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Krondor: Tear of the Gods, Book Three of the Riftwar Legacy
Raymond E. Feist
HarperCollins EOS, 384 pages

Krondor: Tear of the Gods
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: Krondor: The Assassins
SF Site Review: Krondor the Betrayal
SF Site Review: Serpentwar Saga
SF Site Review: Serpentwar Saga
SF Site Review: Rage of a Demon King
SF Site Review: Shards of a Broken Crown
SF Site Review: Shards of a Broken Crown
Return to Krondor (computer game) FAQ
Betrayal at Krondor (computer game) FAQ
Sierra Studios
Download Betrayal at Krondor

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Wayne MacLaurin

At last, the final chapter of the Riftwar Legacy has arrived. It marks the 12th novel in Feist's Midkemia saga. Thirteenth, if you count Magician as two books (as published in paperback) or perhaps 15th or 16th, if you include the three novels in collaboration with Janny Wurts. It is also the final chapter in the three-part novelization of the award-winning computer game, Betrayal at Krondor, and its sequel, Return to Krondor.

While all that is quite impressive, what is more astonishing is the ambition that it took Raymond Feist to actually insert the tale within his well-known series. In effect, he rewrote history. But, he's done so almost seamlessly, to the point where it's possible to read the saga in chronological (6th to 8th) or published order (10th to 12th) without any major continuity flaws. Oh, I'm sure the anomalies are there, but it takes a more careful (or perhaps overly serious) reader than I to really notice them. Considering Feist first introduced the hints for this series mid-way through Shards of a Broken Crown (book 9), it's definitely a feat.

The first book of the Riftwar Legacy, Krondor: the Betrayal, was the novelization of Betrayal at Krondor. The second book, Krondor: the Assassins, was a bridge novel between the first and this one, and Krondor: Tear of the Gods is the novelization of Return to Krondor. In fact, the prologue of Krondor: Tear of the Gods is a close copy of the introductory video in the computer game.

Feist is a great writer and is well-known for his rich characters, expansive backgrounds and exceptional use of language to tell a story. It is, however, a challenge to take a rather linear computer game and turn it into a tale worthy of being part of Feist's work. Such is the challenge that Feist rises to meet -- and he overcomes all obstacles admirably.

Feist weaves the tale of the Tear of the Gods, a holy object of awesome power, together with the growing problem with The Crawler, a mysterious criminal in Krondor, and adds his usual dash of heroic daring to complete a fine story.

Squire James takes centre stage and, together with the magician Jazhara (grand-niece of Lord Hazara-Khan, Kesh's feared spymaster) and William (Pug's son), once again is forced to risk life and limb to save Krondor from unseen enemies.

For all its humble beginnings, as a story Krondor: Tear of the Gods works well. It may not be as complex a tale as Rise of a Merchant Prince, but it definitely lives up to the standards that Feist has set for himself. Any perceived weakness in the plot is made up for by Feist's easy style and lush characters. He has a real knack for making even the minor characters stand out (Kendaric from the Wreckers Guild is great fun).

All in all, an excellent way to start 2001 and, if the rumours about the first novel in the Conclave of Shadows series coming in November are true, it's going to be an excellent year for Feist fans everywhere.

Copyright © 2001 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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