Skip to main content

Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman


My very first book review, and it's for one of my favorite authors.

C.S. Friedman hasn't written a whole lot of books, but what she has done has just about all been top shelf science fiction.

A few notable favorites would be Madness Season, where an immortal creature that can assume the shape of any animal, but is allergic to sunlight and must survive on the nutrients in the blood of other creatures (a vampire basically) must learn how to survive in a universe where the human race has been enslaved by a reptillian hive-mind race. And the Coldfire Trilogy, which features a planet that was started as a human seed colony, except the colonists found upon landing that there were forces that would act on conscious and unconscious thoughts and effect the physical world. Thus if you had a doubt that something might not work, it would be amplified, and definitely not work. Hundreds of years later, it's become a fantasy world, where people use guns in favor of swords, since they are more reliable, and people are able to tap into the ambient energy in order to perform magic.

Feast of Souls is the first book of the Magister trilogy, and is a pure fantasy setting, which is a first for Friedman. In this world, there are people who can perform magic, but the cost is high, for every magical working, a bit of the casters life force is expended. Small things may only cost a few seconds, but larger workings could burn off hours of their life. These beings are called witches, and their eventual fate is to die young in old bodies.

Witches are not the only ones who are able to do magic, however, there is another group, called Magisters, who are somehow able to perform magic without having to expend their life force, and as such, they are effectively immortal. It comes to be known that in order to become a Magister, one takes a witch, and has them expend all of their life force, then once they are about to die, they will find another life force, and live and perform magic off of it, until it is gone. Magisters are exclusively male for whatever reason, (the hypothesis is that women are programmed by evolution to want to nurture life, and are therefore unable to bring themselves to live at another's expense) essentially a prerequisite for being a Magister then is that one needs to be selfish to the point of believing that one has the right to live no matter what.

The primary concern that Magisters face is boredom, no mortal concerns matter to them, since they can just outlive any enemies that they might have, and their are only so many places to go and things to do in the world. Onto the scene comes one very stubborn woman who is determined to have the power of the Magisters no matter what the cost. And an invading species of creature that devours life force in a manner that the Magisters find a little too close to their own methods of finding power.

It was a very fun read, with lots of political angling, and intrigue, as well as heroic prostitutes and knights in distress.

If you like fantasy that's a little bit dark, I'd recommend checking it out.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Worst Contact Allergic Reaction I've Ever Had

I'm started to feel like a bit of a freak show. I've of course been injured by shrapnel from a pipe bomb, and I've got impressive scars to prove it (side note: One of my friends said that I need to come up with a really awesome story to go along with my scar, and I sad "Someone throwing a pipe bomb at me isn't awesome enough?")

I've mentioned that I took a first aid/CPR class in my first quarter of college, taught by Ron Hussman at Edmonds Community College. He was a great instructor, with a lot of great stories being a navy medic for 24 years, I think that's what he said. I'm proud to say that the pictures of my leg injury are now part of his curriculum, but I got tired of raising my hand every time he asked if someone had done something in particular.

Called 911? Check
Used an epipen? Check
Been in shock? Check
Ridden in an ambulance? Check
Had burns in your throat? Check (seriously, don't let your kids hold roman candles while they fire)
Latex all…

Toy Review: Tekkaman Blade & Pegas

Today I've got Tekkaman Blade & Pegas from Bandai's Soul of Chogokin SPEC line. SPEC is a subset of the Soul of Chogokin, and is supposed to feature more modern characters, in more toy like incarnations, also typically with less metal content. This is the first SPEC toy that I've ever picked up. There have been a couple of different cartoons feature the Tekkaman character, none of which have I seen, but from what I've gathered, this toy is based on the designs from the 90's OVA Tekkaman Blade. In the cartoon an invading alien force abducts humans and turns them into cyborg warriors called Tekkamen. Blade is the title character, and he manages to escape being fully brainwashed, in order to return to Earth and thwart the invasion. The conversion process being icomplete, he has some disadvantages, which require him to use the larger mech, Pegas as a means of transforming into his Tekkaman form, also he can only stay in his Tekkaman form for 30 minutes, or risk goin…

GX- 59 Daltanious: Robbed Of Being Voltron

One of the things that I love about doing reviews for these old super robots is reading up on their back story and finding all kinds of interesting facts. So, quick! What's the first thing that you think of when I say "Voltron"? Pretty much, if you even know what Voltron is, you're going to think of this first:



Five robot lions that combine to make a giant humanoid robot. If you were a male child raised in the '80s, then you know who Voltron is. A smaller subset will remember that there were two Voltrons, the lion Voltron, and then a Voltron made out of 15 vehicles, often just called Vehicle Voltron:

An even smaller subset will remember that there were actually three Voltrons, the third being made of three smaller humanoid robots, and called Gladiator Voltron:



What's the deal with all of the Voltrons? Voltron was a similar project to Hasbro's Transformers, and Tonka's Gobots, where a company took existing toy properties from Japan, and used them to la…