|Submitted by Dermot, Ireland |
(Dec 12, 2002)
Searching for an original and intriguing author I was directed to Ray Feist by a mutual acquaintance. Having played the game I chose to buy Krondor the Betrayal. Unfortunately I was dissappointed. Although this title is quite pacy, genuinely funny in many places, and having a breathtaking scope in terms of the complexity of the worlds and concepts he uses, I found Krondor really quite superficial, and worse than that, repetitive. Feist's characters often use the same devices to escape from particular situations, his descriptions of combat are unbelievable and unrealistic, and his larger battle scenes don't really engage the reader.
The other thing that bothers me, not just with Feist but with almost all Fantasy authors I've read, is the idyllic and sanitised settings they use. Most Fantasy novel borrow heavily from themes, concepts and surroudings from the middles ages period of Europe and Asia. Perhaps its because many of these authors are American, or perhaps it's simple laziness or lack of research, but to describe a medieval-type society without including the frequent sickness and famine, horrendous toil and suffering, and the brutality of law and government systems, makes for rather shallow reading. Probably one of the most common features, never introduced in Fantasy writing, would have been filth and poor hygiene. Instead of the poor, hunch backed, pock marked faces of peasantry, we receive instead strapping youths and comely maidens, all naturally beautiful without the aid of modern cosmetics, diets, soap or toothpaste.