The Riftwar Legacy (2) - Krondor: The Assassins

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9780002247009: The Riftwar Legacy (2) - Krondor: The Assassins

The second instalmentof The Riftwar Legacy, Assassins reveals Feist at his storytelling best. There is intrigue, humour and breakneck action aplenty here from the undisputed master of epic fantasy.

Fresh back from the front, another foe defeated, Prince Arutha arrives to find all is not well in Krondor. A series of apparently random murders has brought an eerie quiet to the city. Where normally the street are bustling with merchants and tricksters, good life and night life, now there seems to be a self-imposed curfew at sundown.

Mutilated bodies havew been turning up in the sewers, the Mocker’ demense. The Thieves’ Guild has been decimated – men, women, children, it matters not. The head of the Mockers is missing, presumed dead. Those few who survived the terrible attacks are lying low. Very low.

The Crawler, it seems, is back in town. And he’s being helped by others, more ruthless than he. Can it be the Nighthawks again? The Prince enlists his loyal Squire James to find out. If anyone can unravel what’s happening in the bowels of Krondor, he can. He knows the sewers like the back of his hand. Afterall, as Jimmy the Hand, he grew up there.

Meanwhile, the retinue of the Duke of Olasko has arrived suddenly at the palace, a week ahead of schedule but with no apologies and many demands. They say they are here to hunt. But to hunt what. Pug’s son William, on his first posting as a knight-lieutenant, must escort them into the wilds. It should have been a straightforward mission…

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Review:

Krondor: the Assassins is book two of Raymond Feist's "The Riftwar Legacy", set in the world of his 1982--92 debut "Riftwar" series. As the Encyclopedia of Fantasy puts it, Feist is "an adept manipulator of standard material". This is comfortable action-adventure fantasy using well-worn props and settings, as a group of likeable characters return from the wars of book one (Krondor: the Betrayal) to deal with twin threats to their kingdom. A vicious gang of outsiders is killing off Krondor city's established thieves' guild, the Mockers, while sinister, fanatical assassins known as Nighthawks are for some reason targeting people with magic abilities. Also threatened are visiting nobles from a rival kingdom. Someone is trying to provoke war. There's lots of action and swordplay as a hunting party runs into were-leopards and massed assassin attack, and a secret fortress of diabolical cultists is stormed by just three of our heroes in the manner of Indiana Jones. New physical and magical threats appear at regular intervals and are rapidly dealt with, the emphasis being on excitement rather than suspense. Feist provides enjoyable dialogue, moments of comedy, a touch of savvy political intrigue and unfailing narrative flow. All ends satisfyingly, with one hidden villain still on the loose and devilishly plotting world domination in book three. --David Langford

Review:

Praise for Raymond E. Feist:

‘File under guilty pleasure’
Guardian

‘Get in at the start of a master’s new series’
Daily Sport

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

‘ Epic scope…vivid imagination…a significant contribution to the growth of the field of fantasy.’
Washington Post

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