Silverthorn by Raymond E. Feist

So this is quite a different book than Magician, much more ‘traditional’ quest fantasy.

Arutha has been targeted for assassination by an unknown group and so himself Jimmy the Hand, Laurie and Martin (and assorted others who come and go) investigate who’s behind it and from a certain event they are forced to go to the deep North to find a special item. Along the way they learn more about their enemy and realise that it could have an even greater effect on their world than the Tsurani.

The story moved well enough but it definitely suffered a bit compared to Magician. What I love about Magician is its epic scope playing out all over the place, through numerous characters over ten years. Silverthorn is much more linear, a straight walk through of events over a short amount of time. Feist begins his love in of assassins and thieves and honestly I’ve never quite loved it as much as he seems to.

We met Jimmy briefly in the first book but it’s here that one of Feist’s most iconic characters comes into his own. For some reason I had always pictured him in these books as around twelve but I think he’s closer to fifteen/sixteen which makes his actions somewhat more believable, he had a very tough upbringing to put it mildly. All the other characters are pretty much the same as the last book, don’t look for any major character development here. Pug is also in it a bit, his is by far the most interesting part and I wish there was more time spent with him. I don’t think we had a POV from him until around the half way part.

The book suffers from the fairly prosaic plot (apart form the Pug sections). All that happens is that they rumble around Krondor for a while and then head north and back again. That’s pretty much it with lots of random monsters of the week chucked in, and the odd assassin, villainous enemy etc. Compared to the convoluted nature of the first book it definitely suffers. I did enjoy this book but there were a few parts that definitely felt a bit drawn out. The prose is ordinary and nothing really stood out, though he is good at setting scene and atmosphere.

This is really a three star read but bumped up to four for nostalgia’s sake.

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