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Most Helpful Favorable Review
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.
An enjoyable return to Midkemia . . . and a taste of The End
That brings us to A Kingdom Besieged, the first book of The Cha...
That brings us to A Kingdom Besieged, the first book of The Chaoswar Saga. Much to my delight (and relief), reading this opening volume was very much like revisiting old friends. The same 'epic' sense of storytelling that I remembered was back, along with myn old friend Pug at the forefront, once again a major force to be reckoned with. Feist does a superb job of casually recapping the prior sagas, bringing up details in conversation, or reflecting on past events in the character's thoughts. He never info-dumps or delays the story, just slowly and naturally brings the world and the reader back together.
There's a lot to like here, not the least of which is the story of Child, the rather unusual demon who grows in both stature and power, all the while approaching a level of sophistication that's almost human. It's not clear what role she will have to play in things, whether she'll offer salvation from the darkness devouring the land, or prove to be a harbinger of the end-times, but she's a compelling character. In fact, she just may be the most chilling character I've encountered in an epic fantasy, a character with the potential to destroy the world . . . along with the intelligence and cunning to know precisely what she's doing and why.
Similarly, the reintroduction of Pug into world affairs is a welcome addition to the story, acknowledging the tragedies that have come before and gently, politely, respectfully resolving them. His relationship with his sole surviving son is an interesting one, especially given the dark pact he made with the future in the original saga, but you can't help but hope Feist will find away around demanding the ultimate sacrifice. More importantly, Pug seems ready to take a role in world affairs once again, which promises to set up some interesting confrontations, but also ensures the possibility of survival for Midkemia.
What I appreciated most about the story, however, is the novelty of Kesh's plans for conquest. Feist has done conquering armies before, both human and inhuman, and done a solid job of directing battles and armies in ways that make logical sense, but which still manage to surprise. Here he takes things in an entirely new direction, introducing us to armies that are designed solely to make landfall and send the residents scurrying for cover. Rather the press the advantage and invest themselves in siege, however, the armies simply hold their ground while the refugees they've collected are set loose to colonize the land. This is not a conquest by swords, pole-arms, pikes, and magic spells, but one by spades, hoes, shovels, and farming. This is not a war of attrition, but a simple matter of displacement.
It's not year clear how all these events will converge, what role the elves will deign to play, or just how much the Pantathians (surprise!) are responsible for, but it's clear that change is in the air. It's a next-generation Riftwar, with grandsons and great-nephews stepping up to take the place of their heroic forefathers, guided by the continuity of Pug. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am glad I decided to revisit Feist's world. On to At the Gates of Darkness next.
posted by Beauty_in_Ruins on April 9, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
posted by jhinman on October 5, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 6, 2013
I'm half way thrugh the book and so far I can summerize my investment in time spent as total crap. What happened, his books use to be good.
I want my four hours back.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2011
Stop Insulting Our Intelligence
*tsk**tsk* HarperCollins. $0.05 discount for the digital version ($14.99 vs $15.04 at the time of this review). I'll be back to purchase when you price this version at an amount that makes logical sense.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 21, 2011
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Posted January 27, 2013
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