Raymond E. Feist

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Raymond E. Feist

Postby kakaze » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:19 am

Does anyone else here read Raymond E. Feist?

I like his books, but I must admit that my appreciation for them steadily declines as I progress through the series.
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Postby Penfold » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:35 am

I also read Raymond E. Feist, and started with the excellent Magician. I thought the two follow up books (Silverthorn and Darkness at Sethanon) were ok, but nothing too special. I reckon the Servant/Daughter/Mistress of the Empire books were the best of the lot.
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Postby Danny B » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:49 pm

I loved the Riftwar trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed the Serpentwar series, but after that, I thought it was a steady decline for the Midkemia novels. I enjoyed two of the Legends of the Riftwar stand-alone novels (Murder in LaMut and Honoured Enemy, respectively) and thought King of Foxes showed flashes of the Feist of old, but sadly it's now reached the stage where I don't even bother to look to see if he has a new novel out. :(

I tried reading the Empire trilogy, but one passage in book two (Servant of the Empire) yanked me so far out of the story that I was unable to go back to it and ended up giving all three novels away to the local Shelter charity shop. The passage in question was the one where Mara sleeps with the slave Kevin. (Kevin?! :shock: )

Feist & Wurts wrote:...at last Mara knew what it was to be a woman


Our heroine starts off as little more than a glorified servant with a dowry attached to her, she manages to survive an abusive relationship, restores the honour of her virtually disgraced House, outmanoeuvres her enemies in a political game that makes feudal Japan look like the race for class president in high school and generally shows herself to be a woman who can seriously kick ar- Ahem! Prod buttock. However... None of this is very fulfilling though, to be complete she needs to sleep with a big hairy white man. That makes perfect sense I suppo- Wait, what? :?

Magician, A Darkness at Sethanon and Shadow of a Dark Queen in particular were really fine examples of good heroic fantasy novels though and they still stand up well against almost anything else in the genre.


I hate being critical about books, I always feel like a complete heel for doing it. Since none of my friends read fantsy though, this is the first time I've had a chance to rant about SotE. Sorry.
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Postby Penfold » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:13 pm

Danny B wrote:I tried reading the Empire trilogy, but one passage in book two (Servant of the Empire) yanked me so far out of the story that I was unable to go back to it and ended up giving all three novels away to the local Shelter charity shop. The passage in question was the one where Mara sleeps with the slave Kevin. (Kevin?! :shock: )

Feist & Wurts wrote:...at last Mara knew what it was to be a woman


Our heroine starts off as little more than a glorified servant with a dowry attached to her, she manages to survive an abusive relationship, restores the honour of her virtually disgraced House, outmanoeuvres her enemies in a political game that makes feudal Japan look like the race for class president in high school and generally shows herself to be a woman who can seriously kick ar- Ahem! Prod buttock. However... None of this is very fulfilling though, to be complete she needs to sleep with a big hairy white man. That makes perfect sense I suppo- Wait, what? :?

Magician, A Darkness at Sethanon and Shadow of a Dark Queen in particular were really fine examples of good heroic fantasy novels though and they still stand up well against almost anything else in the genre.

Never thought of the Empire series in that light before - and I can't bring myself to disagree :? . I still enjoyed the story and the intrigue tho, which made a nice change of pace from the usual hack and slash of popularist fantasy novels. The Eric Von Darkmoor books (can't remember the name of the series) were also a good read and would also stand up well against most others in the genre.

Danny B also wrote:I hate being critical about books, I always feel like a complete heel for doing it. Since none of my friends read fantsy though, this is the first time I've had a chance to rant about SotE. Sorry.

Don't be sorry for being critical about books! If we all liked the same thing we wouldn't have so much fun arguing :twisted: Maybe we could start a Mills and Boon, or Barbara Cartland thread for the practise.Image :lol:
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Postby Willem » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:28 pm

I've read a couple of them about 10 years ago, and last year I bought the first 3 (Magician/silverthorn/sethanon). I remember being quite impressed with the books when I read them the first time. This time, I quite liked Magician but didn't care much for the other two - they read like 'The adventures of Jimmy the Hand, Boy Wonder' to me.

I might pick up on some of his other works again, but that's low priority reading to me. Still have a couple of Moores, Gaimans and a Fforde to enjoy first :)
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Postby chris.ph » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:41 pm

ive got them all and im on the fiest forum as well :)

ive just finished reading into the gates of darkness which is the newest one and it was a good un as well :D
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:40 pm

I read the Riftwar trilogy too but they weren't too original I thought although I rate his battle writing abilities quite highly, particularly from the 'grunt' level which, let's face it, should really be far more prominent in fantasy of that ilk rather than staying with the brilliant generals or powerful mages - do they never have a bad helmet or wand day? :shock: :roll:

The only other book by him that I read was Faerie Tale and this one I think is absolutely excellent as it's, in my opinion, a Roundworld version of Lords and Ladies (it was written 4 years before LL). Real world into fantasy world themes are in general not too easy to pull off - I loved the Chronicles of Narnia as a kid but in retrospect the transitions from reality to Narnia are really lame and as an adult I find C S Lewis writing fairly crude (but very powerful) and occasionally offensive to his readers' intellects (child or adult). Feist on the other hand doesn't lecture and just gets stuck into the action in a plausible manner including one very strong and therefore entralling sequence (in a car crash kind of way) where the college-age daughter of the featured family gets thoroughly molested by Puck :twisted: Well worth a read as a real change from his rather 'run of the mill' of fantasy series anyway :D
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Postby CrysaniaMajere » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:51 pm

Danny B wrote:Our heroine starts off as little more than a glorified servant with a dowry attached to her, she manages to survive an abusive relationship, restores the honour of her virtually disgraced House, outmanoeuvres her enemies in a political game that makes feudal Japan look like the race for class president in high school and generally shows herself to be a woman who can seriously kick ar- Ahem! Prod buttock. However... None of this is very fulfilling though, to be complete she needs to sleep with a big hairy white man. That makes perfect sense I suppo- Wait, what? :?


I haven't read these book, but i really agree with your what???? I hate when they write those things..
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Postby kakaze » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:41 pm

Danny B wrote:Our heroine starts off as little more than a glorified servant with a dowry attached to her, she manages to survive an abusive relationship, restores the honour of her virtually disgraced House, outmanoeuvres her enemies in a political game that makes feudal Japan look like the race for class president in high school and generally shows herself to be a woman who can seriously kick ar- Ahem! Prod buttock. However... None of this is very fulfilling though, to be complete she needs to sleep with a big hairy white man. That makes perfect sense I suppo- Wait, what? :?


Being a big hairy white man, I didn't have any problem with this passage.

Although, to be honest, I'm such an insensitive lout that I didn't even consider the philosophical point of view expressed in the books (other than the obvious anti-war sentiment that pops up constantly).

The biggest problem I had was Feist's tendancy to over-dratamicise; each book has to have a bigger and badder bad guy.
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Postby Wesllie » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:48 am

Hi There!I've read a couple of them about 10 years ago, and last year I bought the first 3 (Magician/silverthorn/sethanon). I remember being quite impressed with the books when I read them the first time. This time, I quite liked Magician but didn't care much for the other two - they read like 'The adventures of Jimmy the Hand, Boy Wonder' to me.
Thanks!...
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:45 am

Wesllie wrote:Hi There!I've read a couple of them about 10 years ago, and last year I bought the first 3 (Magician/silverthorn/sethanon). I remember being quite impressed with the books when I read them the first time. This time, I quite liked Magician but didn't care much for the other two - they read like 'The adventures of Jimmy the Hand, Boy Wonder' to me.
Thanks!...


Hi Weslie

were you trying to quote Willem here:
Willem wrote:'ve read a couple of them about 10 years ago, and last year I bought the first 3 (Magician/silverthorn/sethanon). I remember being quite impressed with the books when I read them the first time. This time, I quite liked Magician but didn't care much for the other two - they read like 'The adventures of Jimmy the Hand, Boy Wonder' to me.


if you use the quote button at the top of the post reply box it makes it easier to follow what you mean, check the "Ask Ponder" thread for more on how to do it

oh and Welcome to the site! :D
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:16 am

I suspect Wesllie was more interested in promoting his/her website which was in his/her signature than actually making and relevant posts.

I've disabled the signature for now and I doubt we'll see Wesllie again.

Wesllie if you are meaning to genuinely post here, please PM me.
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Re: Raymond E. Feist

Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:14 pm

kakaze wrote:Does anyone else here read Raymond E. Feist?

I like his books, but I must admit that my appreciation for them steadily declines as I progress through the series.


I started out Raving about them and yes, I too eventually got disenchanted.
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby kakaze » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:24 pm

Danny B wrote:
Feist & Wurts wrote:...at last Mara knew what it was to be a woman


Our heroine starts off as little more than a glorified servant with a dowry attached to her, she manages to survive an abusive relationship, restores the honour of her virtually disgraced House, outmanoeuvres her enemies in a political game that makes feudal Japan look like the race for class president in high school and generally shows herself to be a woman who can seriously kick ar- Ahem! Prod buttock. However... None of this is very fulfilling though, to be complete she needs to sleep with a big hairy white man. That makes perfect sense I suppo- Wait, what? :?


After thinking about this for a long time, I've formed the opinion that this "becoming a woman" was a purely sexual reference and had nothing to do with her abilities, intellect, or self-confidence.

The way I read it, it was simply the first thing that that she did just for her own pleasure.
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Postby Danny B » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:57 pm

***WARNING - The following posts contains sexual references and clumsy attempts at analysis of gender politics in fantasy literature, made by a man lacking in formal education.***

It just struck me as a ridiculously contrived and clichéd way to phrase it, is all.

A male protagonist can go through an entire series of novels without ever having sex and his masculinity never needs to be emphasised, yet so many novels about female protagonists (fantasy novels in particular are guilty of this) feel the need to emphasise the femininity of the lead character by giving her a really good orgasm at the hands of a supporting male character with a dominant personality, who refuses to let himself be brow-beaten or bullied by the otherwise powerful female protagonist.

Whether it's conscious and intentional from a given author or not, the implication is that a female character is incomplete until she's submitted herself to a man. A woman who's never done so is not truly a "woman", meaning that by inference everything up until this, I don't know what to call it... "Bonk of Sublimation"(?) was achieved by a mere girl. Real women submit themselves sexually to men with forceful personalities, rather than say... Deciding who they want and actively pursuing them. It turns the female lead from an active to a passive character and I felt that Mara deserved better treatment from her creators. How much of this is down to personal the beliefs of the author(s) and how much is down to... I hesitate to say bad, but certainly thoughtless writing, is something I can't speculate on.

The lack of such incidents is one of the many reasons I enjoy Pterry's work so much. I can't imagine any of the Witches, Angua, Susan, Adora, or even Polly Perkins having such a reaction to sex. Even with the love of their life ;)


Note: Please forgive my dragging of sexual politics into the thread. It's just a bugbear of mine in fantasy literature. It's as if feminism never happened, sometimes. Even though many authors who write this sort of thing are women.

Post-script to note: Yes, men can be feminists too. Even working class northern ones who never finished high school, like myself.
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