A Darkness at Sethanon (Riftwar Cycle: The Riftwar Saga) (英語) マスマーケット – 1987/1/1
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An evil wind blows through Midkemia. Dark legions have risen up to crush the Kingdom of the Isles and enslave it to dire magics. The final battle between Order and Chaos is abotu to begin in the ruins of the city called Sethanon.
Now Pug, the master magician sometimes known as Milamber, must undertake an awesome and perilous quest to the dawn of time to grapple with an ancient and terrible Enemy for the fate of a thousand worlds.
Further praise for the Riftwar saga:
"Most exciting...a very worthy and absorbing addition to the fantasy field."
-- Andre Norton on Magician
"As exciting and absorbing as Magician in every way. The excellent characterization wedded to a tight and well-turned plot makes it one of the outstanding fantasy offerings of the season."
-- Andre Norton on Silverthorn
"A lively tale where engaging characters inhabit a well-rounded fantasy land." -- Publishers Weekly on Prince of the Blood
"Has humor and tears and romance...just about everything a fantasy fan could ask for...This is a book to read whether or not you have read the earlier trilogy."
-- UPI on Prince of the Blood
"A superior, rousing adventure."
-- Publishers Weekly on The King's Buccaneer
"An entertaining tale of high-seas adventure and exotic fantasy."
-- Locus on The King's Buccaneer
The scope of the story in A DARKNESS AT SETHANON is expanded massively when compared to its predecessor, Silverthorn, getting back to the more completely epic feel of Magician. Inter-planetary travel, history of the Chaos Wars and the Dragon Lords, and even time travel, are interspersed with your more commonplace swords and arrow, siege warfare, and politics. This book also brings back many of the greatest characters from the first book of the trilogy, including Pug, Tomas, Macros, and even Black Guy. While some reviewers have complained that the parts with Pug and Tomas, both of whom seem superhuman and unstoppable, were overblown, unrealistic, and unexplained, I'd counter by pointing out that you really do need such powerful protagonists to battle against an enemy like 'The Enemy'. As far as not explaining how the magic works, that is something that we should expect from Feist by now. You just have to accept it as it comes and not look for detailed explanations.
All in all, this book has it all. Emotionally connected characters like Arutha, Martin, and Jimmy (and unfortunately Locky), as well as the realm expanding adventures of Pug and Tomas. Highly recommended.
What works: Bringing back Pug and Tomas as main characters. These were the two principals in the first two books in the series (by far the two best books in the series). In book 3 they both faded to the background and the story suffered because of it. Kudos to Feist for bringing them back to the forefront.
Feist also does a nice job of tying the storyline of the last two books to the drama of the first two novels. In book 3 it seemed like two completely different story lines.
What doesn't: Feist often makes his characters so powerful that he has to get them into ridiculous scenarios to create any sense of threat or danger.
Read it if: you read the rest of the Riftwar Saga. The first two books in the series (Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master) are by far the strongest in the series. But the last two books are entertaining enough to keep reading.