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Krondor: The Betrayal
Raymond E. Feist
Avon EOS Books, 376 pages

Art: Liz Kenyon
Krondor:  The Betrayal
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
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

In 1994, a computer gaming company called Dynamix released a CRPG (computer-based role-playing game) based on the world of Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga. (Actually, for those of you who are sticklers for detail, the game was first previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1993, but was not officially released until 1994.) Betrayal At Krondor became a major bestseller and has often been reviewed as the best CRPG ever created.

Krondor: The Betrayal is a novel based on that game. It is not a novelization, but the core plot and characters are the basically the same.

As Raymond Feist himself puts it

"...for those of you who have played the game, Betrayal at Krondor, this novel, Krondor: The Betrayal, will be very familiar, but will also contain a few surprises. For those who have never seen the game, just consider this another missing chapter in the ongoing history of the world of Midkemia and the City of Krondor."
So, for those who know the game, you can skip the quick plot summary and jump a paragraph. For those who haven't seen the game, Krondor: The Betrayal is the tale that takes place just after the Riftwar Saga. Rising from the ashes of the Riftwar, the Brotherhood of the Dark Path once again threatens the Kingdom. The story quickly becomes much more complex as seemingly unconnected events in Krondor and elsewhere start to reveal a sinister plot -- a plot that involves the Lifestone.

OK... enough plot. I'll let you read it and discover the marvels that Feist has put to paper for yourself. But first, a couple more hints at what lies waiting between the pages...

Feist constantly amazes me with his ability to create great casts of characters. This time out, Squire James, Squire Locklear, Pug and Arutha return to the stage but are joined by an apprentice magician named Owyn and a renegade moredhel name Gorath. Jimmy the Hand has always been a favourite of mine and that's probably why, for me, he seems to be the strongest character this time out too. However, Gorath is particularly well written. It's not a simple case of a dark elf who finally "got it" and put on a white hat. Gorath's character is complex and, at times, completely unsympathetic. His motivations have very little to do with helping mankind and he makes no apologies for what or who he is. It's a refreshing change from some of the stereotypes out there.

Considering Feist has only barely mentioned this "chapter" before (about mid-way through Shards of a Broken Crown), he does a great job of weaving in "history" without affecting that which six other books have defined as the past. Given the limitations with which Feist had to work, the intricate plot that he weaves is all the more effective. Between the dark elves, a criminal uprising in Krondor, and Pug's other-plane adventures, Feist takes the reader on a merry trip before the threads of the plot start to come together in a suitably "Feistonian" manner.

So, whether you are new to Feist's work or simply crave more, Krondor: The Betrayal will supply it. To make things even better, the game sequel, Return to Krondor, is due out from Sierra Studios shortly and the novel associated with it should be next year's gift to us from Feist and Avon!

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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