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What do you think of Feist?

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Horror Books' started by AlphaOmegaX, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. AlphaOmegaX

    AlphaOmegaX New Member

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    I read the first Magician book and loved it, even though I was terribly reminded of LOTR. I'm just asking as I think I'm actually going to trudge through the four part series for the first time...since I finished a series (hp)
     
  2. MagnaMater

    MagnaMater kickbox

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    And, you read them?

    I liked his co-production with Jenny Wurtz best, well, that's a question of taste, the rest was a bit too much like lord of the rings for me and not soo good, though, I still wait for reading serpent war, it sounds better
     
  3. Mathius

    Mathius Member

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    If you feel like you have to "trudge" through it, maybe it's not for you.

    I keep saying the phrase "too much like lord of the rings" thrown around for SO many fantasy authors, I just have to question anymore just what makes a book so much like LotR? There was no Gandalf in "magician" unless you count Kulgan and you find out he's really not all that talented in the long run. No Aragorn, unless you want to try and compare Tomas, but once you get further in the series you'll find out that Tomas is no simple king. There's no object of power, unless you count Tomas armor. The quest is nothing like LotR. There's certainly no Gollum. Where are you getting your comparison? Or did I misunderstand something here?

    Anyways, I highly recommend the majority of his books. He's a very, very good author, and he's great at developing new characters, but if you didn't really care for Magician, then maybe he's just not for you.

    But he has some designs in his books that far outstripe what Tolkien did, such as the hall of worlds, the designation of the Gods and the theology behind them (although truthfully I didn't delve too deeply into the Simarillion so I may be off on that comparison), and the complexity of his stories.

    Mathius
     
  4. MagnaMater

    MagnaMater kickbox

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    To me the characters that carry through the story are rather unimportant (across the fantasy it's mainly schemata BORE: naive boy leaving home, having adventures, is getting cleverer and going to have the good job and the girl in the end). Since there's hardly anything interesting out there on the hero-front, I'm interested in the places these things happen in, and the geographic and philosophical background of the adventures they have.

    Tolkien means the world-feel, not the characters. Tolkien is norse/medieval midgard-setting.

    I as fantasy reader prefer reading about the worlds and if they seem to be 'originally' invented by the autor. Midkemia (I read mid-hemia) gave me the feeling as if would walk through middle-earth with it's norse/middle-age setting, most of the time. The japonese Rift-part is best, and that's why I look forward to the serpent war, that promises real difference.

    The Midkemia on the hero side of the rift is boring, because it's middle-aged middle-earth, and we had that better with the original Tolkien, the same monsters run around, the same species, the same way of characterizing species, the same social structures, the religion (I remember to have thought somewhere in Feist Valar - and that was the end of religious discussion to me, then), the same sort of hero-material (Pug is actually the Bilbo-type of character to me, and the main reason for my disgrace towards him, the other boy is an Aragorn-refresh, I'm bored with) Worst was the woodelf-part: on their border the reader reads the roadsign 'Lothlorien'...

    I read fantasy for meeting the non-human characters, and though I like tolkien-elves I want read about elfs and orcs in non-tolkien-books in a non-tolkien way.

    Even Bernhard Hennen's Elf-chronicles with their tolkien setting (medieval/norse, same species, same characterisation of species, theme of elf-world and human world parting, reborn elfs, Galadriel-uuups-Emerelle sealing the last Alben-star-paths that were the only method to travel between the shards of the broken world) is different, because it is a world tipping over to renaissance and has a religious/demonic church and its inquisition and two rivalising knight-orders battling against and destroying elf-magic as main theme.

    To english readers better known is RA Salvatore who clearly plays on Ungolianth-besotted Moriquendi, but he made at least Drizzt special, the rest is known norse/medieval middle-earth.

    Susanne Gerdom's Elfs seem to live in a medieval midgard on first few: then you walk into the wood with a lothlorien feeling and end up astonished: their culture, dressing and behaviour is absolutely un-tolkien: they dress in a mixture between japonese and baroque style, their court-life is Louis XIV - (or rather XVI, ere beheading), their founding fathers were born out of trees and many have the interesting job of tree-singer (You sing to a tree you want a spoon, chair, box and the tree grows a spoon, chair, box and drops it off... and they sing trees into buildings, too) and her idea about elf-twins being one in black the other in white and their irrational way of splitting people by colour that leads to the central split-conflict is absolutely un-middle-earth - when you go in the book, cross the sandsea in search for the dark elves in their rift valley with the heroes, you're really somewhere you've never ever been before...(asides, that you have among the heroes a certain portugese football-player featured as half-elf Lluis, that gives the whole a terrific weird dimension)

    Heide Solveig Göttner has in her fantasy trilogy a bronze age setting with satyrs/fauns as main fantasy-species and a chinese-sounding 'tau-arrow-shooting' like your common middle-earth-elf seems to posess, there is nothing Tolkien in it...

    Trudy Canavan's Age of Five is to english readers a perhaps better known example: The somewhat greek/roman/egyptian setting of the world and the magical/philosophical surrounding of the heroes is as un-middle-earth/un-Tolkien as something can possibly be...

    That is, what I understand as Tolkien and Un-Tolkien

    In writing this I'm having a dejavue all the time - haven't I said the same in some other thread here, or was that in the discussion about boring tolkieniesque medieval fantasy settings on büchereule.de?
     
  5. MagnaMater

    MagnaMater kickbox

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    I waited too long for posting the correction:
    In Susanne Gerdom's Elfs you read elfs, think elves, enter what you think to be Lothlorien, first, and when you get over the astonishing japonese-baroque setting, you realize you're actually facing a species more like classical greek dryades.
     
  6. Mathius

    Mathius Member

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    You're entitled to your opinion, but I find a flaw in your argument. You argue that the setting is what makes you say that it's Tolkien-like, but then your main evidence of this is the portrayal of the elves? Aren't the elves characters? And isn't their home a part of their culture? But it's not worth arguing about to me. Sure there are elves, and half elves, and like most elves they live in trees and live longer than humans, but it's a reach to say the Panthion serpents or the Tigermen have any place in Tolkien lore. But again I never got too much into the Silmarillion so I could be wrong.

    If you want to talk about setting, Midkemia is only a starting point. You have the whole of Great Kesh which you haven't explored yet, not to mention the new continent of Novindus where you will find elves who live in the desert, and pigmy-like warriors who hide in the grass. Demons will make their appearances, as well as the Praying Mantis-like Saur warriors. Last but not least, all of that is rather mundane when compared to the alternative dimension where the Dasati live.

    Again, forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you, but you have a long way to go with this author before you get upset because his elves live in trees.

    Mathius
     
  7. MagnaMater

    MagnaMater kickbox

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    As I said: I got setting-bored half way through Magician. I understood it's been his first book, and one can hardly expect much originality, when a less daring publisher wants to sell a known story; but I continued through the Riftwar where the midkemis-side of the world never turned alien and I red two of the books that play in Kesh-part, and that also fitted in the idea Tolkien gives of 'oriental/arabian' black Numenoreans.
    His idea of gods for any reason bored me too, though I cannot remember why.

    Yet, as said before - I've not gone into the serpent war and have not crossed any tigers (wait - wasn't Sauron in the first age on his island originally surrounded by panther-headed / bigcatmorphing servants, ere they were changed into wargs?) and pygmies so far, but certainly I will, and if I find something new there, the impression Feist gave me at the beginning of his storywriting as less interesting epigon to Tolkien will - obviously - be changed.

    At the moment my fantasy-interest is more with Abercrombie and Rothfuss-settings, but when I'm up to snakes again I'll return to Feist
     
  8. Mathius

    Mathius Member

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    Sounds to me like you've got way more knowledge and detail in your head than the average Tolkien reader, and that could be why you're finding so many comparisons. <shrug> All the stuff that I mentioned about feist comes out to the casual reader, but the black numenoreans and panther-headed servants of Sauron? Those seem like minor details in the LotR trilogy. I don't even remember any servants of Sauron, but I'll take your word for it.

    Mathius
     
  9. Bassel

    Bassel kickbox

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    I don't think, I read simply, because it's amazing
     
  10. Fungus Amongus

    Fungus Amongus New Member

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    I would say that if you have read magaician and enjoyed then you definitely try and read some more of Feist's books. I originally started from reading Talon of the Silverhawk (part of the Conclave of Shadows trilogy) and enjoyed it so much went back to the beginning and read from the start. I've found that the best trilogies are the Conclave of Shadows, the Darkwar Saga and the Empire trilogy (co-written with Janny Wurts). I hope this helps.
     

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