Raymond E. Feist was born and raised in Southern California. He was educated at the University of California, San Diego, where he graduated with honours in Communication Arts. He is the author of many titles, including the bestselling and critically acclaimed 'Riftwar' saga. Feist lives in Sante Fe.
A usual problem with sequels‘that they don't measure up to the original‘applies to this follow-up to Shadow of a Dark Queen, which also suffers from unexpectedly stodgy prose and a paucity of action. Focusing on Rupert Avery's rise to power and influence in the mercantile class of the City of Krondor, the narrative follows ``Roo'' as he forms a business alliance with a merchant, Helmut Grindle, whose daughter, Karli, he marries for a multitude of reasons, none of which is love. Roo begins an affair of sorts with the nasty and calculating Sylvia Easterbrook but also manages to have two children with Karli. Meanwhile, his friend and compatriot Erik von Darkmoor travels back down to the land of Novindus to battle the Pantathians (the serpents referred to in the subtitle). Throughout, the pacing is slow and the characters less than persuasive. While Feist sows enough interesting seeds here to redeem this series in its next (and final) installment, this volume is up to neither snuff nor par. (Nov.)
Praise for Raymond E. Feist: 'File under guilty pleasure' Guardian 'Get in at the start of a master's new series' Daily Sport 'Well-written and distinctly above average... intelligent... intriguing.' Publishers Weekly ' Epic scope...vivid imagination...a significant contribution to the growth of the field of fantasy.' Washington Post