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Book three and the final book in Raymond E Feist's seminal fantasy classic series The Riftwar Series is A Darkness at Sethanon and it was first published in 1986.
Following on from the events in the previous book Silverthorn Murmandamus the dark elf is continuing with his assault on the kingdom of the isles.
Arutha the Prince of Krondor is the man fated by prophecy to be the only person capable of stopping him from destroying the entire world. Seizing the opportunity from a failed assassination attempt on his life Arutha fakes his own death so he can travel to murmandamus undetected. Murmandamus believing that Arutha is dead is now confident nothing can come in between him and his ultimate goal of reaching the town of Sethanon where a powerful ancient artefact is buried deep beneath the abandoned town. The artefact known as the lifestone is the most powerful object ever to exist and whoever has possession of the lifestone will have the power to destroy every living thing on the planet.
Pug the magician and Tomas the valerhu incarnate know that there is power acting behind Murmandamus and this power is the true threat. Even though they are the two most powerful people on the planet they cannot stop this unknown power so they embark on a quest to find Macros the black the powerful magician who saved the world in the first book. Lost and believed dead they travel both their own world and beyond it to alternative realities in their quest to find him and gain some answers to what it is they are facing.
The story climaxes with a major battle at Sethanon where the magical powers of Pug and Tomas are pitted against the magic of Murmandamus and the armies battle in a fight that will have consequences for the whole world of Midkemia.
A darkness at Sethanon really amps up the action bringing together loose threads from the previous books and answering many questions the reader has while setting up themes that will run throughout Raymond E Feists books for the next 25 years. The story is shared between Arthua and jimmy the hand's attempts to stop the armies of Murandamus and Pug and Tomas's search for Macros the black. The story is a true adventure by a writer who was clearly still dedicated to his story and is a stunning display of story telling. Again as in the previous book the story is not long enough to be an epic in the way magician was but it is by no means scant of pages coming in at a not so lightweight 528 pages, however i feel with this being the climax to the Riftwar series and there being so much to cover the book could have easily done with another couple of hundred pages. Due to the fact that it is just so damn enjoyable this would have been most welcomed by me.
I know this is controversial and might even be bordering on blasphemy but i believe Raymond E Feist's Riftwar series to be superior to the lord of the rings and Magician blows those books out of the water. A darkness at Sethanon is by no means as strong as Magician but taken in context with the previous two it makes for a thrilling series.
The characters of Pug, Arutha and Jimmy are some of my favourite characters ever to be written and this book is the end of their starring roles (except for Pug) and it is a bitter sweet experience re reading the books knowing that the characters to come in the following books will just be an inferior copy of them. Although these characters are front and centre of the book Feist does allow for the introduction of new characters some of which will pop up in later books.
Some of the set pieces are so brilliantly written i found it easy to be swept up in the adventure and i found myself literally flying through the book. Even though i had read the book before i was kept captivated and on the edge on my seat leading up to the final battle at Sethanon. The ending is magnificent a battle of both armies and magic and written so vividly that it was all so clearly imagined in my head. I'm surprised that a movie has yet to be made from these books as i could see them easily on the big screen.
For anyone interested in Raymond E Feist this would not be the book to jump into as there is so much backstory that will just confuse new readers so i urge them to read magician first but for fans of the previous books this is a great ending to a much loved series of books. It has everything that a classic fantasy novel should have and puts most modern fantasy writers to shame.
I realise that the enjoyment of books is subjective and you would probably need to enjoy fantasy books to want to read this but i honestly can't imagine anyone not falling in love with this series and it becoming one of their favourites just like it has become mine so i can personally highly recommend both A darkness at Sethanon and the entire Riftwar saga of books as a brilliant fantasy series that have rightly become classics of the genre.
Alright here we go. This is the best book I have ever read. I have only read two books and the last one was the bible so this is a vast improvement. Only messing. Its a good book though.
This is the climax to Feists Rifftwar saga. Its not the end because there are another two books to strech out the tale. But this is the book where the shiite hits the pan. The story starts off with Arutha and the boys all safely at home, doing whatever you can do without TV or Internet. Gosh imagine it? Then another assassin comes to town intent on killing Arutha. Arutha gets sick and tired of sitting at home waiting to be killed and instead decides to go kill the dark lord himself. This is a guy who rules over a large proportion of the Mikemia world and has loads of soldiers in his command, yet he deicdes if you want something done you gota do it yourself. So off he goes with few close friends and warriors for company. They get attacked and attacked and captured and lost on the wrong side of the mountains, on the enemy side where they have no refuge.
While this tale unravels so too does Pugs story, he along with Tomas, the most powerful person in the world including GOD himself, take on the challenge of finding Marcus the black. They look everywhere and I mean everywhere, here there even the place where dead people go.
Sethanon is the place where the final battle between good and evil takes place, its also a great place to do some Christmas shopping I hear. You have Pug and Thomas who will be looking to aid the fight whereever they can in a magical way. While Arutha leads an army of men, gathered from his flutter into enemy territory.
The story is riveting. The final battle was so good that I wanted to become a magician, the is no such thing as magician college so instead I joined the army. I loved this read, the author has built up all the characters so that you are really rooting for them in all the fights. I like the way that he moves developed characters into the background to let room for new more unknown figures to develop. This is the case with Jimmy and Locky, Jimmy is an old hand (Get it, the Hand -old Hand) he appeared in all the books to date and although still very young has been well developed. Locky is new to this book and Feist turns him into something Jimmy is not or could not become a cold-blooded killer.
This story is full of surprises and is very fast paced while at the same time very well described which is what you want. The ending is brilliant, Pug and Thomas steal the show, big time!
Previously, I hadn't read anything by Mr Fiest before and I had bought this book to store with my other books for a rainy day. But my younger brother got to it first and was so impressed that he urged me to read it instantly. Although I hadn't read the other parts of the saga, I easily caught on what was happening and I found this book to be totally mesmirising. I even had to get a second copy because the first was worn out by re-reading it again and again. The story itself is totally captivating and the power of the Valheru leaves you to wonder what ifs... I was in awe of Pugs ability and until today my brother and I argue if it is not the best series in my collection of over 120 books to date. The only word to use for Raymond E. Fiest work is 'Immortal'.
The final book of The Riftwar Saga. starting with Magician and continuing with Silverthorn, sees Raymond E Feist returning to form after the slight disappointment of Silverthorn. A Darkness at Sethanon is a direct follow up to Silverthorn, but sees the return of two of the major characters from Magician, Pug and Tomas. The lack of these two characters in Silverthorn was my main disappointment with his previous book. It's difficult to give an opinion on a book, without spoiling it for new readers, but Feist introduces some wonderful concepts with this book and as usual his charcters are well thought out and described, making you turn the page to find out what happens to them. If you've read Magician, then Silverthorn, you'll probably be getting this to finish off the series. If you've never read any book by Feist, then you'll enjoy Magician, be slightly disappointed with Silverthorn and be thrilled by this book, a triumphant finale to the Riftwar Saga.
Third book in the 'Riftwar Saga'.