Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The King's Buccaneer by Raymond E. Feist

I think I am running out of reviews for fantasy books that pretty much consist of "I liked but didn't love it." This is better written than most of the ones I've been writing about, and the plot at least takes the quest of a motley crew someplace reasonably new, but at its heart, it's another "unlikely companions go on a quest for something." Again, if I hadn't read so much fantasy recently, that would roll off my back.

But it's fun. Prince Nicholas and his best friend and squire Harry are sent off to his uncle's castle, just in time for his uncle's holdings to be attacked and people massacred. While they're off at a hunt. It's a little embarrassing. Plus, a bunch of people are taken by slavers, including the woman he has a crush on, and his cousin.

So Nicholas, with Harry, a cousin who doesn't like him, a cousin who is half-elf, the admiral of the King's fleet who is about to marry his grandmother, a mediocre magician, a great magician who insists it's "just tricks," a warrior, a female streetrat thief, a bunch of sailors, and later, a few other people, go after them.

And endure shipwrecks, deserts, and eventually, the evil that can be released by lizard people.

This is well written fantasy, by someone who knows what they're doing. But at the same time, reading it when I did, it didn't bring anything really new to the party. I know this series has been around for a while, and there are interesting elements of unknown evils. (The royal politics I found a bit unbelievable. And the "you'll heal only if you want to heal" was of the variety of positive thinking bullshit that makes me go ballistic. These are quibbles.) It's worth a try, when you're looking for a fantasy in the classic vein.

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