The second instalment of The Riftwar Legacy, Assassins reveals Feist at his storytelling best. There is intrigue, humour, and breakneck action aplenty here from the undisputed master of epic fantasy.
Fresh back from the front, another foe defeated, Prince Arutha arrives to find all is not well in Krondor. A series of apparently random murders has brought an eerie quiet to the city. Where normally the streets are bustling with merchants and tricksters, good life and night life, now there seems to be a self-imposed curfew at sundown.
Mutilated bodies have been turning up in the sewers, the Mockers' demense. The Thieves' Guild has been decimated - men, women, children, it matters not. The head of the Mockers is missing, presumed dead. Those few who survived the terrible attacks are lying low. Very low.
The Crawler, it seems, is back in town. And he's being helped by others more ruthless than he. Can it be the Nighthawks again? The prince enlists his loyal squire, James, to find out. If anyone can unravel what's happening in the bowels of Krondor, he can. He knows the sewers like the back of his hand. After all, as Jimmy the Hand, he grew up there.
Meanwhile the retinue of the duke of Olasko has arrived suddenly at the palace, a week ahead of schedule but with no apologies and many demands. They say they are there to hunt. But to hunt what? Pug's son, William, on his first posting as a knight-lieutenant, must escort them into the wilds. It should have been a straightforward mission....
©2015 Raymond E. Feist (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Praise for Raymond E. Feist:
"File under guilty pleasure." (Guardian)
"Get in at the start of a master's new series." (Daily Sport)
"Well-written and distinctly above average...intelligent...intriguing." (Publishers Weekly)
"Epic scope...vivid imagination...a significant contribution to the growth of the field of fantasy." (Washington Post)
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"really great story"
most of my favourite characters, it is a big shame I didn't follow the books chronologically.
"Not bad, more of the same"
It was certainly time well spent if for no reason other than to continue the story from Krondor the Betrayal. However the story was less compelling for most of the plot and several of the characters who I enjoyed in the first book were sadly lacking from this one. It was still a good read though and the final few chapters were very exciting. It's nice having the Night Hawks back as bad guys along with a host of evil monks etc. If you have a credit to spend it may be a good purchase but I wouldn't suggest that you devote time to it, perhaps it'll be a better book to listen to whilst doing something else like driving, running or pretending to pay attention to your spouse.
Bringing characters like Owen and Pug into it would have increased the enjoyment level significantly although the story survived without them. Also a love interest for Jimmy may have been nice. The poor chap has appeared in several books now, wondering around in a loveably cynical state, a little bit of a kiss and a cuddle would do him a lot of good. Also I realise that there are a lot of characters in the Riftwar universe but it would have been nice to find out how some of the others are doing, particularly Tomas and the Elves.
All the characters were performed well but he brings out a certain mischievous quality to Jimmy the Hand and highlights the innocents of Pugs son William. Peter Joyce also manages to make, the often immature banter between the characters, seem credible.
It was definitely worth the listening time although I'm not sure I would listen to it again. It was a wonderful bridge between the first and third books but no more. If you have decided to ignore what I have previously written and have downloaded the book as a stand alone listen, you may not be completely disappointed as the book has a unique story outside of the narrative of the trilogy.
Although I really enjoy Mr Feist's books, I feel I'm still searching for one as good as Magician. This Riftwar Legacy is probably the best trilogy I've read since Magician but alas it is not as good and I doubt any of his further books will be. I almost feel like a drug addict vainly chasing my first fix. The elusive Crawler character is a wonderful baddie and a great foil to Jimmy the Hand. The battle between the two alone is enough to keep me reading through the series. It is just a shame the Jimmy and the prince are the only characters who are in every book. I also enjoyed the play between William and his commanding officer. The bully with a heart is not exactly a new concept but it a classic. In short I would certainly advise you to read this if you are a fan of the Riftwar universe but I certainly would not suggest you read it until you have read Krondor the Betrayal. Also I can promise that it is entertaining but I can't promise that it will set your world on fire. For fans of Feist's work it is definitely worth a read but if you are new to this author I would strongly suggest you start with Magician. That way you will have the fun of spending the rest of your life wishing that his other books were as good.
loved it as all his books. narrated beautifully as always. look forward to the next installment
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