Wednesday, June 02, 2010
At the Gates of Darkness by Raymond E. Feist
With Magician, Raymond E Feist created a stunning world rife with potential, but the latest instalment, "At the Gates of Darkness", takes about half a book just to get everyone up to date with all his characters. As a reader I don't need character arcs that are completely unrelated to the plot -- however cool they were the first time round.
Of course if you've read many, most or all of the previous books, this is a great re-union, and on the plus side it does star demon-fighting good guys with shady pasts. The elf brothers sneaking through demon country were great -- and if only Raymond had focussed more on them, and less on Pug and that cast of "old favourites", it would have been a better story. One of the reasons his collaboration "Daughter of the Empire" series with Janny Wurts worked so well, was that although some of Raymond's characters popped up on occasion, but they didn't get in the way of the plot, stomp all over it and.... no, I wont give away the ending, but you can probably guess.
It's also a shame that like many other long-running series, some of the simple charm struggling to break through the story is overwhelmed by the huge and unbelievable forces arrayed against the protagonists -- and the huge and unbelievable resources they have to fight back with.
Review by Alicia Ponder