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Shadow of a Dark Queen (Serpentwar Saga Series #1)

Shadow of a Dark Queen (Serpentwar Saga Series #1)

4.3 76
by Raymond E. Feist

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A dread darkness is descending upon a great land called Midkemia — a powerful and malevolent race of monsters that has slipped through a hole in the dimensions. And two unlikely young heroes — a bastard heir denied his birthright and an irrepressible scoundrel with a penchant for thievery — must take up arms in the struggle to protect their besieged


A dread darkness is descending upon a great land called Midkemia — a powerful and malevolent race of monsters that has slipped through a hole in the dimensions. And two unlikely young heroes — a bastard heir denied his birthright and an irrepressible scoundrel with a penchant for thievery — must take up arms in the struggle to protect their besieged world...two friends chosen by Destiny to stand at the fore of the battle that is to come against the gargantuan reptile army of the terrible Emerald Queen.

Author Biography: Raymond E. Feist's previous novels include Magician, Silverthorn, Faerie Tale, Prince of the Blood, and The King's Buccaneer, as well as the four books of his New York Times bestselling "Serpentwar Saga:" Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King, and Shards of a Broken Crown, and the first two books of his "Riftwar Legacy:" Krondor: The Betrayal and Krondor: The Assassins. He is the creator of the immensely popular computer game, Betrayal at Krondor — which won Computer Magazine's Best Game of the Year Award — and the follow-up game, Return to Krondor. Mr. Feist lives in Southern California.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A dark and alien peril casts an lengthening shadow over Midkemia as another Riftworld saga begins almost a generation after the events in The King's Buccaneer . Erik von Darkmoor, bastard son of the local baron, flees to the city of Krondor after accidentally killing his legitimate and sadistic half-brother. Condemned to death, Eric and his childhood friend, Rupert (Roo) Avery, are provisionally spared to serve in a desperate mission against the reptilian Pantathians, who plan to conquer Midkemia and bring back their goddess, Alma-Lodaka, one of the ancient Dragon Lords. The boys undergo brutal training and join others of their kind under the half-elf Calis, known as the Eagle of Krondor, in a bid to pass as mercenaries in the continent of Novindus, current battle center for the Pantathians and their reluctant allies, the also-reptilian Saaur. A sensitive coming-of-age tale in which brutality and camaraderie are equally present, Feist's newest saga has a freshness of vision that suggests it will avoid the staleness that often eats away at multivolume epics. Author tour. (July)
Library Journal
In the first volume of the ``Serpent War Saga,'' the best-selling author of the ``Riftwar Saga'' introduces a new twist to an old setting. The planets Kelewan and Midkemia, central to the Riftwar novels, are home to a pair of unlikely heroes who must fight an evil race of serpents.
Roland Green
Feist returns to the well-executed, popular universe of his Riftwar Saga to begin a new series, the Serpent War Saga. The two main characters are literally a couple of bastards, one a nobleman's get named Erik and the other a commoner's by-blow named Roo. They find themselves called (perhaps dragged would be the better term) into a deadly conflict against a race of sorcerous serpents that menace everything and anything. The plot is classic, the characters are tolerably well drawn reluctant heroes, the command of language is very respectable, and the entire volume is likely to appeal to fans of Eddings, Duncan, and other skilled classic fantasists as well as to Feist's.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Serpentwar Saga Series , #1
Edition description:
1st ed

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


The trumpet sounded.

Erik wiped his hands on his apron. He was doing little real work since finishing his morning chores, merely banking the fire so he would not have to restart a cold forge should there be new work later in the day. He considered that unlikely, as everyone in the town would be lingering in the square after the Baron's arrival, but horses were perverse creatures who threw shoes at the least opportune moment, and wagons broke down at the height of inconvenience. Or so his five years of assisting the blacksmith had taught him. He glanced at where Tyndal lay sleeping, his arm wrapped lovingly around a jug of harsh brandy. He had begun drinking just after breakfast, "hoisting a few to the Baron's health," he claimed. He had fallen asleep sometime in the last hour while Erik finished the smith's work for him. Fortunately, there was little the boy couldn't do, he being large for his age and an old hand at compensating for the smith's shortcomings.

As Erik finished covering the coals with ashes, he could hear his mother calling from the kitchen. He ignored her demand that he hurry; there was more than enough time. There was no need to rush: the Baron would not have reached the edge of the town yet. The trumpet announced his approach, not his arrival.

Erik rarely considered his appearance, but he knew today was going to thrust him into the forefront of public scrutiny, and he felt he should attempt to look respectable. With that thought, he paused to remove his apron, carefully hung it on a peg, then plunged his arms into a nearby bucket of water. Rubbing furiously, heremoved most of the black soot and dirt, then splashed water on his face. Grabbing a large clean cloth off a pile of rags used for polishing steel, he dried himself, removing what the water hadn't through friction.

In the dancing surface of the water barrel he considered his broken reflection: a pair of intense blue eyes under a deep brow, a high forehead from which shoulder-length blond hair swept back. No one today would doubt that he was his father's son. His nose was more his mother's, but his jaw and the broad grin that came when he smiled were the mirror image of his father's. But where his father had been a slender man, Erik was not. A narrow waist was his only heritage from his father. He had his maternal grandfather's massive shoulders and arms, built up through working at the forge since his tenth birthday. Erik's hands could bend iron or break walnuts. His legs were also powerful, from supporting plow horses who leaned on the smith while he cut, filed, and shod their hooves, or from helping to lift carts when replacing broken wheels.

Erik ran his hand over his chin, feeling the stubble. Blond as a man could get, he had to shave only every third day or so, for his beard was light. But he knew his mother would insist on him looking his best today. He quickly hurried to his pallet behind the forge, taking care not to disturb the smith, and fetched his razor and mirror. A cold shave was not his idea of pleasure, but far less irritating than his mother would be should she decide to send him back for the razor. He wet his face again and started scraping. When he was done, he looked at himself one more time in the shimmering water.

No woman would ever call Erik handsome: his features were large, almost coarse, from the lantern jaw to the broad forehead; but he possessed an open, honest look that men found reassuring and women would come to admire once they got used to his almost brutish appearance. At fifteen years of age, he was already the size of a man, and his strength was approaching the smith's; no boy could best him at wrestling, and few tried anymore. Hands that could be clumsy when helping set platters and mugs in the common room were sure and adroit when working in the forge.

Again his mother's voice cut through the otherwise quiet morning, demanding he come inside now. He rolled down his sleeves as he left the smithy, a small building placed hard against the outside rear wall of the livery. Circling the barn, he came into sight of the kitchen. As he passed the open stable door, he glanced at those horses left in his care. Three travelers were guesting with his master, and their mounts were quietly eating hay. The fourth horse was lying up from an injury and she neighed a greeting at Erik. He couldn't help but smile; in the weeks he had been tending her she had come to expect his midmorning visits, as he trotted her out to see how she mended.

"I'll be back to visit later, girl," he called softly to her.

The tone of the horse's snort revealed her less than enthusiastic response. Despite his age, Erik was one of the best handlers of horses in the region surrounding Darkmoor, and had earned the reputation of being something of a miracle worker. Most owners would have put down the injured mare, but Owen Greylock, the Baron's Swordmaster, valued her highly. He judged it a prudent risk to put her into Erik's care, for if he could make her sound enough to breed, a fine foal or two would be worth the trouble. Erik was determined to make her sound enough to ride again.

Erik saw his mother at the rear door of the Inn of the Pintail's kitchen, her face a mask of resolve. A small woman of steely strength and determination, Freida had been pretty once, though hard work and the world's cares had taken their toll.

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.

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Shadow of a Dark Queen (Serpentwar Saga Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would be surprised if any woman read this book and enjoyed it. The female characters in this book (really the whole saga) are either whores or nags. Ladies, I'd stay away from this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Almost done with it and it has me wanting to come back for more. I really like seeing some of the old characters from the rift war. Only one disappointment thus far about Arutha, couldn't there have been a better way?
Anonymous 11 months ago
Loved it! Even on my tenth time reading it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drijien More than 1 year ago
Book one of the Serpent war Saga Series is a nice addition to the Midkemia world. It ties in together old and new characters while weaving and interesting beginning to this series. I still think the writer should have just ended with book three since book four is nauseating at best. While at times the story telling in this book seems rushed it is overall a good read and the two primary protagonists are engaging and likeable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how detailed all these books are and have all 26 in varioud states of shabbiness from reading them all so much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*pads in* Whats wrong Shadowkit?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Padded im angrily
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I most definetely am a woman & Feist in the Man when it comes to writing the genre. U must not have read much because u missed some serious women in his writing. He's great, everyone who reads this genre knows it so .... nothing to discuss. Thanks for all the many hours of escape you have provided for me Mr Feist. Top Shelf!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was cool
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