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Brendan Tucker (Dunwoody, GA USA)

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Krondor the Betrayal:: Book One of the Riftwar Legacy
Krondor the Betrayal:: Book One of the Riftwar Legacy
by Raymond E. Feist
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.32
64 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, Dec 2 2002
I have come to expect great things from Raymond Feist.
I've lost track of the number of times I've read the Riftwar series. The Empire series written with Janny Wurtz was outstanding. I loved Faire Tale. The Serpentwar Saga, while presenting a protagonist I dispised, was at least as well written as any of his other books. Then I picked up Krondor the Betrayal.
I usually try not to think of my favorite artists doing so, but it seems to me that Feist cranked this out to make a quick buck.
This book was conceived as a video game before being turned into a novel, and it shows. Anyone who's ever played a computer role playing game will immediately recgonize the format of this book. The "story" consists of the main characters following the traditional RPG script of meeting someone at Point A, delivering something to or retrieving something from Point B, then going to Point C to repeat the process.
Feist's richly detailed descriptions, which allowed me to clearly see Castle Crydee or the Great Ones at their Academy, is absent. What's left are bland two-dimensional cutouts, even (and especially) of people and places that leapt off the pages of his other books.
Plot contrivences which allow the (game's) main characters to succeed where the novels' most powerful individuals fail abound. This is to be expected in the original context, but lacks more than a little something when converted to the written word.
The only thing that kept me from giving this one star, not to mention what kept me reading it, is the hope that the following two books are actually novels, not re-hashed video game scripting.

by Raymond Chandler
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.96
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.95

3.0 out of 5 stars An Unfortunate Finish, March 26 2002
This review is from: Playback (Paperback)
If not my very favorite author, Raymond Chandler is up in the top five. Which is why I loath to rate this book as I do.
The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye were masterworks in Noir literature. The imagery in The Lady in the Lake and Farwell, My Lovely drew you in.
Playback, sadly, is but a shadow of the greats it followed. Shallow images, a not quite transparent plot, and well established characters acting, well, out of character. Marlowe burns a few bridges in this final novel (I've read Poodle Springs, and that wasn't Marlowe), and I think Chandler knew the end was near.
Whenever I get the urge to slip back into Marlowe's trenchcoat (and those urges come often), I still read the series all the way through. But this book is like a ride home from Disneyland: It's a necessary part of the journey, but the one you look forward to the least.

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