Raymond E Feist biography and books reviewed

Raymond E. Feist (the E. stands for Elias) was born in Los Angeles, California in the year that the Second World War ended (1945). Feist was born with the surname Gonzales but was subsequently adopted by Felix E. Feist and took the Feist surname for his own.

Raymond E. Feist was once married to Kathlyn Starbuck who was also a novelist. He currently lives in San Diego, California and has two children, a girl and a boy. Aside from writing fantasy novels Feist likes to collect fine wines and also has a passionate interest in the History of American Football.

Whilst graduating from the University of California in 1977 (B.A. with honours, Communication Arts), Feist had his first thoughts and ideas concerning writing a novel about a young boy who would become a great magician (read a review of Magician here). It was two years later, when he was out of work, that he finally finished writing Magician and his very first novel was published in 1982 by Doubleday.

The success of the Magician allowed Feist to become a full time author. He wrote two more books, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon, these books make up his highly acclaimed Riftwar Saga. Subsequently, in partnership with Jenny Wurts he wrote the Empire Trilogy, Daughter of the Empire, Servant of the Empire and Mistress of the Empire. These three books focused on the Riftwar from the Tsurani side whereas the original series was viewed mainly from the Midkemia viewpoint. The Serpent War Saga (3 books) has also been published.

Raymond E. Feist regards Robert Louis Stephenson (Kidnapped, Treasure Island) and Alexander Dumas (The Three Musketeers) as major influences upon him and his writing style.

Role playing games and computer games have also played their part in Feists career. Whilst at University, he and his friends created a game centred on an imaginary world called Midkemia. He went on to create a back history for this world and this later becomes an integral part of his successful Riftwar Saga trilogy. In 1993, Dynamix released a game called Betrayal of Krondor. The game was based on the Riftwar Saga and was a critical and commercial success. The sequel, called Return to Krondor was released in 1998. The two games also have accompanying novels, Krondor: The Betrayal and Krondor: Tear of the Gods respectively.

Over fifteen million copies of Raymond E. Feists’ books have been sold worldwide. He is currently working on a supernatural fantasy novel called Tiger Mountain and a suspense novel called The Bully. There are also plans for a beginners guide to wine.

... for Magician

Epic scope... fast moving action... vivid imagination. Washington Post

Tons of intrigue and action. Publishers Weekly

Raymond E Feist reviews

Magician by Raymond E Feist

Feist's Magician is one of the best known and well read fantasy books; it is a powerful and memorable book that any reader who derives pleasure from reading epic fantasy should read being classic fantasy imbued with many elements of originality. The character development is excellent and the reading experience effortless. In 2003 Magician was voted the 89th most popular book of all time in the BBC's Big Read Top 100. I found the first read of this book to be one of those special moments when you are reading a book that has shaped the fantasy fantasy landscape as it now appears.

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Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist

This is the second volume in Raymond E. Feist’s trilogy The Riftwar Saga. Silverthorn begins a year after the events of Magician and 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 c

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 first attempt on the King’s life is unsuccessful but another attempts ends with his bride, Anita, being struck by a poisoned arrow on their wedding day. The cure lies with the plant Silverthorn and this can only be found within Dark Elf capital of Sar Sargoth.

Arutha, with the aid of Jimmy the Hand must find the antidote and discover the truth behind the power that can raise the dead.


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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 unleashed his dark sorcerery. Now the fate of two worlds will be decided in a titanic struggle beneath the walls of Sethanon, as the link between Kelewan and Midkemia is revived.

"It took me a remarkably long time to finally pick up Raymond E. Feist’s wildly popular Magician. It was a poor lapse in judgement based solely around the fact that the lead character was another orphan and his name was Pug. Poor reasoning, I know, but there we have it nonetheless. That being said, I did finally pick it up and subsequently ploughed through Silverthorn and then A Darkness at Sethanon."

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A Kingdom Besieged by Raymond E Feist

It has taken Feist twenty glorious years to produce a novel of the breath-taking quality of Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon. Nostalgia aside this latest isn't quite at those levels but this saga promises to get to the same heights. I cannot wait for "A Crown Imperiled" because we are back where it all started - Crydee - and we have a new generation who have the same dignity and nobility that a young Pug and Tomas once brought to Midkemia. The anticipation is delicious...

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A Crown Imperilled by Raymond E Feist

If you’ve got a special place in your heart for Feist’s work or have been keeping up with it at least semi-regularly over the last 20+ years, this book will be a pleasing return to form. With the intricate back story and web of relationships it isn’t one to pick up as a novice. For those of us who have always had a soft spot for Pug and the world he inherited it is a welcome return and beginning of a fitting set off for one of the great fantasy series of our time. One can only hope the last chapter of the series closes out with the energy and promise of this book.

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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 Stephane safely out of Roldem, Hal -now Duke of Crydee- must turn his attention to the defence of the ancient realm so that a king can be anointed by the Congress of Lords, rather than by right of might. But the greatest threat may well lie out of the hands of men. Somewhere in the Grey Towers Mountains something not of this world is emerging. It will require that alliances be made between mortal enemies if disaster is to be averted. Elves and men must stand together, ancient heroes must rise again, dragons must fly and Pug, Magnus and the other magic-users of Midkemia must be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice if the whole world is to be saved.

"It's been a fine series, Mr Feist. I hope some more comes, purely out of reading selfishness. You never quite want something you've grown up with to end. Nakor tells us: "Honour without love is a pose, a hollow justification for your acts. It's not what you're willing to fight for, but what you'll gladly die to preserve: a brother, a wife, or your child." ...and, by the very end... this is the message Feist wants to give us all."

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Flight of the Nighthawks by Raymond E Feist

Feist is one the finest fantasy authors produced in the late twentieth century and his works on the worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan remain at the peak of the genre. Characterisation is well drawn, we have an excellent mix of old, familiar and lovable characters with new youthful, impetuous ones that engender empathy. Old traditions hover in the background where needed without overshadowing the new bloods making their literary mark. The plot is crisp, the dialogue exciting and the old thrill of looking forward to reading this great Feist series rears its head.

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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 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...

"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."

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Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E Feist

When two great authors get together you’re likely to get something special. Right? No, not really. In fact, if we’re being honest with ourselves, more often than not instead of combining the best of both authors, collaboration will more often than not combine the worst of both authors.

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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, 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…

"Epic Fantasy written by one of the masters of the genre and mixes political intrigue, secret assassin cults, and a hidden heir to one of the Kingdoms."

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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 trusted agent, Squire James, formerly the thief known as "Jimmy the Hand," to discover the source of the deadly epidemic. The answers seem to lie far beneath the streets in the dank depths of Krondor, where a terrible war rages in secret between two rival criminal gangs: those who call themselves "Mockers," and others in the thrall of a mysterious being known as "The Crawler." But the deeper the Squire delves, the closer he gets to the true nature of the horror that has left untold dead in its wake. And unless James can prevent one last, unthinkable slaying, the nightmare forces of corruption and deceit will destroy his liege and reduce his beloved Krondor to ruins.

"It is probably a much needed delve into the world of the Mockers and no doubt Feist's hand brings a game formula onto some parity with a standard fantasy novel offering. It’s just you expect so much more from a master of the genre. So, if you are a fan of Feist read it. But be aware that it is no Magician."

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