Thursday, July 31, 2014

Feast of Souls (Magister Trilogy #1) by C.S. Friedman

Mulluane | 11:30 AM | 4 Comments so far

At the end of her bestselling Coldfire Trilogy, C.S. Friedman challenged readers to imagine what a world would be like if sorcery required the ultimate sacrifice–that of life itself. Now, in a groundbreaking new fantasy novel, FEAST OF SOULS, she introduces us to a terrifying new world in which the cost of magic is just that–a world in which the fuel for sorcery is the very fire of the human spirit, and those who hunger for magical power must pay for it with their lives. In this epic tale of terrifying shadows and desperate hope, the greatest threat of all may not be that of ancient enemies returned, or ancient wars resumed, but of the darkness that lies within the hearts of men.

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Feast of Souls (Magister Trilogy #1) by C.S. Friedman

| Author: C. S. Friedman
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Witchcraft, Sorcery, Dark Magic
| ISBN-10: 0756404630
| ISBN-13: 9780756404635
| Publisher: DAW; Reprint edition (February 5, 2008)
| Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
| Cover Artist: John Jude Palencar
| Source: Personal copy
| Read an Excerpt
| Rating: 5/5 Stars
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Feast of Souls (The Magister Trilogy, #1)

♦ Mini Review ♦
What price would you pay to work magic? How about obtain virtual immortality? Is there a price that is too high? This book and series asks those questions and so many more. This is a tale that will make you ask yourself "Could I pay the price?"

Epic Fantasy Book Review by Mulluane

♦ The Story. This tale follows several main characters as it winds its way through harsh realities, impending destruction and personal tragedies. There are arrogant, immortal sorcerers, gentle witches and a royal family that is self destructing. There is an ancient threat, once thought to be destroyed or atleast contained, making a reappearance. There is also an ancient race of Protectors who supposedly contain the ability to defeat the rising threat, if only they knew exactly what that ability is.

♦ What I Liked. Alot. There are several strong female leads; always a plus for me. There are few clear cut answers but a ton of questions. There are backstabbing politics, personal agendas, and a bored group of immortals (all men) who will do anything just to find something new to experience. Not easy when you have lived for hundreds of years. These ancient sorcerers are finding out that the old adage "be careful what you wish for" has some interesting consequences.

There are loads of conflict, main characters who may or may not survive until the end of the book, plus plenty of action, adventure and mystery. There are characters to get behind, even as you question their choices. There are characters to hate, characters to pity and characters you'll wish you hadn't become so fond of. And questions. Always questions.

The worldbuilding is dark and creepy. The politics murky. The choices impossible. Survival is uncertain at best. The pace is often relentless; usually only slowing long enough to let you acclimate to new surroundings. And then there was the ending. It threw in a priceless twist plus the promise of more twists to come. Fortunately I have the whole series in hand so the cliffhanger aspect didn't bother me. I'm jumping right into book two with both feet.

♦ What I didn't like. Umm.... scratches head... I didn't really have time to find anything wrong. This book literally never stops. I didn't like putting it down. Does that count?

Some folks may have a problem with how "busy" this book is with so many plots, subplots and characters -- not to mention countries -- to keep track of. I personally had no problem following the action or the jumps in POV. Multiple POVs did lead to a bit of a disconnection with some of the characters, but not all. The whole experience was an interesting marriage of plot driven and character driven elements; each with varying degrees of importance.

But not to worry. There is a remedy. Just devote quality time to this book. Have a family member drop by your reading chair ever so often to shove a drink or sandwich in your hand and you'll be OK.

♦ My Thoughts. Now this is what I call dark epic fantasy that doesn't feel the need to go overboard. The violence that you experience is true to the world. Granted there is plenty of violence in the form of rape, child abuse, murder, insanity and the usual disdain of women you find in a patriarchal society -- but it all fits. The choices made are often a matter of trying to pick the lesser of two evils. Characters develop depending on their individual situations, good, bad or ugly. Nothing feels forced or added in for shock value. There are choices made that end up being terribly wrong, regardless of good intentions -- or bad. There are choices made with total disregard for the consequences to others. And there is everything in between.

♦ Conclusion. Are you fond of "what if" stories that will plop you right down in the middle of a scenario that can't help but make you wonder what you would do? Do you enjoy dark tempered by shades of gray but without any profanity or random violence that serves no purpose? Do you want characters who grow, or devolve, according to their circumstances? Do you love strong female leads, characters you can detest and dragon like creatures that are evil personified? If so you will love this book!

♥ Additional Reviews ♥

Series Summary ~ Wings of Wrath #2 ~ Legacy of Kings #3

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Librarything 3.89/5

Amazon: 4.0/5
(64 customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Feast of Souls: Book One of the Magister Trilogy

Audible: Yes

Buy Book: Books-A-Million ~ Abebooks

Book Depository

Amazon: US ~ Canada ~ UK
Already read the book? Please share your own opinion!

Epic Fantasy Review of Feast of Souls (Magister Trilogy #1) by C.S. Friedman
Reviewed by Mulluane on July 31 2014
Rating: 5 of 5

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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Old Bat's Belfry - Witty Wacky and Wise Quotes


  1. You probably had me at "strong female leads" - the rest was just icing on the cake... :-D
    The author's name came to my attention some time ago in relation to a list of recommended female authors, so when I saw that your were reading one of her books I kept an eye out for the review. Multiple P.O.Vs? check Intricate politics? check Layered shades of grey? check.
    Added to the list! ;-)

    1. LOL, I'm so bad... or good, for your poor list. It is an intriguing story and it is completely lacking in things like karma and poetic justice. The thought of living in this world sends shivers up my spine.

  2. Excellent review. I've read this book and your sentiments are spot on


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