A Darkness at Sethanon by Raymond E Feist is the third and final instalment of the Riftwar Saga. In it we have the final show down between Prince Arutha (aka The Lord of the West) and Murmandamus.
A year has passed since the Prince and his supporters defeated the Brotherhood of Darkness, and restored Princess Anita to full health. However, it is becoming evident that for the bad guys, that was simply a minor set back and that only defeat at an apparently pre-ordained time and place will decided the thing once and for all. The Prince, with some help from his friends manages to sneak out of Krondor and set off on his quest.
Meanwhile we catch-up with Pug who at the end of the previous was still in Kelewan, in search of help to defeat ‘The Enemy’, that he and the rest of the Assembly are convinced are ultimately behind the impending catastrophe set to befall the known (and unknown universe). After a year with the eldar cousins of the elves of Midkemia learning more about the nature of magic, he returns to his home world to team up with his childhood friend Tomas to search for Marcos the Black, a mission that will see them touring the universe on the back of a dragon learning more about themselves and coming to terms with their power.
The whole thing culminates in the final battle, that has been where we were headed all along.
If it sounds like I was underwhelmed by this book, that is true. After the first book, Magician, I was expecting much more. Magician after all is one of the best, and most rich and complex examples of the fantasy genres that I have read in a long while. However, while this does what you expect, the quest, the magic, the ultimate battle at the end, it fails to do much more than deliver the stock standard formula. The thing I loved most about the first book, was the incredible depth that was given the all the characters, and their relationships with each other. However, in this (and also in the second book), we rarely go much below the surface of any of the characters. Even the main characters have very little meat on them. As for the women, they are all but invisible, shunted off to some ‘safe’ corner of the story to be brought back at the end, when the blokes are finished saving the world, for a celebratory shag.
However, having said all that the book is okay, for what it is. Readers will be satisfied by the conclusion, with all the main threads tied up neatly. There is plenty in the way of action, blood and gore to keep things interesting and it isn’t an unpleasant way to pass the time.
- The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist (veronicam46.wordpress.com)