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Which is well and good, I guess. Its a good thing that they explained a few things here and there that confused me in the movie, mainly the Animus and why it is like that. Not that I was convinced or anything but hey they tried. The book pretty much follows the movie with no deviation whatsoever except with extra bit of details and explanations and maybe a bit more sympathizing with the female Templar, which is something that I did not like in the movie and liked even less in the books.

I just didn't buy it. She's smart she's brilliant actually and she knew her father very well. She should know better than to think that this is actually for the greater good and in peaceful means. Laughable, to be honest. Surely at times the book felt a bit boring, but probably because I already knew every little detail that was going to happen.

Unlike AC Renaissance which read like a video game with missions and all, this did not read like a movie. I truly believe that if someone did not watch the movie he would wholeheartedly enjoy this book. Final note, I liked the extras at the end with the stories of each 'subject' and their ancestors. They were really interesting and entertaining. Loved Nathan's story the most out of them. Feb 12, Dani rated it liked it. Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember nothing is true.

Where other men are limited by morality or law, remember everything is permitted. We work in the Dark to serve the Light. I've been a huge fan of the Assassin's Creed franchise for a long time. I can tell you that I own every sin "The past is behind us but the choices we make live with us forever. I can tell you that I own every single game that was released and obviously I was excited to see one of my favourite games on the big screen.

I'm glad that they decided to introduce a new Assassin to the stories; it was nice to meet Aguilar and I can say that that was the most interesting part of the story. However, the regressions where the only thing that made me read this book; the past was interesting, rich, entertaining and that was the only thing I really enjoyed in the whole book. Now I must start by saying I am a big fan of anything Assassin Creed and was delighted it was being turned into a film, so I just had to read the book before I watched the film.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this one even Now I must start by saying I am a big fan of anything Assassin Creed and was delighted it was being turned into a film, so I just had to read the book before I watched the film. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this one even though it took me a while to finish which is why I awarded four stars. I must admit I do love the cover though showing the two personalities of an assassin. This is written by a different author than those written in the series which is also why it felt a bit different.

And with this book I'm officially out of the AC universe.. This book is the novelization of the movie which I liked so much and I was so excited to read it.. I wanted to see more of how Cal was thinking but there was only Dr. Aug 29, Sona rated it really liked it. For over a year or perhaps longer, I checked every bit of new information about the movie as soon as it was released. Moreover, it would mean a new installment in the book series would be released. However, since the story would follow that of the movie, I did not buy it when it came out and ruin the surprise.

This new writer caused a sense of scepticism and I decided to wait with the purchase. When the film finally hit the screens, I immediately went to see it in the cinema. Friends and family were surprised and found it quite odd I was going alone, but I simply love going to the movies by myself. Do not get me wrong, it was amazing to see the games being turned into this motion picture, but it lacked in some aspects.

Especially when it came to the motivations of the characters. Although content with the result, I have played every AC except for the first one and Rogue and am a big fan of the series, I left the theatre feeling a bit disappointed. My friend and I have this new tradition with which we give each other a book, that we requested, for our birthdays. People often say that the book is better than the film.

In this case I could not agree more with them, but even this book has it flaws. Sometimes games are better left untouched. Penguin Books, Rating: The story is about Callum Lynch, a delinquent who is about to be executed, but saved from death for unknown reasons and brought to the Abstergo Research Facility in Madrid. It is here that he discovers his Assassin heritage via his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha who lived in Spain during the fifteenth century, and the ancient war between Templars and the members of the Brotherhood. Nevertheless, as Callum discovers his roots, he himself changes as well.

With the gathered knowledge and skills, he will continue the Assassin fight in the present day. The main story was quite short, about pages, but a pleasant read notwithstanding. The pace overall was good and never hastened. Where the movie had its faults, the book made up for them by portraying the motivations each character had for certain actions and especially the relations between them. This, in turn, made the ending of the film more understandable and explained why Sofia is feeling what she does for Cal.

I am sorry if that does sound very vague, but I want to keep this spoiler-free. These short narratives tell you more about the side characters Moussa, Emir, Nathan and Lin, who are also subjects at the research facility. Each tale couples back to the games, connecting the movie with the original franchise. First off we have Nathan, whose ancestor is Duncan Walpole. We get to see why Walpole turned against the Creed, joined the Templars and came to the Caribbean. His account is about his youth in Constantinople, long before he met Ezio, and how he became a part of the Brotherhood.

After his passing she joined the Chinese Brotherhood, from which its Assassins saved her. The characters do take some getting to know, which is a good thing when it comes to books, because there is room to form them. Callum Lynch transforms from a vengeful delinquent that is haunted by his past into an Assassin who is at peace with his history and brings the Brotherhood back in the modern era.


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Moussa is one of the subjects at the research facility. At first he is very suspicious of Callum, but helps him nonetheless when they take over the Abstergo Research Facility and slowly begins to see him as an ally. Nathan does not like Lynch at all and tries to kill him when the mutiny happens, in spite of the plan to get Callum to join the Assassins.

Emir is a very neutral person and not much is known about him. Lin is distrustful of anyone and has a love for dancing with ribbons, which stems from her ancestor, Shao Jun. Sofia Rikkin starts out on the side of the Templars, but she is a scientist first before truly one of them. Yet, after the death of her father, she has lost both parents to the Assassins. He is manipulative, even towards his daughter, whom he wants to stand with him in everything he does, and an advocate of genocide on the Assassins.

The only thing he wants, is to acquire the Apple of Eden and bring glory to the Templars once more and he will not let anything get in the way of this. This is the aspect where this work of fiction has the most flaws. More than once things are misspelled. Sloppy, is all I can say about it.

Aside from this and already given above as an example, grammar and tenses are sometimes faultily used. I do not know who edited the manuscript, but that person should have paid more attention to detail. The writer herself should also have been more aware of the mistakes that were made. The saying that the book is better than the movie certainly applies once again in this scenario.

However, in my opinion, the games remain better than this big production, simply because the story is often better told than they were able to do in the motion picture. It contains way less mistakes and the tale is being told more properly and does the franchise more justice. You do not even have to have played the games to immerse yourself in the universe.

Just be mindful of the storytelling and only pick the ones up by mentor Bowden, because the novice Golden still has a long way to go before she can perfectly describe the leap of faith. Feb 07, Kara rated it really liked it. As a novice to the Assassins Creed franchise only recently becoming addicted to gaming I had little prior knowledge of Abstergo industries. Assassins Creed Syndicate offers little backstory and due to this I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Cal was a charming character, a true anti-hero.


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His dark nature made him endearing. All this surrounding by an intriguing storyline and epic battles. Yes, it isn't the best written book, but the plot and characters mean it didn't really matter. Well worth the buy. Albeit, Assassins Creed is all about the bigger picture, the Templars verses Assassins, and although this ends it's not the end of the story. Sep 07, Brian Wilkerson rated it it was amazing. I watched the Assassin's Creed film shortly after it came out last year. Amazed, I bought other Assassin's Creed media, such as the first game and the first movie's novelization.

After reading the latter, I'm off the opinion that the movie is an adaptation of the book instead of the other way around because it provides the kind of context and character information that is typically excluded from movies that are made from books by nature of the medium. Whether this is a good point on the book or I watched the Assassin's Creed film shortly after it came out last year.

Whether this is a good point on the book or a bad point on the movie I'm not sure. In any case, this is a great book. It provides a great deal of backstory to the characters that would have been difficult to put in the movie for reasons of pacing and length. Sofia Rikkin, for instance, is apparently a Friend To All Living Things as she has flashbacks to how she adopted an utterly filthy and flea-ridden stray dog and takes great care of it and also tried to befriend a squirrel by sitting outside with nuts in her hand for a prolonged period of time. This feds into and validates the compassion she shows to the "patients" at the Abstergo Rehabilitation Facility; she sincerely believes that they are patients and not "prisoners".

She is not the only one to get this treatment and this adds a good deal of emotional heft to the storyline. I typically don't like this technique because it leads to a bloated narrative and less development, but in this case it works. Because everyone is in the same location and everyone is viewing the same events. This has a concentrating effect. It also helps to flesh out other characters because they get the sympathetic POV and internal narration.

Moussa, for instance, has this scene where he messes with a guard using a shell game that provides info on him and the state of the proto-Assassin Cell inside the Abstergo Facility, and what he intends to do about the new "pioneer". Another thing that I like about this novelization is that it fills a vexing narrative hole that the film doesn't address. While it doesn't provide many details, it confirms how many allies and resources Cal has going into the final scene which implies why he took the action he does.

Also, there are bonus chapters at the end of the book. Each one focuses on one of the other Assassins and their ancestor, framed as one of their Animus regressions that took place before Cal arrived. All of them fill in information from characters that were introduced in the games. For instance, Nathan's ancestor is Ducan Wapole, an Assassin turncoat from "Black Flag" and it shows the moment where he decided to become a turncoat. It is a nice treat. Die Assassinen kamen aber keinesfalls zu kurz. Cal fand ich als Charakter sehr interessant und auch die anderen "Subjekte" waren mir sehr sympathisch.

Ich bin jetzt jedenfalls gespannt auf den Film, den ich mir bald anschauen werde. Jul 22, DebLoveBooks rated it it was amazing. English-Italiano I literally loved this book! This is the first book about this serie that I read and I'm looking forward to reading the next one! The writing style is easy and not too hard.

I really like how the author use the right combination between description and dialogue. This is one of those stories that you can't stop to reading until you are at the end of the book. So, for these reasons, I gave him five stars. Ho letteralmente amato questo libro! Quindi, per queste ragioni, gli ho dato cinque stelline.

Jun 20, Nkandu Mukabe rated it it was ok. I wanted so much to like this book. I loved the games. They were thrilling, interesting, exciting, sometimes scary cos I'm such a noob. This book was none of that. The characters had zero depth to them, and the book only had a few moments when I could really feel engaged and empathetic. It was like it was barely edited at all.

I could maybe forgive everything else, but not the punctuation and spelling mistakes I sta I wanted so much to like this book. I could maybe forgive everything else, but not the punctuation and spelling mistakes I started to believe his name really was Agular and not Aguilar from all the times it was misspelt. Still, the book was better than I thought it would be, and I rate it higher knowing it was based off a movie which I haven't watched, but am predisposed to believing was terrible.

Apr 02, Hobbes rated it liked it. I really am a fan of novelizations, I like getting just a bit more to the story. As I am also an Assassin's Creed fan, this was just delightful. The child, by the name of Hatu, advances through the various stages of the school. He comes to realize that he is different through his treatment. Unlike other children, who may be crippled or killed, he is never put in true harms way.

As he progresses, he becomes friends with two others: Donte's grandfather is one of the masters who rule their organization, while Hava is just one badass girl who can take it as well as dish it out. Though the children often bath together as they grew, Hatu one day got a rise out of seeing Hava naked and realized amidst his embarrassment how much he was growing to care for her. Other characters are important and I will mention only a few. Each character is in a different setting but as the story progresses you can see that their paths are destined to meet.

And that should be very interesting. Daylon is the treasonous noble who found the baby. The reason for his treachery becomes apparent toward the end of the book. He is a generous and fair ruler who has made his lands prosperous. Balven is Daylon's bastard brother and his most loyal follower.

Rodrigo is another noble, who is more interested in bedding wenches than doing the stuff that nobles do, yet he appears to be one of Daylon's confederates. Declan is one of the youngest master blacksmiths ever, who has learned the secret art of forging King's Steel. A sword made of such material easily cuts through armor and other sword blades.

Gwen is the innkeeper's daughter who falls for Declan. She is devastated by tragedy but I have a feeling she is going to come out of this stronger than ever. Jusan is Declan's apprentice, and I think he is there for a reason. The Copper Hills is probably the place where the final showdown will one day be. This story reads much like 'The Game of Thrones' without the vulgar sex.

As I got close to the end of this book, and saw how few pages were left, I kept thinking in the back of my mind how much I hate cliffhangers. But I will give you credit, Raymond Feist, you tied up just enough loose ends perfectly. Now I am going to have to look for books Two and Three also! View all 6 comments. Mar 27, Melliane rated it really liked it. Feist a long time ago and when I heard about this new series, I was once again intrigued. It must be said that the synopsis, full of mysteries, made me really want to know more!

We discover in parallel two stories, the one of Hatu, young heir to a destroyed kingdom and who grew up learning to defend himself, far from home in the ignorance of his origins. On the other side, we follow the story of Declan, a young blacksmith who manag 4. On the other side, we follow the story of Declan, a young blacksmith who managed to quickly handle a little-known art that could change the game with his weapons.

I really loved this story! I let myself be carried away by the characters, to see what the events were going to bring and I was impatient to discover what the author reserved for us. Hatu particularly interested me and I was curious each time to return to this character to see what he would discover, to understand what he was hiding and especially to see how he would react to his revealed past.

Besides, I loved to see him with his friends Ava and Donte, they temporize and show him that in a difficult setting, friendship is still important.

King of Ashes (Firemane, #1) by Raymond E. Feist

Moreover, we understand that this boy hides more than he thinks, and if we discover the first evidences here, and there is much more to learn! This novel is a very good first volume with a rich and intriguing universe and I can not wait to discover more! Great changes are to be expected and I can not wait to discover them! Feel free to get started, it is a great one! Loved it Feist never disappoints. Decent coming of age novel setting up an epic tale of brotherhood magic and betrayal. Apr 13, Benjamin Thomas rated it it was amazing Shelves: Nevertheless, I was most pleasantly rewarded by perhaps the best of the batch, for this one started out as a wonderful read and sustained that all the way through.

The balance of power in North and South Tembria is reliant on the equality of the five greatest kingdoms, but this peaceful coexistence is shattered when one of the powers, the Kingdom of Flames is betrayed and its King and entire family executed by the other four.

Almost all, that is, for one infant survived. Baron Daylon Dumarch had reluctantly participated in the betrayal but tries to atone by secreting the surviving infant to the so called Island of Night where the lad grows up among legendary spies, assassins, cutthroats, and other assorted criminals. Most of the book is told from two alternating point-of-view characters and takes place some 17 years after the betrayal. Hatu short for Hatushaly is the surviving infant king although this is completely unknown to him as he learns the skills of the master criminal.

Along with his two best friends, Hava and Donte, he undertakes dangerous and clever missions at the behest of his masters. The other main POV character is Declan, another orphan of mysterious origin, and who is blessed with extraordinary skill as a blacksmith, managing to forge his masterwork at the very young age of Both Hatu and Declan have numerous adventures in this book and even though it seems they are destined to work together, they do not actually meet until the very end of the novel. This novel is traditional epic fantasy.

They may make mistakes but their motivations are good. You will not find F-bombs in this book nor anti-heroes as main characters at least not yet…some are still sufficiently vague to really know for sure. Raymond Feist is, of course, well known for his lengthy Riftwar Cycle involving many inter-related trilogies, duologies, etc.

He is known for telling his stories through his characters and this book continues that tradition. While this entire book serves as the setup for the real meat of what is to come, we do get to know the major characters very well and more importantly, really come to care for them and what the future may hold for them. There is magic in this world and exotic creatures but these are only briefly touched on in this first volume…teased really. Oct 06, Marina rated it really liked it. It had been years since I have read a book of Raymond E. Feist, but this one reminded me why I love his writing.

I cannot wait for the second book to be released and see where this story will bring me. All the caracters are so interesting and this can go either way. A recommendation to all who enjoy a good fantasy.

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Apr 05, Adam Sequoyah rated it did not like it Shelves: Since when did the genre known as Fantasy come to mean "political intrigue in a fake medieval Britain, plus some running away from bad guys"? This is a book about a magic person, in which practically no magic is used or experienced whatsoever.

But the thrilling plot! And the depth of the characters with all their relatable struggles! And the layered, unraveling mysteries bound to suck in any reader! The book merely sucks. Granted, novels focused on politics bore me. Yes, unfortunately, even Since when did the genre known as Fantasy come to mean "political intrigue in a fake medieval Britain, plus some running away from bad guys"? Yes, unfortunately, even if the setting is the "fantastical" Middle Ages -- or, wait, exactly like our Middle Ages only in a place not called Earth that happens to have Earth-identical people, flora and fauna, and technological history.

I expected little of this story from the first sentence. And then it warns that, in this new season of unrest, others may attempt violence upon the throne! But hey, I've been surprised by political themes before. Its story grabs me because the characters wrestle with tangible choices that directly impact the world around them. I want Kaladin to accept that vengeance won't change anything!

Although I get his seeming need for it. Good people in that world experience terrible hardship, and it matters -- I would be as helpless as they if disaster came and there was already such want of resources and infrastructure. Even the lack of reliable historical information leads to gripping drama as people race to discern the truth before their world collapses around them. That story captures me, and I care! And I did from my first read. This "Firemane" story couldn't keep me reading. There is violence, and it doesn't speak of any real truth.

At best, it tells us certain characters are cruel and so they must be the antagonists. There is turmoil, and it doesn't lead anywhere. So who cares how it turns out? I must confess, after the prologue I only skimmed the rest of the book. I'm glad I didn't waste more time on it. But I figured that even skimming it, I would come upon a couple of adventurous episodes to check out or maybe some fire mage action or something good. Too much to hope for.

I don't even know if there was really a climax near the end! The one thing that gave me pause was a blacksmith telling his apprentice the whereabouts of a certain sand used to make the sharpest swords in the world. Okay , I thought, maybe something decent here But it's not really all that special. The treasured secret is that the sand is just in kind of a faraway place.

The master blacksmith said he made five of those swords in his career. Maybe not a lot for a whole kingdom, but if every smithy could make five or ten, it doesn't sound very unique. My version of the book was a pre-publication proof copy, so maybe some details will change. But even the chapter titles were a study in dullness! The book is humorless and pointless, I'm afraid. And just not worth it. Jun 12, Blaine rated it it was ok.

What upset me the most about this book was the potential I saw in it. I normally go for better writing but can overlook that if the concept is interesting enough, and there were some genuinely intriguing plot points that hooked me into it and kept me reading in the beginning. The whole thing, however, felt rushed and poorly executed. There was an enormous amount of repetition with respect to the narration that it felt like Feist was trying to shove 1 or 2 character traits down my throat rather t What upset me the most about this book was the potential I saw in it.

There was an enormous amount of repetition with respect to the narration that it felt like Feist was trying to shove 1 or 2 character traits down my throat rather than develop actual human beings. So many of the characters in here, including the main two themselves, felt not-quite-human and I never entirely invested myself in their storylines. A lot of what annoys me about series' I found present in King of Ashes, namely the tendency to draw everything out to make room for subsequent volumes; this book is nowhere close to standing alone in its own right and I felt almost no feeling of resolution at the ending.

Overall, I felt like I was reading above-average fan fiction. Quand j'ai vu qu'un nouveau livre de Raymond E. Pareil pour Declan qui va devoir sortir du nid ou il a grandit pour se lancer dans un monde ou il est de plus en plus difficile de survivre, surtout quand on est seul. Le monde est plein de potentiel en tout cas. I had a quick look at others reviews of this, after I had finished this book. Just to see what others were saying about the storyline. I am a long time reader of Feist, ever since magician was released here in the Uk. So this is Feist's first book outside Midkemia for an awfully long time.

I was, and am, a huge fan of his even though the later books in the series had some serious issues. It's fairly obvious from the start that he is trying to be a little edgier here. There is proper cursing, lots of talk about sex, and the violence seems more visceral than his usual style. It's like he's trying to write darker while keeping the same sort of character tone from his Midkemia books.

I'm not sure my description has come across well but not sure how else to frame it. I'm also not sure he pulled it off very well. We have two primary POV's; Hatu the last remaining heir to a betrayed and destroyed kingdom this is not a spoiler, it's on the cover blurb and in the prologue , and Declan a journeyman blacksmith.

Hatu has been raised in a criminal fraternity, learning to fight, steal and spy. Declan is also an orphan, on the verge of his blacksmith mastery in a small town in what is a neutral zone between 4 used to be 5 kingdoms. Events occur and our protagonists travel and learn things and end up in very different places than where they began. So from that description above it seems very Feist does it not? He does love his orphans. And it is very like his other books, especially the earlier ones. Orphans with hints of something greater, mysterious powers and senses, little glimpses of something bigger going on out of sight.

I liked the Declan character, a fairly straightforward person with a few hints of ruthlessness that aren't immediately apparent.

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His is the more ordinary story, fairly low key and almost slice of life. Hatu as the bigger picture storyline for obvious reasons but I did not enjoy all of his even though I should have. It's because he spends pretty much the whole time thinking about one of his friends Hava, who we also get a couple of POV's. I was a teenage boy myself so I understand that it's probably fairly realistic to think about sex and a girl all the time but it gets tiresome pretty quickly reading about it.

Also there are a lot of infodumps. I usually don't notice these but these were pretty common and not much attempt was made to hide the fact that they are infodumps, it took you out of the flow somewhat.

King of Ashes

Having said all that I did enjoy it. It's no Riftwar or Serpentwar but it's an interesting world with the bigger picture only seemingly touched upon so far. Some events near the end make me hopeful that Hatu won't be so annoying in further books, and I am very curious as to where Declan is going. The style is very clunky and hopefully Feist will master the blend between the darker tone he's striving for with his more traditional outlook in later books. Un fantasy senza fantasy. I miss magic and sense of wonder. Intrighi politici noiosi , campagne piene di contadini ovviamente , e via dicendo.

I protagonisti sono piuttosto anonimi, e se non fosse che cambiano i nomi, non se ne capirebbe la differenza. L'accenno al romance talmente banale e prevedibile da far venire sonno istantaneo. Ma il fantasy in questi termini perde senso, e allora tanto varrebbe leggersi un romanzo storico.

Io di noia di sicuro. Feb 13, Kazima rated it it was ok Shelves: Fans of Feist will be thrilled to discover a whole new world which Feist will explore in this new series. Fans of Feist will not be disappointed, and will have easily found a new favorite epic fantasy to look forward to the coming years. However, for those of us who are not proclaimed Feist fans although have found him enjoyable enough in the past , I'm afraid we migh Fans of Feist will be thrilled to discover a whole new world which Feist will explore in this new series.

However, for those of us who are not proclaimed Feist fans although have found him enjoyable enough in the past , I'm afraid we might brace ourselves for some slight disappointment.


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Personally I found this book extremely generic and predictable, and a bit bland to be honest. I feel like I've read a hundred books exactly like this, and there was nothing about it that made me want to continue reading the series.

Effortless can be alright too, though, and for I would easily recommend this to the right reader who was looking for something uncomplicated and effortless to read as easy entertainment. History taught that a king did not kill a king, save on the field of battle. Until the Kingdom of Flames was destroyed, and the ruling family of Firemanes, known for their bright red hair, were betrayed and completely wiped out.

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Except one child survived. He was hidden aw "There was no precedent for this butchery, and no one could reconcile what they were about to see with what they understood of the traditional order of things. He was hidden away in a land of assassins and raised with no idea of who he is or what happened to his family and kingdom. I'm not sure what to say about it. The book opens on the battle of the kingdoms that took down the Kingdom of Flames. This was epic and brutal and I really enjoyed the battle and the story line. As the story goes on it is told from a few different perspectives: Hatu - the orphan raised as a trained assassin with no idea of his Firemane family and brutal history Declan - an insanely talented young blacksmith with the skill to make weapons like no other These are the main perspectives we see but we also get an insight into other characters aswell.

I really liked Declan's story. I thought he was a really strong character and I found myself enjoy his chapters the most. Hatu had an interesting story line but honestly I just didn't really like him as a character. This was my first time reading a book by Raymond E. Feist and I have to say that there was so much depth and detail in the world and story it was definitely epic. The writing was also brilliant and I can see why it's no surprise how well loved his books are. But honestly it did take a while for the story to really grab me, about pages or so.

I did enjoy the story but I don't think it should take that look to get hooked and interested. The other problem I had with this book was the way women are portrayed. I understand that it's a fantasy novel in a backwards medieval world but there are tonnes of books like that that have strong women characters despite the world they are in. There wasn't really any strong women at all and the way women were talked about wasn't okay. Again I get that this is the way characters in that time would think but this is fantasy not reality I don't think it needed to be done. Many do what they're told without complaint.

If you do not send her from your bed once you've enjoyed her. I did enjoy the story for the most part and like I said the writing was brilliant but I felt like it was lacking in a lot of areas too. That being said just because I didn't love it doesn't mean others won't! May 18, Marlene rated it it was amazing. Originally published at Reading Reality It takes a very special kind of magic to capture lightning in a bottle. Magician had just that kind of magic, but that was a long time ago and world away from Firemane and King of Ashes.

In the intervening decades Magician was originally published in ! M Originally published at Reading Reality It takes a very special kind of magic to capture lightning in a bottle. Magician looms very large in my memory. I still have my original copy, a Science Fiction Book Club edition. I picked up King of Ashes because I wondered if the author had managed to magic that lightning into the bottle again, in this first book in a completely new series that does not hearken back to Midkemia.

King of Ashes begins with a bang. Not quite literally, more like a thwack. Truly, he died of betrayal. It certainly looked like it did, as his wife and all his children were killed before him. But as two of his former barons speculate while standing in the crowd of watchers, there are rumors of a baby, one born not long before this terrible campaign began.

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Of course those rumors are true, as one of the barons soon discovers. He conceals the boy, not in his own household, but in the hidden kingdom of Coaltachin, the country of assassins. The story in King of Ashes is the story of the coming of age of young Hatushaly who knows that he is different, and not just because of his copper-red hair in a kingdom of mostly dark-haired people.

He feels that he is being protected, even as he undergoes the same grueling training as all children in the Invisible Nation. He learns to hide, he learns to hunt, he learns to kill. He learns how to lead, how to follow, when to question and when to obey without question. He learns to control the fire inside him, without ever knowing what it is, why it is there, or who he really is. And he learns to control his own anger that secrets are being kept from him that he absolutely needs to know. When all is finally revealed, he understands everything, but not nearly enough.

And his story has only just begun. In answer to the question of whether the author has managed to capture that lightning in the bottle again, the answer is yes. Perhaps not quite as full a bottle as Magician, but nevertheless, the bottle sparks with more than enough magic to make King of Ashes a marvelous read for any epic fantasy lover. In the best epic fantasy tradition, King of Ashes is a coming of age story.

We first meet Hatu as a baby, but the story then fast forwards to Hatu as a young man, nearing the end of his training in the Invisible Nation and learning to master himself and his power. Together they are the three best students of their year, and it seems as if together they will change their world. It is also, and on the other side of the world, the story of Declan, an young journeyman smith, who gains his mastery and sets out to make his own fortune as the story begins. The story switches from one point of view to the other as they are slowly but inexorably drawn together, but the reader is never confused who they are following or what they are witnessing — and why.

This book was pretty damn awesome. There are elements of other epic fantasies, because these are classic tropes. The hidden prince story goes all the way back to King Arthur and the story of Excalibur in the stone. For a more contemporary parallel, the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher also has a similar feel. It is clear from the very beginning that she is going to be a mover and shaker in this story in her own right as it continues. Unlike Magician, King of Ashes is far from a finished arc for these characters.

As the Baron Dumarch puts it, this is only the first chapter, and it is a long game for him and a long first chapter for readers, albeit a very satisfying one. The author appears to be committing trilogy, with the succeeding volumes very tentatively titled King of Embers and King of Flames. Feb 15, Nick Brett rated it liked it. It has been a long while since we saw anything new from Raymond Feist. I loved his early books, but ended up confused by all the various sagas he produced and kind of lost the will to live. Thank Goodness this is a new series with no reference to his previous works.

A world with five key kingdoms is thrown into chaos when, by means of treachery, one is destroyed and all those in the royal line murdered. Except for the baby smuggled away There is nothing new here, many fantasy themes are re-cycled, and some of the current popular ones, secret guilds of assassins, female killers, dodgy religions, and so on. Nothing new and nothing fresh. But having said that, this is a very easy read with plenty of characters to relate to and care about. Mr Feist has made this a bit darker with open references to sex again, adopting the current popular "grimdark" style but he also shows some weakness in his characters who seem to fall in love a bit more than a ruthless pure dark fantasy would require.

But the writing is, as I said, easy and the pages turn effortlessly. I have to say I wasn't challeged or wowed in any way, but I did find it a pleasurable diversion. Apr 30, Marc Rasp rated it really liked it. Feist has his top game going on with KoA! Wonderful start to a new series and I'm already feeling homesick and ready fro start the next installment.

Fantastic world building and characters. The entire book felt a little like a prologue but it completely worked and really primed me for whatever comes next. The story follows two boys both around the age of 17, one a black smith and the other an heir to a kingdom who is raised by a sort of nation of professional criminals in order to hide his exist Feist has his top game going on with KoA! The story follows two boys both around the age of 17, one a black smith and the other an heir to a kingdom who is raised by a sort of nation of professional criminals in order to hide his existence from the rest of the world and forces who would want to see him dead.

The boys lead separate lives but the end of the stories leaves them set to meet. It may seem simple but Feist's ability to tell a story and build the setting of this world are his strength and really drew me in. I readily lost myself between the pages and would look up and realize it was way past my bed time - no kidding. He's playing to his strengths and it's still very much a Raymond E. Feist book, in a good way.

The world is new with a grittier and lower fantasy feel, unburdened from the 's epic fantasy origins of his other books. It's really a page origin story rather than a standalone book. That being said the characters are well formed and the story doesn't bogged down in exposition. Bring on the next one Apr 27, Paul rated it really liked it. King of Ashes is the first in a new series, and I have to admit I rather enjoyed it. The chapters alternate between the two main protagonists, Declan and Hatu. Declan is an apprentice smith, while Hatu is being tried by a secret society in the arts of assassination and crime.

Each young man is blissfully unaware of the other, but as the author expertly draws their seemingly disparate narratives together you start to see there is a far bigger picture developing. Politics, petty rivalries and power King of Ashes is the first in a new series, and I have to admit I rather enjoyed it.

Politics, petty rivalries and power struggles are at play. A single event from many years before is still causing ripples, and it becomes evident that Declan and Hatu are involved. Are they merely pawns in a much larger game or is there a chance they can shape their own destinies? I liked Declan, but Hatu is harder the empathise with.

Declan embodies your traditional heroic type, steadfast and resolute. He is compelled to always do the right thing. Hatu is a modern hero, full of conflict and prone to rage. He tries to do what is right, but his anger often gets in the way. Sometimes I just wanted to give him a slap upside the head. Where Declan is stoic, Hatu is barely controlled. I think this is the thing I liked most about King of Ashes. I had expectations, more on that in a bit, and the author managed to not only meet but exceed them with style.

This novel is a fascinating amalgam of the old and the new. King of Ashes can be viewed as merely a beginning, quite a feat when you realise it is over five hundred pages long. Raymond E Feist is an expert when it comes to setting the scene.