Rides a Dread Legion by Raymond E Feist

(8.7/10)

A lost race of elves, the taredhel or 'people of the stars', have found a way across the universe to reach Midkemia. On their current home world, these elves are hard pressed by a ravaging demon horde, and what was once a huge empire has been reduced to a handful of survivors. The cornerstone of taredhel lore is the tale of their lost origins in the world they call simply 'Home', a place lost in the mists of time. Now they are convinced that Midkemia is that place, and they are coming to reclaim it. Ruthless and arrogant, the taredhel intend to let nothing stand in their way; but before long, Pug and the Conclave realise that it's not necessarily the elves, but the demon horde pursuing them where the true danger lies. And hanging over Pug always is the prophecy that he will be doomed to watch everyone he loves die before him...

I realise this might get Feist fans' ire to rise but the last series have come across as footnotes to the grandiosity of Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon. Not that I am complaining. If I could write a fraction as well as the master of fantasy I would depart this life extremely happy.

The opener in his latest series follows swiftly on from Wrath of a Mad God. About ten years have passed, the same protagonists appearing in a supporting role in a manner that has become prevalent in Feist's decision to take Midkemia into the universe of demons. Kaspar, Magnus, Miranda et al serve good purpose in introducing us to a story that promises a greater evil than the preceding novels hinted at. There is a darkness now, but it is shadowy to the point of nebulous. As we are taken on this new voyage we are learning much about the demon realms. Learning, I suspect, as Feist himself is learning.

The premise is simple. The demons are no longer a mindless horde, but one which appears to be structured. Without wishing to give overly much of the story away, Feist opens with the somewhat charlatan, Amirantha and Brandos, meandering their way around Kaspar's current demesne charming their way out of gullible township gold. An unexpectedly difficult encounter leads us to realise the former is one of a set of three brothers - one being Nalnar who has made a previous appearance as Leso Varen, the other the imminently more dangerous Belasco - who are somewhat responsible for (or agents for) a darker power of the Demon Legion.

Mixed in with this is Sandreena, Knight-Adamant who provides a new feisty (excuse the pun) heroine sent to investigate the dark summoning and wholesale slaughter of villagers around Akrakon. Inevitably, she finds herself mixed up in more than she can readily handle but as the novel grows, so does she into her role.

Meanwhile, a rift away, we meet the Elven Laromendis and Gulamendis, demon masters of the elven taredhel, the branch that had fled Midkemia (The Home) before the last of the Valheru, Ashen-Shugar had given them freedom. Fled to Andcardia where now their millions have become thousands under the onslaught of the Dread Legion.
The return of the taredhel to Midkemia brings Aglaranna and Tomas into the mix before a very lengthy meeting on the Sorcerer's Isle of all concerned parties leads to a rapid denouement with startling consequences for all concerned.

Rides a Dread Legion actually reads like a prologue to a new chapter in Midkemia's history. The narrative is as taut as ever, the plot extremely tightly focused on a few places, a few people. There is no sense of a wider world or universe in here but you get the feeling that as this series is published we are about to be subjected to a power well beyond those that we ever dreamed Pug and Tomas (all those years ago in Crydee) would ever know about, let alone be instrumental in.

It is simple. It is Feist.

Review by

12+

All reviews for Raymond E Feist's The Demonwar Saga series

Rides a Dread Legion

by Raymond E Feist

A lost race of elves, the taredhel or 'people of the stars', have found a way across the universe to reach Midkemia. On their current home world, these elves are ha [...]

Series: The Demonwar Saga #1
Published: 2009

Score: 87

Our rating: 8.7 | positive reader reviews

12+

More Raymond E Feist reviews

Magician

by Raymond E Feist

Crydee, a frontier outpost in the Kingdom of the Isles. An orphaned young boy named Pug becomes a master magician’s apprentice and two world’s destinies are for [...]

Series: Riftwar Saga: Book 1
Published: 1982

Score: 132

Our rating: 9.0 | 42 positive reader reviews

12+

Silverthorn

by Raymond E Feist

Prince Arutha’s reign has been peaceful. Jimmy the Hand, a young thief, uncovers a plot to assassinate him and the young King now faces new challenges.The firs [...]

Series: Riftwar Saga: Book 2
Published: 1985

Score: 65

Our rating: 6.3 | 2 positive reader reviews

12+

A Darkness at Sethanon

by Raymond E Feist

As Prince Arutha and his companions rally their forces for the final battle with an ancient and mysterious evil, the dread necromancer Marcos the Black has once again unlea [...]

Series: Riftwar Saga: Book 3
Published: 1986

Score: 95

Our rating: 6.9 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

A Kingdom Besieged

by Raymond E Feist

The Darkness is coming… The Kingdom is plagued by rumour and instability. Kingdom spies in Kesh have been disappearing - either murdered, or turned to the enemy side [...]

Series: The Chaoswar Saga #1
Published: 2011

Score: 89

Our rating: 8.9 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

A Crown Imperilled

by Raymond E Feist

War rages in Midkemia but behind the chaos there is disquieting evidence of dark forces at work. Jim Dasher’s usually infallible intelligence network has been cleverl [...]

Series: The Chaoswar Saga #2
Published: 0000

Score: 86

Our rating: 8.6 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Magician's End

by Raymond E Feist

The dragons are calling... Civil war is tearing apart the Kingdom of the Isles, for the throne lies empty and rivals are converging. Having spirited his beloved Princess St [...]

Series: The Chaoswar Saga #3
Published: 2013

Score: 76

Our rating: 7.5 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

Flight of the Nighthawks

by Raymond E Feist

The Conclave of Shadows, the undercover organisation charged with the protection of Midkemia, have problems: the evil magician Leso Varen is still at large and thousands of [...]

Series: The Darkwar Saga #1
Published: 2004

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Daughter of the Empire

by Raymond E Feist

At age 17, Mara's ceremonial pledge of servantship to the goddess Lashima is interrupted by the news that her father and brother have been killed in battle on Trigia, t [...]

Series: The Empire Series: Book 1
Published: 0000

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

King of Ashes

by 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 [...]

Series: The Firemane Saga #1
Published: 2018

Score: 61

Our rating: 6.1 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Krondor: The Assassins

by Raymond E Feist

In Krondor, Prince Arutha, newly returned from battle, is concerned about a rash of unexplained assassinations that plagues his capital city. And so he commissions his most [...]

Series: The Riftwar Legacy #2
Published: 2000

Score: 73

Our rating: 7.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Rides a Dread Legion reader reviews

8.7/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

The Earthsea Quartet

by Ursula Le Guin

The island of Gont is a land famous for wizards. Of these, some say the greatest - and surely the greatest voyager - is the man called Sparrowhawk. As a reckless, awkward b [...]

Series: Earthsea Saga: Book 1 - 4
Published: 1993

Score: 114

Our rating: 10.0 | 14 positive reader reviews

12+

The Wise Man's Fear

by Patrick Rothfuss

Picking up the tale of Kvothe Kingkiller once again, we follow him into exile, into political intrigue, courtship, adventure, love and magic ... and further along the path [...]

Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 2
Published: 2011

Score: 102

Our rating: 9.6 | 6 positive reader reviews

12+

Year of the Unicorn

by Andre Norton

Far from the besieged home of Simon and Jaelithe, in peaceful Norsdale, we meet Gillan, who longs to leave her dull life in a secluded country abbey. But when her wish come [...]

Series: Witch World: Book 3
Published: 1965

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Shadowfell

by Juliet Marillier

Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her [...]

Series: NA
Published: 2012

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+