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....
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Simon on 30-04-18
An Old Master Returns in Classic Style!
I spent many very happy hours with Feist's books when I was younger, the Riftwar Cycle was among my favourites but I'll be the first to admit that I believe the follow-ups just took it too far and I lost touch with it all. The call of a brand new set of Feisty characters in a brand new Feisty world was never something I was going to resist for long though.
You can't judge a full epic series by the first book but this looks hugely promising if you're in the mood for classic style epic fantasy. It says much that the prologue for this one lasts over an hour. Feist is building this world and its characters patiently with both being given equal precedence.
In truth if you're looking for something with a real modern edge you won't find it it here, there is no contemporary fantasy feel to the world or characters that say an Abercrombie or Sanderson might bring. It's just good old-fashioned stuff like we've seen from Feist before. I'm more than happy with that personally but if you're not of that mindset then this might prove a frustrating way to spend almost 19 hours.
I've also heard a lot of David Thorpe's narration though mostly in thrillers where he is very good. This being fantasy I wasn't sure he would be ideal for this. As it turns out this is probably one of the best performances that I've heard from him and he demonstrates a surprisingly wide range of character voices.
Feist is an old master doing what he does best but the only major new ground he is breaking is the new setting and characters. He isn't trying to challenge the new leading lights in contemporary fantasy but this series looks set to be a genuinely epic fantasy in classic Feist style. If that idea floats your boat just grab an oar and jump in!
27 of 27 people found this review helpful
By Kindle Customer on 09-05-18
couldn't get into it
as much as I love reading raymond feist and as much as I love Audio books I just couldn't get into this. I'm sure that this is another great book from RF but this is the first time I've had to stop listening to an audio book as I'm afraid the narrator was just dull and unintersting.
it could just be me and others may love it
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kjetil Gurvin Tvedt on 07-05-18
Once in a blue moon a book like this arrives.
The last time I read something this well written and exciting was when Rothfuss published The name of the wind. You’re sucked straight into this world from the beginning and it’s hard to put it away. I could not stop listening to it besides a little forced sleep. Well done Raymond E Feist!
Top notch narrator! I’m really looking forward to the sequel of this masterpiece!