife and 3200 books. He is available for convention panels.

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