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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly strategic
"Rise of a Merchant Prince" is exactly what the title portrays it to be: the rise of Roo from a common person (who narrowly escaped a death sentence in the previous book and was merely friend to Erik whilst off soldiering in Novindus) to the one of the richest people in Krondor.
Roo's tale is captivating and a refreshing change in the world of Midkemia...
Published on June 15 2001 by Phome

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocore
This book is a far cry from the empire series. While the main plot (the story of Roo) deserves respect (its nice to see someone write about the importance of economics in a fantasy novel), the various su-plots are just thrown haphazardly into the novel. The characters are almost all uni-dimensional and cardboard (with the exception of Roo). This is especially...
Published on June 24 1998


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4.0 out of 5 stars Integrated, Surprising, and Behavioral, Sept. 19 2003
By 
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
It might be true that whoever reads Shadow Of A Dark Queen will be somewhat disappointed by how slow things go in Rise Of A Merchant Prince, but the book nonetheless is far from 'below average.' Though some fantasy fans demand an all-action-24/7 set of novels, I believe Feist, as a writer, did very well in adding the aspects of the human daily life in a world of extreme fantasy and adventure.
Rupert Avery, who's a gap-filling character in Shadow Of A Dark Queen, came surprisingly alive in Rise Of A Merchant Prince. His struggle with Tim Jacoby, his dedication to becoming 'the' richest man in Krondor, his struggle with himself over his wife, Karli; one day seeing some beauty in her and the other day he can't stand her. His lust for Sylvia, the stunningly beautiful mistress and finally his loyalty to the Kingdom as to leave his business and go rescue his boyhood friend. . .all that came together very well, forming a great book, leaving you anticipating the sequel.
Do not miss this one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different Feist novel that sets you up for Book 3, June 24 2003
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
RISE OF A MERCHANT PRINCE is the 2nd book in the Serpentwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist. It continues with Roo going into business while Erik continues serving in the military.
The novel switches Points of View between the two (Roo and Erik), but much of the focus is on Roo and his rise as a merchant prince. Unfortunately, this very rise to power comes with its ups and downs. Luckily, the skills he picked up in SHADOW OF A DARK QUEEN comes in handy.
I wasn't disappointed with the more technical aspects of the book. Business and Krondor Commerce comes to the fore and the usual fighting/magic gets sent a little back. Don't get discouraged, this is anything but a boring read. Be warned that fantasy fans expecting what they saw in SHADOW might be a little disappointed by the change of pace. However, don't skip this book because it sets you up for the greatness of RAGE OF A DEMON KING.
If you liked the intrigue and subtleties of Feist's EMPIRE TRILOGY, then you will easily get into RISE OF A MERCHANT PRINCE. It is very elemental to the SERPENTWAR SAGA, and fans of RIFTWAR will be happy with the appearance of old favorites like Pug, Tomas, and Jimmy the Hand. There is also a lot of Nakor in the SERPENTWAR SAGA, so if you enjoyed PRINCE OF THE BLOOD, you'll also appreciate RISE OF A MERCHANT PRINCE.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly strategic, June 15 2001
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
"Rise of a Merchant Prince" is exactly what the title portrays it to be: the rise of Roo from a common person (who narrowly escaped a death sentence in the previous book and was merely friend to Erik whilst off soldiering in Novindus) to the one of the richest people in Krondor.
Roo's tale is captivating and a refreshing change in the world of Midkemia. Feist, in showing the commercial side of Midkemia, portrays a maturity rarely found in the fantasy world. It completes Midkemia like no other adventure story could have. Roo's financial exploitives are realistic and believable, and Barnett's is more than another name to the reader - although I still don't pretend to understand options and futures, despite Feist's portrayal.
Erik also continues to mature (in the military world) in this book and we are reacquainted with members of the Royal family and other favourites from Feist's first series.
Strategically speaking, this book is brilliant: it definitely sets the stage for more: you just know that something (bad) has to happen to Roo's wealth, or at least to his marriage ... Roo's mistress, Sylvia (daughter of the other richest person in Krondor), has him completely wrapped around his finger. If all else fails, there's always the impending war by the Saaur or the mysterious third dark player ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Feist shows his literary prowess, June 30 1998
By 
J. Rowan (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
When I first started reading this book, I was very put off by the subject. It seemed to be some sort of economic thesis, not at all in the vein of the first book in the series. But as I read on, I slowly became more and more enthralled, eventually reading for six hours straight to finish the book.

This is the second book in a four book cycle. The first, 'Shadow of a Dark Queen,' concentrated on more standard sword and sorcery fare, introducing us to two youths and following one, Eric von Darkmoor, on his adventures in a foreign land.

In 'Rise of the Merchant Prince,' we follow the second youth, Roo Avery, on his quest for economic dominance in the land of Midkemia. Roo himself is not a very likeable character. He marries a woman he finds unattractive and doesn't love for money, finds himself a mistress, engages in smuggling, and has a somewhat low sense of ethics. He reminds me of Thomas Covenant, Stephen Donaldson's leper character who was transported to a fantasy setting from Earth.

When you first start reading this book you are prone to say, "So? What do I care if this jerk gets rich?" It is only when viewed as the second part in a four part play that the importance of this novel truly shines. Feist again shows that he is THE master of fantasy, with well thought out characters, a wonderful setting, and enough technical know-how to come across as if he was standing in the city of Krondor, recording the actions as they unfold.

The only down side to the series is the fact that I am starting to experience deja vu. In 'A Darkness at Sethanon,' 'The King's Bucaneer,' and now 'The Serpentwar Saga' the stories are all somewhat similar. Fortunately, the differences in the stories make up for any repetitiveness and they all seem fresh.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocore, June 24 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is a far cry from the empire series. While the main plot (the story of Roo) deserves respect (its nice to see someone write about the importance of economics in a fantasy novel), the various su-plots are just thrown haphazardly into the novel. The characters are almost all uni-dimensional and cardboard (with the exception of Roo). This is especially distressing in the case of Calis and Miranda who occupy critical roles in the story but are internalized in no way whatsoever. More imporatantly, the prelude (of the demon) and the conclusion (again, a demon) are obviously preludes to a The Rage of the Demon King, but hardly contribute to the tension in this story. Feist would have been better off is he had focued the story solely on Roo and held off the revelations of the last part of the novel until The Rage of the Demon King. I am inclined to agree with readers that Feist is loosing his touch. The Empire novels possessed a depth in plot and especially characterization which is absent in this series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Feist like he used to be., Dec 3 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
Largely Entertaining.
Rise, continues the adventures of Roo and Erik after returning from their trip to Novindus.
With a strong warning from Duke James to remain silent about his experiences in Novindus -
as well as a sizeable bonus - Roo leaves His Highness' service
to begin finding his fortune. After a disasterous first venture in
Wine brokerage, Eoo finds himself in the cutthroat world of High Stakes commodity trading.
Meanwhile Erik joins Calis for another dangerous mission to
Novindus and the home of the Pantathian serpent people. Where
they find indications of yet another evil, and this one has begun
killing the serpents themselves?

Like SILVERTHORN in the first series, this book serves to widely
foreshadow, what is yet to come. Introducing several new charcters - Including Duke James 2 grown grandsons -
and catching us up on others, the book is a wonderfull adventure from beginning to end.
For me, I can't wait for Rage of a demon king to come out. Where Mr. Feist has
promised even more surprises.
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4.0 out of 5 stars We get to read a book about a whole person for a change!, Nov. 13 2000
By 
"bobbywm" (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
The thing that makes me recommend this book so highly is that Feist begins to fully develop Roo as a person (and one that we may not particularly care for at first glance). I won't give away the plot, but we see in Roo a completely rounded person. Roo struggles with the decisions that we all have to make everyday in our lives. He doesn't always make the most noble or even the best decisions. God knows, in my life, I haven't; so, who am I to judge? After reading this book, I had to keep reminding myself of that fact; that's what made the story so real and believable, seeing parts of ourselves (those parts we are proud of as well as those parts we never want others to even know about) in the lives of the characters. This type of writing is what made the earlier works so outstanding. Unfortunately, he seems to have strayed from this in some of his later work. I hope that this shows that Feist is returning to this style of writing and I hope he sticks with it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good and different, June 18 2000
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
Although this book might disappoint some fantasy fans, I think Feist did a remarkable job in portraying a story about someone who is not a very glamorous character. When I was reading Shadow of a Dark Queen, Roo seemed to be just a character to fill in the gaps, since he was small, ugly, and seemingly without talent. While reading Merchant, I found the way Feist wrote of him quite refreshing as he is neither all bad or all good, but a very well-rounded character. Good to see a few non-royalty characters who don't have everything at their disposal (although I do enjoy reading about the con Doin's). The entire business side of the story was interesting as it dealt with more of the inner workings of Krondor.
I will have to say that the ending of this seemed fairly abrupt and a little convenient, but overall I was pleased and the book didn't finish all problems, leaving some of them to be solved in later books.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Short Advance., April 17 2000
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
As the title suggests, Rise of a Merchant Prince is primarily about Roo Avery. Much of the first novel is about Erik, though Roo is there in most of the novel. To me 'Rise' has many plot twists that are too convient and sudden: Erik suddenly pulled out of the main story, Roo's father in law's murder, and even the ending. In terms of advancing the plot in the series, maybe a third of the novel is devoted to it. It felt like the novel took awhile to really go and when it did, it barely went anywhere. The ending feels very arbitrary and unnatural. While I plan on reading the rest of the series, I can only hope they are better than this one. Roo is a more complicated character than most of Feist's characters in having a different set of morals than most of his usual characters that are usually easy to guess their actions. I have to give Fiest credit for trying new things with his characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It was okay...Minor exlusions but still good., July 4 2001
By 
Kathy1200 (Somewhere in Seatle, sleepless.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rise Of A Merchant Prince (Mass Market Paperback)
It was okay, but it really didn't have enough action. That and Roo is one of my least favorite characters. It *did* give Calis something like a personality, though. In Shadow, Calis was something of a mystery, even to me, the Elf-fan. The fact that Feist allowed Calis to show some emotion was good. I like the way Feist has made Nakor, one of my other favorite characters, the grand adviser to all. It wasn't fair when he killed of De Loungeville, because I read the book twice and couldn't figure out when and where the piece of the rib started sticking him. It bugged me that Calis kept looking to Miranda, but then, I dislike Miranda. And Feist seems to be putting more and more adult content in his books. "...my need is great..." from Aglaranna in Magician:Master was okay, but now this?! The guy needs to get off of his sex tangent for crying out loud!! On the majority, it was all right.
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Rise Of A Merchant Prince
Rise Of A Merchant Prince by Raymond E Feist (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 1 1996)
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