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Jimmy the Hand: Legends of the Riftwar
Raymond E. Feist and Steve Stirling
HarperCollins Voyager, 366 pages

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.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Murder in LaMut
SF Site Review: Krondor: Tear of the Gods
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

Steve Stirling
Steve Stirling series include The Flight Engineer with James Doohan, Ship Who Sang with Anne McCaffrey, Fifth Millennium composed of Snowbrother (1985), The Sharpest Edge (1989 -- aka Saber and Shadow, revised 1992) with Shirley Meier, The Cage (1989) with Shirley Meier and Shadow's Son (1991) with Karen Wehrstein and Shirley Meier. Other series include Draka composed of Marching Through Georgia (1988), Under the Yoke (1989), The Stone Dogs (1990) and Drakon (1996) as well as General with David Drake which includes The Forge (1991), The Hammer (1992), The Anvil (1993), The Steel (1993) and The Sword (1995). Single novels include The Rose Sea (1994) with Holly Lisle and The Chosen (1996) with David Drake.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Conquistador
SF Site Review: Conquistador
SF Site Review: T2: Infiltrator
SF Site Review: The Peshawar Lancers
SF Site Review: Against the Tide of Years
SF Site Review: Island In the Sea of Time
Excerpt: The Ship Avenged
Excerpt: The Chosen with David Drake
Excerpt: Rising with James Doohan

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

Jimmy the Hand: Legends of the Riftwar Jimmy the Hand, a young man whose facile fingers have picked many a pocket, thus earning him that name, has just helped Prince Arutha and Princess Anita in their flight to escape Krondor. That part of the story, how they got to that point, you might already know somewhat. You also might know about how, many years later, Jimmy saves Arutha's life again. But what you don't know yet (unless, of course, you've already read this book) is what happened to Jimmy in between these two adventures.

Jimmy, as part of the guild that runs all the criminal element in Krondor, the Mockers, has been ordered by the Upright Man to lay low until the excitement caused by the Princess's escape dies down. Unfortunately, the acting governor, hungry for power and desiring not to get punished for her escape, is not willing to leave things alone. His guards round up a whole bunch of Mockers, including Jimmy's friend Flora, who has been making her living as a prostitute. Jimmy, with the help of a fellow Mocker and a little magic, creates a daring escape for them. But instead of a receiving a hero's welcome, he is forced to flee Krondor, lest the Upright Man, not liking it when his orders are ignored, decides to send him out to sea in a barrel. He and Flora end up at Land's End, where she has family. Soon they'll meet Lorrie, a farm girl who goes out hunting one day, and returns to find her family dead, her brother, who she can sense thanks to a family talent, kidnapped. The other farmers believe it's only grief talking, and that her brother died in he fire, but she goes anyway, determined to find him. Bram, her friend and sweetheart, comes home from a long trip that night and as soon as he finds out what happened, he goes after her.

Lorie's injured, and Jimmy agrees to go and search for Rip. He is joined by the mysterious Jarvis Coe. What these characters soon discover is that Rip is not the first child to be kidnapped and the secret of what has been happening to these innocents is shrouded by darkest magic and obsessive love.

You wouldn't think that a unrepentantly professional thief would make a good hero for a book, but like Skif, Mercedes Lackey's thief from Take a Thief, he has some honor. Well, maybe honor's a strong word for it but he does honestly try to help people without thought for personal gain. (Mostly.) He does a lot of brave things that you couldn't usually pay him to do, but because he has a soft heart, he can be talked around by the right girl. He's quite fun to read because, not only is he so off hand about his work, he has a wryness about him (despite his age, somewhere between thirteen and fifteen) that brings the reader in with him. His very lifestyle is wrought with danger, and so even when he's not doing good, his doings are filled with plenty of adventure.

Jimmy the Hand, the third book in the Legends of the Riftwar series does a great job, shining a spotlight on a nifty character before he becomes the Lord James of later books.

Copyright © 2004 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at

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