The Serpentwar Saga (4) - Shards of a Broken Crown

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9780002246552: The Serpentwar Saga (4) - Shards of a Broken Crown

A brilliant follow up to Rage of A Demon King, and the fourth volume in Feist’s marvellous Serpentwar Saga.

The demon has been defeated and the Kingdom rejoices as the threat to the existence of every living thing on Midkemia has passed, but out of
the ashes of war new problems arise.

Shards of a Broken Crown, Volume IV of Raymond E. Feist’s Serpentwar Saga, tells the story of the survivors of the great assault on the Kingdom by the hordes of the Emerald Queen. An ambitious General has picked up the fallen reins of command and seeks to build a personal empire out of the wreckage of the Western Realm.

It is up to a handful of committed men and women to oppose him. In the forefront of this conflict stand Jimmy and Dash, grandsons of the legendary Jimmy the Hand, who alongside Erik von Darkmoor and Roo Avery must contest on every hand as rival Empires seek to gain from the Empire’s loss. While war rages on two borders, mysterious agencies of
dark powers move behind the scenes, from the mountains to the north, to the sewers under the burned-out cities of Krondor.

Pug the Magician and his allies attempt to engage and defeat the dark powers, while the Kingdom struggles to gather together the shattered pieces of the nation and forge a new future.

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Review:

Shards of a Broken Crown takes us again to the distinctive Fantasy worlds Feist created 15 years ago with the first of his Riftwar epics, the acclaimed Magician. The four-book Serpentwar Saga, which this novel concludes and which started with Shadow of a Dark Queen, is surely Feist at his most characteristic. He writes sword-and-sorcery in a rip-roaring old-fashioned manner, grand and magical, human an involving, by turns. Shards of a Broken Crown picks up where the previous volume, Rage of a Demon King, left off: there James, noble Duke of Krondor, defeated the evil of the Demon King and his army by sacrificing himself and his city--pouring Quegan fire oil into the sewers of Krondor and torching everything, including himself. Now a new menace has risen from the ashes, in the scarred shape of one of the army's surviving generals, Fadawah. Jimmy and Dash, grandsons of the dead Duke, try to piece together the wreckage of the shattered Kingdom of the Isles, the Shards of the title's Broken Crown.

Feist isn't the world's most sparkling stylist, but there is a cumulative something, a genuine power, about the various treks his characters make across this desolated landscape. The characters themselves are diverse and appealing, and Feist's great strength is in the way he is able to deploy the conventions of heroic fantasy with which we are so familiar (even over familiar) --the sweeping landscapes, titanic battles, the maelstrom of the clash of good and evil--while never losing sight of the particular. He is good on aspects of his fantasy world other writers tend to gloss over (for instance, mundane things like the worlds of trade and work, the jobs ordinary people do--the Serpentwar saga in particular tells us as much about merchants as it does about warriors and magicians). A gripping read.--Adam Roberts

Review:

Praise for Raymond E. Feist:

‘Fantasy of epic scope, fast-moving action and vivid imagination’ Washington Post

‘A fine yarn . . . vivid . . . suspenseful . . . the action is non-stop’ Booklist

‘File under guilty pleasure’
Guardian

‘Well-written and distinctly above average… intelligent… intriguing.’
Publishers Weekly

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