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

What It's Like To Get Pipebombed

Well, I'm going to break with my rule of not actually mentioning anything about having a pipe thrown at you, but in celebration of the 6 month anniversary, I really wanted to write it up.

So, without further ado, here's what happened on my Fourth of July 2009, and the six months since:

So, it's the Fourth of July, 2009, about ten-ish or so at night. Being that we live in a condo, and our homeowner's association has prohibited fireworks being let off in our complex, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood in order to better see the fireworks everyone else was letting off.

We walked straight out the front gate, got about maybe 50 feet down the street, and a dark car with it's headlights on pulled out onto the street, about a block ahead of us a man with a white shirt was walking in the same direction as us, nothing noteworthy about either of those. However, upon passing us, something was tossed out of the passenger window and bounced off my chest, upon the gro…

Prototype Status: Beat

For the longest time I was stuck on a ridiculous boss fight in Prototype, so I shelved it for a couple of weeks. Of course as is usually the case, I brought it out to show it to a friend, and tore through the boss like it was no big deal, so I finally beat the story over the weekend.

A major complaint that I've had with the game, and indeed, many other action games as well, is that boss fights all require you to play the game in an entirely different way. In Prototype, you are typically the toughest thing out there, and you regularly square off against multiple opponents at the same time, while tearing them apart with brutal melee attacks. Then you get the boss fights, a number of which mostly involve you just running around, trying to get a heavy object to throw at them very hard. Becuse if you were to get within melee distant of them, they just use some attack that instantly stuns you. As I said, this seems to be a problem with most action games, not just Prototype. I was …

CM's Star Gaogaigar

So, this is Star Gaogaigar from the King of Braves Gaogaigar cartoon, one of the infamous Brave series of cartoons. Basically, the Brave series was a handful of cartoons with toylines supported by Takara after the original Transformers line had stopped being profitable. Each series was unrelated to the last, and was heavily aimed towards selling toys, featuring a lot of combining figures, especially centered around a central hero character, which would combine with just about everything else under the sun for various upgrades. A lot of Transformers fans consider the toys to these cartoons as the spiritual successors of the original Transformers line.

I've never watched the cartoon, so instead, here's the opening:







Now that that's out of the way, look at that box! It's huge! Height and width, it's about on par with the larger Soul of Chogokin boxes, but the thing that's really odd about it, is that it's just as deep as it is tall, if you look at it from the sid…