Raymond E. Feist is the author of more than thirty previous books, including the internationally bestselling "Riftwar Cycle" of novels set in his signature world of Midkemia, as well as a standalone novel, Faerie Tale. The Firemane Saga is his first all-new epic fantasy series. He lives in San Diego, California.
A usual problem with sequels‘that they don't measure up to the original‘applies to this follow-up to Shadow of a Dark Queen, which also suffers from unexpectedly stodgy prose and a paucity of action. Focusing on Rupert Avery's rise to power and influence in the mercantile class of the City of Krondor, the narrative follows ``Roo'' as he forms a business alliance with a merchant, Helmut Grindle, whose daughter, Karli, he marries for a multitude of reasons, none of which is love. Roo begins an affair of sorts with the nasty and calculating Sylvia Easterbrook but also manages to have two children with Karli. Meanwhile, his friend and compatriot Erik von Darkmoor travels back down to the land of Novindus to battle the Pantathians (the serpents referred to in the subtitle). Throughout, the pacing is slow and the characters less than persuasive. While Feist sows enough interesting seeds here to redeem this series in its next (and final) installment, this volume is up to neither snuff nor par. (Nov.)
"Has a natural talent for keeping the reader turning pages."--"Chicago Sun-Times"Feist's new saga has a freshness of vision."--"Publishers Weekly