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Honored Enemy (Legends of the Riftwar Series #1)

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Overview

As the Riftwar tears Midkemia apart, enemies trapped in the frozen Northlands must trust each other to stay alive. . . .

In the sprawling, embattled land of Midkemia, fate can form strange alliances. Nine years into the bloody and ongoing Riftwar, Dennis Hartraft's Marauders are cold, hungry, and exhausted. Having only just survived a disastrous encounter with their sworn enemy, the Tsurani, the soldiers are headed for a frontier garrison, where they will be able to rest and ...

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Honored Enemy (Legends of the Riftwar Series #1)

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Overview

As the Riftwar tears Midkemia apart, enemies trapped in the frozen Northlands must trust each other to stay alive. . . .

In the sprawling, embattled land of Midkemia, fate can form strange alliances. Nine years into the bloody and ongoing Riftwar, Dennis Hartraft's Marauders are cold, hungry, and exhausted. Having only just survived a disastrous encounter with their sworn enemy, the Tsurani, the soldiers are headed for a frontier garrison, where they will be able to rest and recover. But Hartraft's company arrives at the same time as a Tsurani patrol, and both sides discover the stronghold overrun by a migrating horde of dark elves called moredhel, a foe so deadly and vicious the bitter enemies must band together and fight as one.

But can their hatred for their mutual enemy overcome their distrust of each other? As the two groups, bound to each other by their common foe, make their way across the unknown Northlands to freedom, they have to struggle with not only the elements and the enemy, but also their consciences. For, with both sides carrying painful scars from past wars, each man must ask himself what is more important: one's life or one's honor?

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
After being available in the U.K. for years, Raymond E. Feist's Legends of the Riftwar trilogy -- three "companion" novels set in Midkemia during the Riftwar -- has finally been released in the States. Coauthored by William R. Forstchen, the first book in the series, Honored Enemy, chronicles the events of a company of weary Kingdom soldiers and a band of Tsurani invaders who, with a deadly Northlands winter setting in, have their eyes on a frontier stockade. The only problem is that the stronghold is overrun with dark elves, an enemy of both sides.

Dennis Hartraft is commander of the Marauders, a company of "thugs and cut-throats" fighting the Tsurani invasion at the northernmost borders of the Kingdom. After nine years of continuous war, Hartraft and his men are in desperate need of a place to hole up for the winter. Their only hope of survival lies in a frontier garrison. A nearby Tsurani contingent led by Force Leader Asayaga is also making for the stronghold. But when Hartraft and Asayaga find that moredhel elves have taken over the place, they do the unthinkable and temporarily join forces.

While lacking the fanfare of a major new Feist release, Honored Enemy is a surprisingly compelling and profoundly moving tale of Midkemia. This intimate novel of war, honor, and unlikely friendship will have fans of the saga asking themselves why it took five years for this to be released in America. Here's an invaluable addition to the Midkemia canon. Paul Goat Allen
barnesandnoble.com
“[A] compelling and profoundly moving tale… an invaluable addition to a beloved canon.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061241956
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/13/2007
  • Series: Legends of the Riftwar Series , #1
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 540
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond E. Feist is the multiple New York Times bestselling author or coauthor of thirty previous books—all but one of which are Riftwar Cycle novels. He lives in San Diego.

William R. Forstchen, author of several dozen books in the fields of science fiction, history, and historical fiction, resides in western North Carolina. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Purdue University and is a professor of history at Montreat College. His works include the coauthored, New York Times bestselling series Gettysburg, written with Newt Gingrich, the Lost Regiment series, and the award-winning We Look Like Men of War, a novel based on his doctoral dissertation about an African American regiment in the Civil War. He spends most summers in Mongolia, doing archaeological and historical research, and his current hobby is the restoration and flying of a replica P-51 Mustang fighter plane.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Grieving

The ground was frozen.

Captain Dennis Hartraft, commander of the Marauders, was silent, staring at the shallow grave hacked into the frozen earth. The winter had arrived fast and hard, and earlier than usual; and after six days of light snow and freezing temperatures, the ground was now yielding only with a grudge.

So damned cold, he thought. It was bad enough you couldn't give the men a proper funeral pyre here, lest the smoke betray their position to the Tsurani, but being stuck behind enemy lines meant the dead couldn't even be taken back to the garrison for cremation. Just a hole in the ground to keep the wolves from eating them. Is this all there really is in the end, just the darkness and the icy embrace of the grave? With his left hand&#8212his sword hand&#8212he absently rubbed his right shoulder. The old wound always seemed to ache the most when snow lay on the ground.

A priest of Sung, mumbling a prayer, walked around the perimeter of the grave, making a sign of blessing. Dennis stood rigid, watching as some of the men also made signs to a different god&#8212mostly to Tith-Onaka, God of War&#8212while others remained motionless. A few looked towards him, saw his eyes, then turned away.

The men could sense his swallowed rage . . . and his emptiness.

The priest fell silent, head lowered, hands moving furtively, placing a ward upon the grave. The Goddess of Purity would protect the dead from defilement. Dennis shifted uncomfortably, looking up at the darkening clouds which formed an impenetrable wall of grey to the west. Over in the east, the sky darkened.

Night was coming on, and withit the promise of more snow, the first big storm of the year. Having lived in the region for years, Dennis knew that a long, hard winter was fast upon them, and his mission had to be to get his men safely back to their base at Baron Moyet's camp. And if enough snow fell in the next few days, that could prove problematic.

The priest stepped back from the grave, raised his hands to the dark heavens and started to chant again.

'The service is ended,' Dennis said. He didn't raise his voice, but his anger cut through the frigid air like a knife.

The priest looked up, startled. Dennis ignored him, and turned to face the men gathered behind him. 'You've got one minute to say farewell.'

Someone came up to Dennis's side and cleared his throat. Without even looking, Dennis knew it was Gregory of Natal. And he understood his lack of civility to the Priest of Sung was ill-advised.

'We're still behind enemy lines, Father. We move out as soon as the scout comes back,' Dennis heard Gregory say to the priest. 'Winter comes fast and we'd best be safely at Brendan's Stockade should a blizzard strike.'

Dennis looked over his shoulder at Gregory, the towering, darkskinned Natalese Ranger attached to his command.

Gregory returned his gaze, the flicker of a smile in his eyes. As always, it annoyed Dennis that the Ranger unfailingly seemed to know what he was thinking and feeling. He turned away and, pointing at the squad of a dozen men who had dug the shallow grave shouted: 'Don't just stand there gawking, fill it in!'

The men set to work as Dennis stalked off to the edge of the clearing which had once been a small farmstead on the edge of the frontier, long since abandoned in this the ninth year of the Riftwar.

His gaze lingered for a second on the caved-in ruins of the cabin, the decaying logs, the collapsed and blackened beams of the roof. Saplings, already head-high, sprouted out of the wreckage. It triggered a memory of other ruins, but they were fifty miles from this place and he forced them out of his mind. That was a memory he had learned long ago to avoid.

He scanned the forest ahead, acting as if he was waiting for the return of their scouts. Normally, Gregory would lead any scouting patrols, but Dennis wanted him close by, in case they had to beat a swift retreat. Years of operating successfully behind Tsurani lines had taught him when to listen to his gut. Besides, the scout who was out there was the only one in the company able to surpass Gregory's stealth in the forest.

Resisting the urge to sigh, Dennis quietly let his breath out slowly and leaned against the trunk of a towering fir. The air was crisp with the smell of winter, the brisk aroma of pine, the clean scent of snow, but he didn't notice any of that; it was as if the world around him was truly dead, and he was one of the dead as well. All his attention was focused, instead, on the sound of the frozen earth being shovelled back into the grave behind him.

The priest, startled by the irreverent display, had watched Dennis leave the group and then stepped up to Gregory's side and glanced up at the towering Natalese, but Gregory simply shook his head and looked around at the company. All were silent, save for the sound of a few desultory shovels striking the icy soil; all of them were gazing at their leader as he walked away and passed into the edge of the surrounding forest.

Gregory cleared his throat again, this time loudly and having caught the men's attention he motioned for them to get on with the work at hand.

'He hates me,' Father Corwin said, a touch of sadness in his voice.

'No, Father. He just hates all of this.' Gregory nodded at the wreckage of battle that littered the small clearing: the trampled-down snow&#8212much of it stained a slushy pink&#8212broken weapons, arrows, and the fifty-two Tsurani corpses that lay where they . . .

Honored Enemy. Copyright © by Raymond Feist. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 35 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2009

    Best of The Riftwar Trilogy

    I have read almost every one of Feist's Midkemian novels. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it far better than the other Riftwar Trilogy books. The characters were much more intriguing, forced into more difficult situations requiring more creative solutions. It was a hard book to put down, and I found myself wishing that the characters here were in more books. If you liked Feist's other books, I'm sure you will enjoy this one as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    Original and thought provoking

    The story starts predictably enough, but it certainly has some twists that will keep you reading. Good characters with descriptive writing bring this otherworld alive so you can really see the action happening.

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  • Posted December 27, 2008

    Good, but not his best

    Magician: Apprentice was the book that got me into reading, so now I pick up everything by Raymond E. Feist and I recommend him to everyone that is interested in fantasy novels. This is still a good book and reminds me of the X-mas Truce of World War I. As another reviewer stated, it is not all written by Feist, DUH!!<BR/><BR/>Take the Dragon Lance novels as another prime example. There are the ones written by Hickman and Weis, and then all the rest. I would take a Hickman/Weis Dragon Lance novel over any other Dragon Lance novel any day of the week. Even over their solo Dragon Lance novels.<BR/><BR/>When you introduce or take away an author the style changes. You need to be prepared for that change. All in all it is a good novel and stays true to the timeline as we know it in this world.<BR/><BR/>I would recommend that you read this if you are a fan, but remember that it is not just Feist. However, if you are new to Feist, read the series from the begining, otherwise you will be kicking yourself later.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2006

    Cover: convincing. Actual story: No.

    Honored Enemy (Legends of the Riftwar) was indeed an epic found in the world of Midkemia. Can I promise its exaltation? No. This book, undoubtedly, was not at all written by Raymond E. Fiest but his sidekick, some unpopular author. I am convinced that this second-hand author did all the writing while Fiest dictated the facts about Midkemia, its culture, who the Tsurani are, and basic history of the Riftwar, so that the other author had a chronicle of information to weave a book. Obviously, the book acquires insubtle literature completely 'not Fiest's', rather a whole new vocabulary, stanza form, diction, and summary. Thus, I conclude that this novel was not written by Fiest. Sure it was somewhat of a read but ultimately the novel's stratum and substratum was altogether unconvincing. And every page of the book I found myself tracing through the consistent use of the 'D' word. D**m this and D**m that, and for one who excludes those words in his life, I was complemently irritated and bored at its vast use. Obscenity within a book is not a keen dialogue of a novel and it is easily frustrating to some readers. The book: different. The promising cover: deceiving. Conclusion: ultimately disappointing.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2006

    terrific and entertaining fantasy

    When the magical rift gate opened onto the world of Midkemia, the Tsurani army poured through the portal intent on conquest. They viewed the inhabitants as barbaric and sent healthy prisoners back to the homeworld as slaves. Their homeworld is metal poor so the rulers and their clan leaders need to possess and mine the land. On the day they passed through the gate, they destroyed the Keep of Vahinar killing the father, grandfather and wife of Dennis Hartraft. --- Nine years into the war, Hartraft hates all the invaders with a passion and his goal is to kill all who were involved in the deaths of his family. He and his patrol the Marauders are behind enemy lines, set to strike until they realize the Dark Brothers (elves) are stalking them and the Tsurani. The leader of the enemy force leader Asayaga reluctantly join forces to evade the large horde even though they are mortal enemies and warfare between the two groups threatens to breakout at any time. Only if the two camps can lay aside their differences is there a chance to come out of their situation alive. --- When enemies work together against a more dangerous foe, a bond develops in spite of themselves. Both Hartraft and Asayaga are truly heroic figures because they are able to put aside nine years of prejudice and war to defend themselves against the enemy from without and within. Readers learn how Asayaga really feels about the war and why he believes he is a puppet on a string dancing to the tune of his superiors who are snug and safe back home. There is a lot of action in this terrific and entertaining fantasy but it is the characters that make this book a winner. --- Harriet Klausner

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