As the final parts of the riftwar saga have been release (for quite some time) I figured it warranted a revisit, especially since this is one of my all time favorite fantasy epics. Given that this is an old favorite I had to contend with the fear of it not living up to my memories, however It continues to be a great read.
The book and the series as a whole is a fairly classic fantasy epic depicting a a world and a culture going through a catastrophic upheaval. This first book also have a strong coming of age theme following the main characters through there journey to adulthood in a tumultuous time.
The pacing and storytelling really makes the world come alive and quickly builds a connection with the main characters. As I see it there is only one minor issue with the writing and that is the frequent long jumps in time that sometimes happens within chapters, sometimes creating confusion regarding the timeline.
Other than this the story uses fairly standard fantasy themes that despite the original publishing date highlights some strikingly modern concepts of privilege, gender and misconceptions when cultures clash. This can be seen a sad reflection on the progress our society have made since the original publishing (1982) or as I prefer it a highlight on the fact the our “modern” views on these issues are a lot older than our current discourse suggests.
So in conclusion this continues to be one of my favorite books and hopefully series of all time and the book is a excellent introduction to epic fantasy. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys fast paced fantasy epics with a character driven story.