Flight of the Nighthawks (Darkwar Saga Series #1)

Flight of the Nighthawks (Darkwar Saga Series #1)

by Raymond E. Feist

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Flight of the Nighthawks (Darkwar Saga Series #1) by Raymond E. Feist

A portent of annihilation awakens the powerful sorcerer Pug in the dead of night—a dread vision warning of a vast and terrible army descending upon the exposed heart of Midkemia. Even the formidable might of the Tsurani Empire will not beat back the alien invaders. And in far Stardock town, two boys—untrained, unready, and barely come of age—will be called upon by the mysterious Conclave of Shadows to confront a sinister plot that implicates even the highest-ranking nobles in the land. For a nightmare of treason, intrigue, and murder is brewing among an ancient Brotherhood of Death—a clan of merciless assassins whose name is spoken only in fearful whispers . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060792794
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/27/2007
Series: Darkwar Saga Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 252,507
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 2.30(d)
Lexile: 930L (what's this?)

About 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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Flight of the Nighthawks

Chapter One


The boys burst through the door.

Chickens scattered; one moment they had been peacefully pecking the ground, seeking spilled grain and the occasional insect, the next they were squawking in protest and scurrying in all directions as the two boys landed in the village street with loud grunts.

To passersby the boys appeared as a flurry of fists, elbows, and knees rolling on the ground pecked clean by the chickens. As they thrashed about, their blows were ineffective but heartfelt as each boy sought enough leverage to land a winning strike, while at the same time prevent his opponent from punching back effectively. The result appeared to be more of a pointless wrestling match than a serious fight.

The boys appeared to be roughly the same size and age -- about sixteen summers old. The dark-haired youth wore a maroon-colored tunic and leather trousers. He was slightly shorter, but possessed broader shoulders and was arguably the stronger of the two. The boy with dark blond hair was dressed in a blue tunic and leather trousers. He possessed a longer reach, and was arguably faster.

They had been raised as brothers for almost their entire lives and, like brothers everywhere, were prone to conflict in an instant. Both were handsome after a rough fashion: sunburned and possessing the lean strength gained from long hours of hard work and barely adequate food. Neither boy was stupid, but at this moment they were not behaving as if they were particularly bright.

The cause of their current conflict hurried out of the door after them, shouting angrily. "Tad! Zane! Stopthis right now or I won't go to the festival with either of you."

The struggling combatants appeared oblivious to her warning as they rolled in the dust. "He started it!" shouted the dark-haired boy.

"No I didn't!" countered the other.

The girl was the same age as the erstwhile rivals. She had brown hair like Zane, and green eyes like Tad, was smarter than both of them put together, and was arguably the prettiest girl in Stardock Town.

An older woman followed Ellie from the house carrying a bucket of well water and she unceremoniously tipped it over the boys.

Shouting at their sudden drenching, the lads released each other and sat up. "Ma!" shouted the blond boy. "What'd you do that for? I've got mud all over me now."

"Then go clean yourself up, Tad." The woman was tall and regal looking, despite her plain homespun dress. Her light brown hair had some gray, and her face was sunburned and creased, but her expression was youthful. Looking at the darker lad, she added, "You, too, Zane." Her brown eyes were merry though her expression was stern. "Caleb will be here soon and then we're leaving with or without you two hooligans."

The two boys stood up, dusting themselves off as best they could, as the woman threw a large cloth at them. "Get the mud off with this, and then go to the well and rinse it out!" she admonished the two boys. "It's one of my good kitchen rags."

Ellie stood looking at the hesitant brawlers. "You idiots. I said I'd go with both of you."

"But you said it to me, first," said Tad. "That means you'll dance with me first."

"No it doesn't," said Zane, ready to resume the fisticuffs.

"Stop this before it starts again!" shouted the older woman. "Now get out and clean yourselves up!" Grumbling, the two boys complied.

"Marie, why are they always fighting?" asked Ellie.

"They're just bored." Then she looked at the younger girl. "When are you going to tell them?"

"Tell them?" said Ellie, feigning ignorance.

Marie laughed. "You'd better tell them soon, girl. It's a poorly kept secret and they might hear about it at the festival."

The girl's brow creased and her eyebrows raised as she made an expression of exasperation. "We used to be like family, you know?"

"All things change." The older woman looked around the town. "When my family first came here, Stardock Town was still a small place. Now it's twice the size. The Academy was only half finished, now look at it."

Ellie nodded as they both stared at the distant island across the lake. "I see it every day, Marie. Just like you do."

The massive building dominated the island in the middle of the Great Star Lake rose, rising like a massive dark mountain. The village that rested at the academy's edge now engulfed the entire northeastern end of the island. Only those who served in the Academy of Magicians lived there. Stardock Town had grown around the ferry station to the island -- at first just a simple trading stop, but now a bustling center for commerce in the region.

"Well, if Grame Hodover's anything like his pa, he'll start yakkin' as soon as he has some ale in him."

"And Tad and Zane will be throwing punches before anyone can talk sense into them," finished Ellie.

"So, best sooner than later," said Marie as she motioned for Ellie to follow her back into the house. They entered a large, single-roomed building, with room for a hearth, a table, and bedding for three. Once inside she said, "The boys are your best friends, though they don't realize it right now. Each thinks himself in love with you, but that's born from competition rather than for any serious reason I can see."

Ellie nodded. "I do love them, but like brothers. Besides, even if I wished to marry one of them, Father -- "

"I know. Your father is the wealthiest shipper in Stardock Town and Grame's pa is the only miller, so it's a natural match."

"I do love Grame," said Ellie. "At least enough to live with him."

"Love is not the simple romance that the tales make it out to be," cautioned Marie. "Tad's father was a good enough man, but we had our moments. Zane's pa treated . . .

Flight of the Nighthawks. Copyright © by Raymond Feist. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Flight of the Nighthawks 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Midkemia, Pug the sorcerer is sleeping with his beloved wife Miranda when the nightmare awakens him. He envisions the deadly soldiers of Dasarti, but this time they attack him seemingly successful unlike what happened years ago in real life. Miranda as always provides him comfort as she knows her Pug has lived through lifetimes of tragedies and traumas cleaning up the calamities of others. Still very concerned with what he saw in his dream, Pug convenes the Conclave of Shadows to meet on Sorcerer¿s Isle ASAP to interpret what this means and prepare for the worst that he anticipates is coming. --- At the same time two teenagers, Tad and Zane due to some misadventures arrive at the Isle too. Though untrained they are now part of the sorcerers led by Pug preparing for unknown strife against an unknown adversary. However, as Nakor and Magnus interpret things including scrolls from the future sent back by Pug to Pug, they realize the enemy is the lethal Nighthawk assassins accompanied by Pug¿s life long enemy the evil wizard Sidi, who Pug thought was dead, but is back as Leso Varen. To the victors goes Midkemia. --- Two years have passed since Pug¿s last save the world adventure (see EXILE¿S RETURN), but this time the opening tale of the Dark War saga seems more like a transition tale even with Sidi back (one time too often) as a personal adversary to the tired beleaguered hero. The story line is action-packed and introduces two new teen heroes who to them Pug seems like ancient history. Though well written and exciting, FLIGHT OF THE NIGHT HAWKS is clearly for those who have followed Pug from his juvenile days (see MAGICIAN) as he appears off kilter and seemingly (speculation on my part) set to pass the mantle to the next generation though he is in the middle of the fray. --- Harriet Klausner
brjunkie More than 1 year ago
On the surface, "Flight of the Nighthawks" tells the story of two "brothers", coming of age to be men, Tad and Zane, which Feist does really, really well. I find the more interesting part of the story is how Pug and Nakor continually discuss the very nature of good and evil, while Pug's mind is always on his new family and the one that he has lost. They are also trying to deal with the threat of the Dasati invading Midkemia, through a new rift that is open with the help of the Great Ones. Also, they must find Leso Varen, who has returned. But, can they defeat him this time? There are a lot of great characters in this novel that I love, and the further investigations into the Nighthawks, the Talnoy and the Gods themselves are more than enough to keep me reading. I really love this book! Raymond E. Feist does not disappoint! A definite must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very good. I've been reading Feist for years and I would recomend this book to anyone. I was glad to see Pug back in a major role.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing its kinda funny b/c i went to england like in november of 2005 and i happend to be right next to a boarders book store so i went in hoping to see somthing i would lik eand BAM right there in front of me was this, i cant even call it a book its just to plain a word for it, a novel, no a master piece. pug is back and better than ever in this thrilling new adventure featuring two young boys named tad and zane who are adopted by pugs younger son calis. calis , married to the boys foster mom, takes the boys to learn a trade when they are waylaid by bandits. after being greviously wounded calis is transported(with the boys) to his fathers island. this book includes gods manifesting them selves in other mortals, sutes of armer filled with souls and a whole other world trying to open rifts between midikemia and themselves, while at the same time some one has revived the kingdoms worst enemy, the Night Hawks. its a battle agenst time to stop assasination murder and the whole world from being inslaved by a ruthless race of beings......
BeezerMN on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Flight of the Nighthawks by Raymond Feist is the first book in his latest sage titled The Darkwar Saga. In order to fully appreciate the events of this book, and understand the names of countless characters that are merely mentioned, I think any reader should start at the very beginning of Feist's writing. That would mean starting with Magician: Apprentice and working your way up the story line. I realize there are a lot of books, and some better than others, but as a reader - you will get much more out of it that way. With that being said fans who have kept up with the story, many names and faces will be familiar. Mr. Feist does a good job at blending old characters, Pug, Nakor, Kaspar etc with some new characters Zane and Tad to name a few. However, even though Mr. Feist adds new character perceptive readers will realize that while the names are different, the `character' is largely the same from previous books. Zane and Tad particularly stick out, and I am almost positive other readers will agree with that. While that may, or may not (depending on your views) be the case the characters in this book do have some character development thrown in for good measure. Some characters who you would expect to progress are rather stagnant, but other characters have a flurry of development. The majority of the character development is solid, and it is quite evident that (for some characters) there are bigger and better things planned for them. Overall, I found the characters solid, is, at times, rehashed versions of previous characters. The plot of this book is clearly a larger set up for a future `big event(s)' Mr. Feist has some big things planned for these characters and allows the plot to slowly unfold. Fans of Mr. Feist will find a familiar feel to this novel. Its flow and pace are typical Feist, and I mean that in a good way. It lends itself to being an easy read, but one that also covers a lot of ground. However, much like the characters, at times this plot feels like I have read it before from Mr. Feist. There were no less than three instances where I knew what was going to happen in this novel, simply because I had read it before in a different novel from Mr. Feist. I usually don't have a problem with a slightly repeated plot, but from the same author and with the same outcome - is a bit much. There is no question that Mr. Feist is a very good author. I have enjoyed the vast majority of his books. In particular the first two books in the Riftwar Saga were simply fantastic and I would recommend them to any fan of the fantasy genre bar none. While there have been some bumps in the road to the Darkwar Saga, I would still count Mr. Feist as one of my favorite authors and I fully intend to read future books from him. Never-the-less, I feel I would be remiss if I did not express a little dissatisfaction with the rehashed plot points and the couple characters. This simply could be Feist not being able to live up to my high expectations of him. However, I think there is some validity to my minor criticisms. With that said, if you are a fan of the fantasy genre then I firmly believe you need to give Mr. Feist a shot, but as I said in the opening, start at the beginning and you will be more happy and have a fuller appreciation of his world, characters, story and just overall quality of his novels. I would still recommend this book to fans. I don't think it will disappoint even the hardened fans. There is something in it for everyone. Just make sure your expectations are tempered a little. All in all a good read.
Homechicken on LibraryThing 4 days ago
This was certainly an average Feist book, but nothing spectacular. There were a couple really odd errors that apparently were never caught by the editor (nice going, chump). I'll post about them later, when I have the book in front of me and I can quote it directly.Several new characters were introduced, including a nobody with an Australian accent that just walked into the story and became an important character. Lame Feist, lame. Oh, I'm sorry, he's from the other continent of Novindus. My bad. I guess they're Australian there.The plot with the Talnoy was barely advanced (oooh, they're researching the Talnoy!), but mostly it was about the evil sorceror Leso Varen. Or Sidi. Or whatever else he goes by now. This time they found his "soul jar" and smashed it, then killed Varen, but he still got away. Come on! Kill him and make a new bad guy.It seems like Feist's writing is going steadily downhill, his earlier books were so good¿ For example:"Servants led Kaspar and his escort through gallery after gallery, many adorned with fountains or exotic birds, until he found himself in a gigantic room, dominated by an enormous bed. The bed easily measured twelve square feet, and it sat on top of a dais in the center of the room." (p. 264)Twelve square feet? That's enormous? Twelve square feet is 3'x4', or 6'x2', neither of which I would like to sleep on. Perhaps he meant twelve feet square? Doh!On p.139, Pug says to his son Caleb at Caleb's wedding:"I'm sorry to say you only have a few days, as I need you down in Great Kesh within a week."But on p.141 Feist writes:"A heavy sadness descended upon him as he considered just how he would tell her that he and their sons would be leaving without her at first light."Ummm, okay, what happened to a few days?All right, those are my two most annoying errors anyway. It does make me wonder, though, who reviews this before it gets published?
reading_fox on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Continuing the stroy of Leso Varen and his atrocities as defeated by Pug and his band of allies - the Conclave of Shadows. Not convincing and rambling in places this is very much setting the scene for the next in the series. A process that has been dragged out a bit too long now. Leso can change bodies - as one dies he can transfer to a new. This was a plot device a couple of books agao and is now starting to wear a bit thin. It causes Pug's team some effort to track him down again. Celeb re-appears as a key characters and this time manages to become involved with another pair of promising young lads. Also a repeated plot point of this series. The descriptive passages from tehyoung lads' viewpoint when they realise that they aren't giong to be pesants' sons anymore and have to learn lords skills are quite good. The rest of the book is average to unbelivable.The Nighthawks ofthe title are Leso's trained and deadly force of super secret killers. Who, in the style of bad movies everywhere, manage not to kill any heros even though said hero was laid most seriously low by a couple of bandits. These extremely dangerous henchmen have great difficulty even with the children! Poor plotting. Eventually Kasper and Talwin resurface in Kesh and try and unravel Leso's schemes there. Nakor tries to determine the roles of the gods in this great ame they are involved in. Although teh light fantasy style is easy reading the poor plotline didn't really help much. there is just about enough of a hook to wonder how it will all be brought to a close, but the preposterous levels of enemies and allies' powers is starting to intervene in any level of belief suspension.
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