With all the web work currently on my head, I don’t have time to read as much as I want to. Actually, I didn’t read a single line in more than a month. And I’m one book away from completing the opus of Raymond E. Feist (published up to now).
Ray wrote dozens of novels about the fantasy world called Midkemia which resembles Earth in a great deal. It all starts with The Riftwar Saga, with Elfs and Dwarves (very similar to Tolkien’s), as well as demons, giants, trolls, many races of mens, wizards, goblins and other wonderfull characters and races. After reading all that Tolkien ever wrote, I find that Raymond comes very, very close.
Tolkien wrote with great detail, created languages and history for his races. While not that thorough, Raymond offers incredible story-telling depth. With each novell (or better said, with each cycle of novells) his worlds are offering more, and deeper secrets, that were only hinted in the previous books, are revealed. Something Tolkien never really got to (I wish he could live 5 centuries).
You won’t find a better fantasy world today. Of all the books Raymond wrote, I have few favorites. Rage of the Demon King, 3rd part of Serpentwar Saga is my highlight. Featuring almost all of the characters of the previous books, it gives answers to many questions raised in previous ones, good deal of characters that spaned several books dies, and everything falls apart. And rises. Still gives me thrills.
In colaboration with Janny Wurts, he wrote Empire trilogy, a master-piece in story development. Ray’s first trilogy, published in first half of the 80’s deals with Midkemia people being attacked by unknown nation from another planet called Tsuranni. In those books, we only get a glimpse of invader’s strange culture.
In Empire, published in the mid-90’s, we get to see the other side. These books are solely based on Tsuranni and other fantastic races on this world, with astonishing connection points to moments described in the Riftwar saga. Janny’s books are next on my fantasy target list.
I hope I will find time to read The King’s Buccaneer soon, and start digging through The Wars of Light and Shadow…