Review of A KINGDOM BESIEGED by Raymond E. Feist
Harper Voyager, April 2011
The demon kingdoms are falling apart, eaten from within by the void. Rather than being reborn, those demons who confront the void vanish. With the collapse of order, a female demon child tries to learn magic, skill and strength to survive, but survival also requires that she find another plane...someplace far from the void.
The Empire of Great Kesh gave up its claim to the scantly inhabited lands of the far north centuries ago. And the intelligence services of The Kingdom, led by Jimmy Jamison, those of Roldem, even those of Kesh itself, see no reason why Kesh should attempt to re-claim these long-abandoned lands. Yet, suddenly, vast armies that simply shouldn't exist are attacking... and bringing with them farmers, merchants, settlers hoping for land.
In the west of The Kingdom, young conDoin princes must face the overwhelming forces of Kesh after being completely fooled by the attack. Meanwhile, even Pug, on sorcerer's island, is caught by surprise by this new war which threatens to weaken the only two nations that have a chance of standing against the invading demons.
Author Raymond E. Feist (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy by Feist) launches a new series in his Riftwar cycle with A KINGDOM BESIEGED. Familiar characters from earlier novels make their appearance (most notably Pug and his son Magus) while Feist brings in a new generation with their own issues, romantic problems, and ambitions. The collapse of demon civilization and the threat to the demon race adds a new dimension to Feist's story. Demons have been at the core of many of the problems faced in the Riftwar saga. Now, they're seen to be a symptom of some greater danger. Yet, the demon lords have nearly destroyed all life on the planet. Against an enemy these fearsome demon lords cannot face, what chance have the human (and elf) inhabitants?
Feist creates an engaging story with young characters that will appeal to new fantasy readers, as well as the return of many favorites for old fans. KINGDOM is the first book in a series, and it poses more questions than it resolves. In doing so, it certainly whet my appetite for more.
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