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Shadow of a dark queen / Raymond E. Feist.

By: Feist, Raymond E.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Serpentwar saga ; 01. Publisher: London : Harper Voyager, 2015Copyright date: ©2015Description: 576 pages : maps ; 20 cm.Content type: text | cartographic image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780008120832 (paperback).Subject(s): Imaginary wars and battles -- Fiction | Heroes -- Fiction | Midkemia (Imaginary place) -- Fiction | Young men -- FictionDDC classification: 813.54 Summary: The astonishing first volume in Raymond E. Feist's bestselling Serpentwar Saga...A nest of vipers is stirring...Ancient powers are readying themselves for a devastating confrontation. A dark queen has raised her standard and is gathering armies of unmatched might. Into this battleground of good and evil a band of desperate men are forced, whose only hope for survival is to face this ancient power and discover its true nature. Among them are some unlikely heroes - Erik, a bastard heir denied his birth right, and his friend Roo, an irrepressible scoundrel with a penchant for thievery. They are accompanied by the mysterious Miranda, upon whom all must wager their lives.
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Originally published: London: HarperCollins, 1994.

The astonishing first volume in Raymond E. Feist's bestselling Serpentwar Saga...A nest of vipers is stirring...Ancient powers are readying themselves for a devastating confrontation. A dark queen has raised her standard and is gathering armies of unmatched might. Into this battleground of good and evil a band of desperate men are forced, whose only hope for survival is to face this ancient power and discover its true nature. Among them are some unlikely heroes - Erik, a bastard heir denied his birth right, and his friend Roo, an irrepressible scoundrel with a penchant for thievery. They are accompanied by the mysterious Miranda, upon whom all must wager their lives.

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Shadow of a Dark Queen Chapter One Challenge The trumpet sounded. Erik wiped his hands on his apron. He was doing little real work since finishing his morning chores, merely banking the fire so he would not have to restart a cold forge should there be new work later in the day. He considered that unlikely, as everyone in the town would be lingering in the square after the Baron's arrival, but horses were perverse creatures who threw shoes at the least opportune moment, and wagons broke down at the height of inconvenience. Or so his five years of assisting the blacksmith had taught him. He glanced at where Tyndal lay sleeping, his arm wrapped lovingly around a jug of harsh brandy. He had begun drinking just after breakfast, "hoisting a few to the Baron's health," he claimed. He had fallen asleep sometime in the last hour while Erik finished the smith's work for him. Fortunately, there was little the boy couldn't do, he being large for his age and an old hand at compensating for the smith's shortcomings. As Erik finished covering the coals with ashes, he could hear his mother calling from the kitchen. He ignored her demand that he hurry; there was more than enough time. There was no need to rush: the Baron would not have reached the edge of the town yet. The trumpet announced his approach, not his arrival. Erik rarely considered his appearance, but he knew today was going to thrust him into the forefront of public scrutiny, and he felt he should attempt to look respectable. With that thought, he paused to remove his apron, carefully hung it on a peg, then plunged his arms into a nearby bucket of water. Rubbing furiously, he removed most of the black soot and dirt, then splashed water on his face. Grabbing a large clean cloth off a pile of rags used for polishing steel, he dried himself, removing what the water hadn't through friction. In the dancing surface of the water barrel he considered his broken reflection: a pair of intense blue eyes under a deep brow, a high forehead from which shoulder-length blond hair swept back. No one today would doubt that he was his father's son. His nose was more his mother's, but his jaw and the broad grin that came when he smiled were the mirror image of his father's. But where his father had been a slender man, Erik was not. A narrow waist was his only heritage from his father. He had his maternal grandfather's massive shoulders and arms, built up through working at the forge since his tenth birthday. Erik's hands could bend iron or break walnuts. His legs were also powerful, from supporting plow horses who leaned on the smith while he cut, filed, and shod their hooves, or from helping to lift carts when replacing broken wheels. Erik ran his hand over his chin, feeling the stubble. Blond as a man could get, he had to shave only every third day or so, for his beard was light. But he knew his mother would insist on him looking his best today. He quickly hurried to his pallet behind the forge, taking care not to disturb the smith, and fetched his razor and mirror. A cold shave was not his idea of pleasure, but far less irritating than his mother would be should she decide to send him back for the razor. He wet his face again and started scraping. When he was done, he looked at himself one more time in the shimmering water. No woman would ever call Erik handsome: his features were large, almost coarse, from the lantern jaw to the broad forehead; but he possessed an open, honest look that men found reassuring and women would come to admire once they got used to his almost brutish appearance. At fifteen years of age, he was already the size of a man, and his strength was approaching the smith's; no boy could best him at wrestling, and few tried anymore. Hands that could be clumsy when helping set platters and mugs in the common room were sure and adroit when working in the forge. Again his mother's voice cut through the otherwise quiet morning, demanding he come inside now. He rolled down his sleeves as he left the smithy, a small building placed hard against the outside rear wall of the livery. Circling the barn, he came into sight of the kitchen. As he passed the open stable door, he glanced at those horses left in his care. Three travelers were guesting with his master, and their mounts were quietly eating hay. The fourth horse was lying up from an injury and she neighed a greeting at Erik. He couldn't help but smile; in the weeks he had been tending her she had come to expect his midmorning visits, as he trotted her out to see how she mended. "I'll be back to visit later, girl," he called softly to her. The tone of the horse's snort revealed her less than enthusiastic response. Despite his age, Erik was one of the best handlers of horses in the region surrounding Darkmoor, and had earned the reputation of being something of a miracle worker. Most owners would have put down the injured mare, but Owen Greylock, the Baron's Swordmaster, valued her highly. He judged it a prudent risk to put her into Erik's care, for if he could make her sound enough to breed, a fine foal or two would be worth the trouble. Erik was determined to make her sound enough to ride again. Erik saw his mother at the rear door of the Inn of the Pintail's kitchen, her face a mask of resolve. A small woman of steely strength and determination, Freida had been pretty once, though hard work and the world's cares had taken their toll. Shadow of a Dark Queen . Copyright © by Raymond Feist. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Shadow of a Dark Queen by Raymond E. Feist All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In the first volume of the ``Serpent War Saga,'' the best-selling author of the ``Riftwar Saga'' introduces a new twist to an old setting. The planets Kelewan and Midkemia, central to the Riftwar novels, are home to a pair of unlikely heroes who must fight an evil race of serpents. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

A dark and alien peril casts an lengthening shadow over Midkemia as another Riftworld saga begins almost a generation after the events in The King's Buccaneer . Erik von Darkmoor, bastard son of the local baron, flees to the city of Krondor after accidentally killing his legitimate and sadistic half-brother. Condemned to death, Eric and his childhood friend, Rupert (Roo) Avery, are provisionally spared to serve in a desperate mission against the reptilian Pantathians, who plan to conquer Midkemia and bring back their goddess, Alma-Lodaka, one of the ancient Dragon Lords. The boys undergo brutal training and join others of their kind under the half-elf Calis, known as the Eagle of Krondor, in a bid to pass as mercenaries in the continent of Novindus, current battle center for the Pantathians and their reluctant allies, the also-reptilian Saaur. A sensitive coming-of-age tale in which brutality and camaraderie are equally present, Feist's newest saga has a freshness of vision that suggests it will avoid the staleness that often eats away at multivolume epics. Author tour. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Feist returns to the well-executed, popular universe of his Riftwar Saga to begin a new series, the Serpent War Saga. The two main characters are literally a couple of bastards, one a nobleman's get named Erik and the other a commoner's by-blow named Roo. They find themselves called (perhaps dragged would be the better term) into a deadly conflict against a race of sorcerous serpents that menace everything and anything. The plot is classic, the characters are tolerably well drawn reluctant heroes, the command of language is very respectable, and the entire volume is likely to appeal to fans of Eddings, Duncan, and other skilled classic fantasists as well as to Feist's. ~--Roland Green

Kirkus Book Review

Feist (The King's Buccaneer, 1992, etc.) returns to the enchanted world of Midkemia to begin a new series, The Serpent War Saga. A blacksmith's apprentice in the town of Ravensburg, young Erik von Darkmoor faces his most pressing problem: how to endure his mother's annual public confrontation with his father, the Baron, and her insistence that the Baron recognize Erik as his legitimate heir. Life becomes considerably more complex when Erik and his friend Roo avenge the rape of a friend by killing Erik's half-brother, the Baron's chosen heir. Fugitives, Erik and Roo are captured and sentenced to die but are spared at the last minute and impressed into an elite fighting corps composed of equally desperate men. Their mission is to move against the conquering army of the Emerald Queen, an army of mercenaries led by the Pantathians, reptilian creatures with magical powers. Erik's company of 60 men is to infiltrate the Emerald Queen's seemingly invincible army, ascertain any weaknesses, and report back to the King of the Western Lands. The company is aided in their task by the intervention of magicians, the leadership of elves, the ingenuity of various members of the company, and a fair amount of luck. Fast action, appealing characters, and a splendid setting will delight readers of fantasy and leave them eager for the next battle. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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