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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
Another SF Site Review: Shards of a Broken Crown
Return to Krondor (computer game) FAQ
Betrayal at Krondor (computer game) FAQ
download Betrayal at Krondor

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Wayne MacLaurin

At long last, the final episode of the Serpentwar Saga is here. It's a novel that has been eagerly awaited since Rage of a Demon King was released last year.

As spring comes, the Western Realm struggles to rebuild from the ruins of war. Krondor lies in ruins and the kingdom has lost many of its best leaders, including Duke James and Prince Arutha. General Fadawah holds much of the old realm and intends to keep it. Kesh, always looking for a weakness to exploit, is poised to take much of the Southern Marches. In general, things look pretty grim for the Kingdom.

Once again, Raymond Feist tells an epic story as he weaves several tales into a compelling conclusion to the series. Roo and Erik, along with most of the cast, are involved with the ousting of Fadawah and the rebuilding of the Kingdom. Dash and Jimmy lend a hand on the covert side of the action, living up to the legacy of their grandfather, Jimmy the Hand. Finally, Pug, Thomas, Miranda and Nakor get centre stage as Feist finally reveals the source of evil that has lurked behind the scenes, gradually being revealed with each successive book.

Feist's strength has always been his ability to create depth to his characters and generate real empathy for them. Shards of a Broken Crown is no different. Whether you choose to follow the tale of Dash as he struggles to find meaning in duties he can't quite agree with, or if you prefer the story of Erik, wondering if he'll eventually become Knight-Marshall, Feist has crammed 432 pages with great storytelling.

For those of you wondering what Feist will do next, there are some clues in Shards of a Broken Crown. Two pieces of "Feistian history" crop up for the first time here. One, familiar to players of the computer game of the same name, is the tale of Betrayal at Krondor. For aficionados, the character of the Upright Man first appeared in that game. The second new bit of history to be fully developed is expected to be the expansion from the game, Return to Krondor. Raymond Feist has said that he plans to do the novelizations of those two games next.

While Shards of a Broken Crown is probably not the best choice for an introduction to Feist's work, it does a fine job of being the climax for a great series. As always, I look forward to more of Feist's work and welcome another chance to visit the world of Midkemia.

Copyright © 1998 by Wayne MacLaurin

Wayne MacLaurin is a regular SF Site reviewer. More of his opinions are available on our Book Reviews pages.

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