Honoured Enemy (Legends of the Riftwar, Book 1)

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9780006483885: Honoured Enemy (Legends of the Riftwar, Book 1)
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Honoured Enemy is the first of a series of novels--Legends of the Riftwar--which act as sidebars to the main action of Feist's epic of the clash of two worlds. Here, in the middle of the desperate war between the Kingdom and its Tsurani invaders, patrols from each side find themselves forced into a perpetually collapsing alliance against an enemy that wants to kill both. The Kingdom commander, Dennis, has a fairly standard set of scores to settle, notably the seizure of his ancestral home on his wedding night and the death of his entire family, including his new wife. The Tsurani leader, Asayaga, has a complex set of political feuds and obligations to balance against his need to survive. Add to the mix a couple of attractive sisters and a long-standing fratricidal blood feud between their light-elve scout and the dark-elf commander of the pursuing army, and the stage is set for a superior Sword and Sorcery western--and yet at times it becomes something more. There is a real sense here of the depths of winter and of the difficult practicalities of replacing a wrecked bridge in the middle of a battle, of scouting and quarter-mastering and all those unglamorous tasks that get soldiering done. --Roz Kaveney

Review:

Feist remains one of the most reliable practitioners of epic fantasy and it's well known that his legion of admirers have besieged him with requests for further entries in his best-loved saga, the Riftwar sequence. Clearly, the pressure was too much to resist, as Honoured Enemy inaugurates a new Legends of the Riftwar sequence, co-written with Forstchen (a less illustrious name). Hartraft's Marauders, an lite group of kingdom raiders, are happiest practising their speciality: infiltrating and wreaking havoc behind enemy lines. As the new book starts, they are en route for a frontier garrison. But so is a Tsurani patrol, with a mission to attack the same garrison. When the two groups discover that their objective has been overrun by a vicious horde of dark elves, they become reluctant allies in order to survive. As in earlier books, Feist's subject is the tension of shifting loyalties, with unwilling allies forced to choose between the lesser of two evils: the enemy fighting by their side. His prose is always blunt rather than poetic, but Feist and his co-writer know precisely what the genre requires in terms of colourful and ambitious world-building.

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Raymond E. Feist, William R. Forstchen
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