Book Review: A Darkness at Sethanon (The Riftwar Saga #4) by Raymond E. Feist

A Darkness at Sethanon

An evil wind blows through Midkemia. Dark legions have risen up to crush the Kingdom of the Isles and enslave it to dire magics. The final battle between Order and Chaos is about to begin in the ruins of the city called Sethanon.

Now Pug, the master magician sometimes known as Milamber, must undertake an awesome and perilous quest to the dawn of time to grapple with an ancient and terrible Enemy for the fate of a thousand worlds.

Title: A Darkness at Sethanon

Author: Raymond E. Feist

ISBN13: 9780553263282

More Info on Goodreads

My Review:

Dragons, the breaking of space-time continuum and bedchamber pleasures.

’nuff said.

The author pulled out all the stops in this finale. How do I describe his imagination without sounding cliche? Fertile, inventive, fantastical or incredible? All apply, yet they don’t seem to capture what I felt when reading the details and complex histories of races or the backstories of some characters.

The ultimate battle between good versus evil. For me this was more of good vs evil as a concept and not necessarily a person even though evil manifests as a moredhel. I found myself rooting for the good guys but not hating the evil, like I hated say, Joffrey from Game of Thrones. I knew this evil was capable of bad things and witnessed it throughout the story, but I felt like I wasn’t allowed to get too close and interact more with him. My hatred wasn’t being fed, so to speak. So I hated the concept, but not necessarily the moredhel. Towards the end, I realized why I was kept in the dark.

Murmandamus is back and bringing together a massive army against the Kingdom. We had good guys: a Prince, Dukes and squires battling some really evil dudes.

Giants and goblins and trolls! Oh my!

We even had The Dragon Lords, which should not be confused with The Lords of Flatbush; the former being the nastiest of the nasties.

This story sees the return of some old friends and foes. It does slow down for a bit, but for the most part it is action packed. There are twists, surprises and just when you thought you’d get a break, the conflict is ratcheted up a notch.

The trouble I had with this is one that was introduced to me in the last book; spelling and grammatical errors. They were driving me nuts: Thomas-Tomas, hie-his, to-too and starting a sentence with lowercase letters were just a few of the mistakes that I happened upon that nudged me out of the story. There were also a slight printing issue where the last letter was cut off of a few lines – obviously not the author’s fault, but caused me to pause to determine whether ‘Severa Armengarians attempted to close the pavilion’ referred to a fighting clan of Armengarians (nope, just several).

While I love the cast of characters in this saga, there were too many and not enough pages to involve all of them in this story. Some were involved minimally and others, vicariously. I’m seeing the same thing in The Walking Dead on AMC.

FYI: Vegans. Horses and dragons are used in the service of men and some die. Dragons are sent off to hunt for food and being meatasauruses … well you get the picture.

This is a complex story. It is also an enjoyable one. If you’ve managed to read through Magician, then read the rest… Finish The Riftwar Saga series. This is worthy of a reread even as I continue with the next book in The Riftwar Cycle.

4.5/5 Stars

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