|There's a nasty demon thing trying to break through into
Midkemia, and the intrepid characters are trying to stop it.
Raymond E Feist created a stunning world rife with potential, but the latest instalment, At
the Gates of Darkness, takes about half a book just to get everyone up to
date with all his characters. As a reader I don't need character arcs that are
completely unrelated to the plot -- however cool they were the first time round.
Of course if you've read many, most or all of the previous books, this is a great
re-union, and on the plus side it does star demon-fighting good guys with shady
pasts. The elf brothers sneaking through demon country were great --
and if only Raymond had focussed more on them, and less on Pug and that cast of "old
favourites", it would have been a better story. One of the reasons his
collaboration "Daughter of the Empire" series with Janny Wurts worked so well,
was that although some of Raymond's characters popped up on occasion, but they didn't get
in the way of the plot, stomp all over it and.... no, I wont give away the ending, but you
can probably guess.
It's also a shame that like many other long-running series, some of the simple charm
struggling to break through the story is overwhelmed by the huge and unbelievable forces
arrayed against the protagonists -- and the huge and unbelievable resources they have to
fight back with.