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Summary

A new novel from internationally best-selling author Raymond E. Feist. 

The world of Garn once boasted five great kingdoms, until the King of Ithrace was defeated and every member of his family executed by Lodavico, the ruthless King of Sandura, a man with ambitions to rule the world. 

Ithrace's ruling family were the legendary Firemanes and represented a great danger to the other kings. Now four great kingdoms remain, on the brink of war. But rumour has it that the newborn son of the last king of Ithrace survived, carried off during battle and sequestered by the Quelli Nacosti, a secret society whose members are trained to infiltrate and spy upon the rich and powerful throughout Garn. Terrified that this may be true and that the child will grow to maturity with bloody revenge in his heart, the four kings have placed a huge bounty on the child's head. 

In the small village of Oncon, Declan is apprenticed to a master blacksmith, learning the secrets of producing the mythical king's steel. Oncon is situated in the Covenant, a neutral region lying between two warring kingdoms. Since the Covenant was declared, the region has existed in peace, until violence explodes as slavers descend upon the village to capture young men to press as soldiers for Sandura. 

Declan must escape, to take his priceless knowledge to Baron Daylon Dumarch, ruler of Marquensas, perhaps the only man who can defeat Lodavico of Sandura, who has now allied himself with the fanatical Church of the One, which is marching across the continent, imposing its extreme form of religion upon the population and burning unbelievers as they go. 

Meanwhile, on the island of Coaltachin, the secret domain of the Quelli Nacosti, three friends are being schooled in the deadly arts of espionage and assassination: Donte, son of one of the most powerful masters of the order; Hava, a serious girl with fighting abilities that can set any opponent on their back; and Hatu, a strange, conflicted lad in whom fury and calm war constantly, whose hair is a bright and fiery shade of red.... 

©2018 Raymond E. Feist (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

Praise for Raymond E. Feist: "File under guilty pleasure." (The Guardian)

"Get in at the start of a master's new series." (Daily Sport)

"Well-written and distinctly above average...intelligent...intriguing." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An Old Master Returns in Classic Style!

I spent many very happy hours with Feist's books when I was younger, the Riftwar Cycle was among my favourites but I'll be the first to admit that I believe the follow-ups just took it too far and I lost touch with it all. The call of a brand new set of Feisty characters in a brand new Feisty world was never something I was going to resist for long though.

You can't judge a full epic series by the first book but this looks hugely promising if you're in the mood for classic style epic fantasy. It says much that the prologue for this one lasts over an hour. Feist is building this world and its characters patiently with both being given equal precedence.

In truth if you're looking for something with a real modern edge you won't find it it here, there is no contemporary fantasy feel to the world or characters that say an Abercrombie or Sanderson might bring. It's just good old-fashioned stuff like we've seen from Feist before. I'm more than happy with that personally but if you're not of that mindset then this might prove a frustrating way to spend almost 19 hours.

I've also heard a lot of David Thorpe's narration though mostly in thrillers where he is very good. This being fantasy I wasn't sure he would be ideal for this. As it turns out this is probably one of the best performances that I've heard from him and he demonstrates a surprisingly wide range of character voices.

Feist is an old master doing what he does best but the only major new ground he is breaking is the new setting and characters. He isn't trying to challenge the new leading lights in contemporary fantasy but this series looks set to be a genuinely epic fantasy in classic Feist style. If that idea floats your boat just grab an oar and jump in!

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

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couldn't get into it

as much as I love reading raymond feist and as much as I love Audio books I just couldn't get into this. I'm sure that this is another great book from RF but this is the first time I've had to stop listening to an audio book as I'm afraid the narrator was just dull and unintersting.

it could just be me and others may love it

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Robyn
  • escaping to another world
  • 08-05-18

18 hours wasn't long enough

This has all the ingredients of an excellent series. I knew when I started listening that book 1 was only going to be about introducing the characters, and setting the scene for something bigger - but it did that so well and I thoroughly enjoyed all 18 hours 42 minutes of it. Indeed, I was left feeling abandoned by my new "friends" when it ended, and had to "just check" that I hadn't misread the release date of this, and perhaps book 2 might already be out....alas not.

This has the makings of an epic fantasy. Decent traditional fantasy stuff with a slight "frontier meets mafia" feel but with likeable, fully developed characters - and a few poisoned apples in the mix to keep it interesting. Hints of power and magic to come.....roll on book 2!

Narration is fine - occasional moments of not knowing who was speaking, but nothing too damaging to the story. A good listen all round.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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brilliant start to a new series

Great listen, well paced. Can not wait for the next part. everything to be expected from the author.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Stu
  • UK
  • 04-05-18

awsome!

A brand new story from a great author, this is thoroughly engaging from start to finish. The narrator is very good and adds substance to the characters. This seemed to finish far too soon but more likely this was due to me being unable to stop listening. Cant wait until next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A great new series

It's a great read as are most of the the author,s books biting my nails for book two wherever that will be

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Not the Feist I remember!

I didn’t like this book from the start, which is sad because I’ve absolutely loved everything else he’s written. It seems to me he has departed from his usual style of writing to write a more “Grown up” book with sexual innuendo and swearing. I realise people talk like that in real life, but it seems a bit superfluous. It just feels false. I never finished the book and that’s a first for me. I’ve never written a review before either, so that’s an indication of how disappointed I am.
Anyway, just my two cents worth.

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Excited for the next one

Really good. The book starts off past the prologue with enough mystery to keep you interested and the storytelling ability to solve them in a spectacular way. Another!

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Wot no follow up?

Bloody gorey n gruesome start, but when the story starts properly imagination went into overdrive, when’s the follow up out????????

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Potential

I love REFeist books, have read/listened to them all, the potential for a sweeping epic is great here, but please, the narration was not good.

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  • Kjetil Gurvin Tvedt
  • 07-05-18

Once in a blue moon a book like this arrives.

The last time I read something this well written and exciting was when Rothfuss published The name of the wind. You’re sucked straight into this world from the beginning and it’s hard to put it away. I could not stop listening to it besides a little forced sleep. Well done Raymond E Feist!

Top notch narrator! I’m really looking forward to the sequel of this masterpiece!