After the post-human weirdness of Tomorrow and Tomorrow, I wanted to read something deeply familiar and comfortable, which meant a book from the epic fantasy authors I'd started reading in junior high. The book on my shelf that came closest to fitting this description was Raymond E. Feist's Krondor: The Assassins .

Still, I was a bit hesitant to pick this book up. It's not because I don't like Feist, mind. Even though I don't think he's nearly as good as I thought back in junior high, I still think he's a pretty competent writer. Sure, maybe his stories are a bit too obviously lifted from an RPG setting, but as generic epic fantasy goes, they're competently done and interesting. Plus, since I'd started reading them forever ago, they're comfortable and nostalgic books for me.

The reason I was hesitant is that the previous book Feist had written, Krondor: The Betrayal, was terrible. The reason for that is that it was adapted from a computer game -- characters, plot, and all. I read an interview with Feist where he stated that he had a hard time adapting the book from the game, and I can believe it: The demands of a game plot are rather decidedly different than those of a book plot, and what works in one medium wouldn't necessarily work well in the other. (And what's worse, Betrayal at Krondor was a lousy computer game. Although, admittedly, that's a minority opinion.)

Anyway, I picked up this book, afraid that it would be an equally bad translation of the second Krondor game, and was fairly nervous while reading it. It turned out to be okay, though: Not as good as his purely original stuff, but light years better than the previous book. I found out later -- while I was looking up a few facts for this weblog entry, in fact -- that it wasn't actually based on the second game, but was a bridging novel to link the two game-adapted books together. Which means that the next book in the series is another game-adapted book. I'm thinking I might skip that one, but don't regret reading this one.


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