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Favorite fantasy authors: Raymond Feist
I'm not a compulsive fantasy reader. I judge fantasy by the same
criteria I use for any writing, and I think a lot of it is pretty
So it takes something pretty special to get me to read that
sword and sorcery stuff. For me, Feist's work is as visceral,
compelling, and creative as a lot of straight literature. His
characters are believable, they grow (or rot) in realistic ways,
and his plots surprise me.
- The Midkemia series starts with a tightly coupled four-volume
series: Magician: Apprentice;
Magician: Master (the first two volumes
are combined in some editions as just Magician);
and A darkness at Sethanon. Great literature,
don't be put off by its presence in the SF racks.
- There are two sequels in the Midkemia series that
could be read on their own:
Prince of the Blood and
The King's Buccaneer. The latter is
a transition to a new series, starting with
Shadow of a Dark Queen, but I'm waiting
for the rest of these to come out before I start them.
- The Kelewan series sort of branches off the Midkemia
series; Feist co-wrote these wonderful books with Janny
Wurts. So far they include
Daughter of the Empire,
Mistress of the Empire, and
Servant of the Empire. There is a moment
in the middle of the first book that I'd say compares with
Aeschylus for intensity and pathos. Thus does great
literature grow from humble roots: I heard a rumor that
this series grew out of Feist's roleplaying campaign in
the Empires of the Petal Throne gaming system.
- Faerie Tale is a grim but fascinating take
on the faerie folk of Europe. As creepy and atmospheric
as Bradbury's immortal
Something wicked this way comes.
Next: Favorite fantasy authors: Evangeline Walton
See also: Shipman's reading list: fantasy and ``soft SF''
Previous: Favorite fantasy authors: R. A. MacAvoy
John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 1996/01/21 20:13:37