Sunday, July 27, 2008

The King's Buccaneer by Raymond E. Feist

Link to synopsis: The King's Buccaneer

Maybe I am a little bit of an organizational freak, but if I have one hard and fast rule about reading a series, or even books connected by the same setting, I have to read them in order. I get frustrated every time an author writes a prequel, forcing me to make a judgment as to which order to follow, the order they were written, or the order of the storyline. It just interrupts the flow of the story to read it out of order. Well, for the first time that I can remember I read a series out of order. I was going on vacation, so I picked up the next two books by Feist from our local library, but when it came time to pack I realized that I would only get to read one of them, so I grabbed The King's Buccaneer thinking that it was next. I was a third into it before I realized that I was out of order. Dang.

It was still a good book in most respects. I like the way that Feist is digging into his setting and coming up with more an more plausible branches to his setting. In fantasy, setting is super important, and to carve off too small of a world up front makes writing hard, as does carving off a world too big. Back in the RiftWar series I noticed that the setting already spanned worlds, which is pretty big. By the end it had spanned many, many worlds, and the amazing thing is that he did it all without so much as sticking a big toe over the fantasy/scifi line. That is saying something. So now the story continues, and we explore the home world even more. The storyline is nicely linked to previous conflicts and the characters are either old characters being developed or resolved further, or new characters altogether. It is well done.

Now for a bit of criticism. As I have said before, I am in it for the light entertainment value, which is why I prefer juvenile fiction at the end of the day. One thing I have noticed in Adult Fiction writers is that they often start out low key, not too much violence, sex, etc., but once they get a series going that sort of stuff starts to increase. I wonder why that is. Do publishers think that that stuff is needed to sell books? I doubt that, since the first book is relatively clean and yet sold enough to justify the rest of the series. Do authors think that in order to add a dark dimension to their books they have to resort to graphic scenery? I don't get it. Anyway, I am noticing that trend in Feist's book, although it is a slow increase, which is saving the books from real disaster, still those are the parts that brought this book down from a 4+ rating in my mind.

Date Completed: 7/11/08
Rating (1 - 5): 3.85