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Interview

Raymond E. Feist p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. For this issue, fantasy author Raymond E. Feist recommends a couple of history books. Also Norman Wallis reports on the most recent Lifeline Bookfest, which is a bi-annual El Dorado for lovers of second-hand books, in Brisbane, Australia.

The queue to see Raymond E. Feist included silver-haired men who’d been reading Raymond Feist for 30 years, and teenagers who’d been introduced to the books by their parents. I know one fan who is currently reading Magician’s End, the 30th and last novel in Feist’s 30-novel Riftwar Cycle, having read all the others. And I know of another fantasy enthusiast who has two copies of every Raymond E. Feist novel — a reading copy and a shelf copy. His eReader had since obviated the need for reading-copies. It’s the sort of enthusiasm Raymond Feist inspires in his fans. I went to see him give a talk at the Brisbane Square Library.
Mr Feist is most-known for The Riftwar Cycle, which is a series of 30 novels starting with Magician (1982). The books are broken up into sub-series of two, three and four novels, eg., Magician is also the first book in The Riftwar Saga which is a trilogy and is the first series in The Riftwar Cycle.
Mr Feist said he wrote histories of places that never existed. He was currently writing a novel about ancient gods returning to Earth after thousands of years. The pagan idols don’t like what they see.
And he has a new book coming out, The King of Ashes, which is part of a trilogy The War of Five Crowns. It’s a different world from Midkemia, where most of the Riftwar books take place. The War of Five Crowns has different politics, different characters and different rules of magic from the Riftwar books, he said. He has said that people like rules, even in fantasy.

His first novel, Magician (1982) was written as a kind of tie-in with a role-playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons. Mr Feist said he was a gamer at university, and he used the world from the role-playing game for Magician. He had a lot of elves and goblins in the book, unlike in his later books. This was to ease in fantasy readers who were used to Tolkien-type medieval settings.
He said he didn’t really know what he was doing when he wrote Magician, about a young man named Pug who lived in Crydee Keep and is apprenticed to a magician, eventually becoming a magician of great power; and his boyhood friend Tomas who inherits a legacy of ancient magic and becomes a great warrior. But he said he wouldn’t change anything about it.

– continued next page.
– copyright Simon Sandall.

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