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Flight of the Nighthawks (The Darkwar Saga #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  8,789 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Sorcerer Pug wakes from a nightmare that portends destruction for all of Midkemia, and his son Magnus learns the reason: a beacon draws an army of alien invaders, and nemesis Sidi, now Leso Varen. In Stardock town, two boys come of age and go deep into the Empire of Great Kesh. A dark plot implicates the highest-ranking nobles, and the Nighthawks clan of Assassins.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 11th 2006 by Harper Voyager (first published January 1st 2004)
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMagician by Raymond E. FeistThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Best Heroic Fantasy
113th out of 527 books — 840 voters
Magician by Raymond E. FeistMagician by Raymond E. FeistSilverthorn by Raymond E. FeistA Darkness At Sethanon by Raymond E. FeistDaughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist
Midkemia Reading Order
23rd out of 31 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Will Collins
Mar 15, 2016 Will Collins rated it it was amazing
This was actually the first Feist book I've read and I think it serves as a great introduction to anyone who also hadn't read his other works.

Nighthawks still remains one of my favourite Feist books too.
Aug 15, 2008 Jamie rated it did not like it
Wow, Raymond Feist is really phoning it in here. Feist is one of my guilty pleasures as far as books go, and only one of two high fantasy authors I read everything from any more (the other one being George R. R. Martin). That may have to change, though.

Flight of the Nighthawks really isn't all that well written, what with half the characters using idioms straight out of the 20th century and with clumsy and distracting phrasing that any editor should have been able to catch. It seems pretty clear
Matthew Green
Mar 28, 2013 Matthew Green rated it it was ok
Flight of the Nighthawks has a good narrative that flows rather nicely. However, the plotline is one of Feist's weaker works, resulting in a somewhat meandering and, in the end, cliched style.

The book begins focusing on the two boys, Tad and Zane, though somewhere along the line, Feist seemed to forget about them, leaving me wondering why he introduced them in the first place. Identifying a main character toward the end seemed rather difficult as it seemed to be spread out over numerous characte
Jan 08, 2009 Shivesh rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantastical
An inauspicious start to this trilogy... Feist has this down to a formula, with strict ingredients and instructions. A standard trilogy starter, with cardboard characters and a generic plot. Pug, Miranda, Nakor and Tomas take their usual turns in this fantasy, without much reminding us of why we liked them to begin with. Leso Varen, the mad mage from the previous trilogy, is back and madder than ever. This is a guy who can't die! Some cheap theatrics and poorly written intrigue with the court of ...more
Mar 18, 2015 Prudence rated it liked it
a good start to a new series- good setup for the next novel.

was not enthralled with new characters (tad and zane) but loved the fact that pug and nakor have some "screen time" after being largely distant from feist novels for a while

this is not a series that somebody fresh to feist world can pick up- alot of references to previous books and characters.

I also dislike the use of Varen, he had his moments but hopefully will be pushed aside for the dasati
Holly Cashman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2016 Danielle rated it liked it
The first of the Darkwar Series, set a year or so after "Exile's Return", is a decent read if nothing more.

I'm always excited when we go down into Kesh, and the majority of this book was based down there. The Conclave are on the constant lookout for the dangerous necromancer Leso Varen, and believe he is orchestrating chaos in the Imperial Court of Kesh.

It's a rather straightforward plot, and although the plot itself didn't move me particularly, the subtle foreshadowing of things to come did. Th
Jul 02, 2013 Gavin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Three things. First, someone should rewrite the preface. This isn't really a story of brothers or assassins. It's more politics and sorcery. Second, this book is alright. It's nothing great, but narration flows nicely and the anticipation to the climax is steady. Third, as warning, as I found out, this book is the first of a saga, but is not something brand new. There are more works, more story already built into the world this story takes place in.
Jul 29, 2016 Natalia rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first book by Raymond E. Feist that I've read - by accident mostly as I messed up the titles and picked up the wrong (or rather, not intended) trilogy at my local library.

And for the first encounter... it was not that bad. I didn't like the first half of the book, but I always try to finish what I've started and I'm glad I didn't stop. Initially the pace was really slow and the plot not really engaging. The whole system of - let's say - realities seemed quite complicated but hopeful
On the surface, Flight of the Nighthawks tells the story of two "brothers", coming of age to be men, Tad and Zane, which Feist does really, really well. I find the more interesting part of the story is how Pug and Nakor continually discuss the very nature of good and evil, while Pug's mind is always on his new family and the one that he has lost. They are also trying to deal with the threat of the Dasati invading Midkemia, through a new rift that is open with the help of the Great Ones. Also, th ...more
Aug 06, 2014 Novanz rated it really liked it
I'm really enjoying Feist's Riftwar Cycle. They're classic, easy to read adventures, with just enough magic & fantasy 'stuff' (Nod to Nakor there) to add some spice. But dear god the editing. Anyone else notice the nice moment Kaspar has observing the princes of Kesh, appreciating their sibling bond despite Kaspar and his daughter being only children? Wait, what?! So, we just deleted his beloved sister that we've just read about for several books, and invented a daughter despite numerous sec ...more
Jun 13, 2010 Blake rated it really liked it
My favorite fantasy author of all time. It's just a joy to read his work, as he continues the story of Pug, and totally keeps you hanging on by having Pug, many books ago, told everyone around him, his loved ones, would die. Amazing character development.
Thomas Arvanitis
Feb 20, 2014 Thomas Arvanitis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5 stars really. A breezy read, interesting without being overly deep. Quite enjoyable, but with many, many jarring typos. The editor of this edition was asleep at the wheel.
Travis Cottreau
Nov 02, 2014 Travis Cottreau rated it it was ok
This book seemed somewhat pointless. It seems to follow the same pattern as many, many other Midkemia books. I won't get into it, since it would involve spoilers, but I believe this entire book could have been a few paragraphs in a description of previous events in the life of the Conclave of Shadows. One of the weakest books in the series.

I finished the previous trilogy and quite enjoyed it, but this one was low on interesting content and nothing surprising or innovative happens, just more of
Jul 06, 2016 Semih rated it liked it
First book i read from the writer.
I think as a writer he is good and insightful. But i didnt like the fantasy setting at all.
Especially magic system sucks.
Some guy takes a sphere on hand and they just teleport to somewhere right away. Thats ridiculous for me.
Also i didnt find the character creation very deep.
Ralan Bek was the only guy i found interesting and he gets into play for a very small part of the book.
I gave 3 stars for the overall talent of the writer and that the book added me val
Sep 22, 2016 Jennifer rated it liked it
*Rating may not be conclusive.*

I really enjoyed this story. However, I realized this book is part of a large series even though it's only the first in a trilogy that comes in later. Meaning there are more books that came before Flight of the Nighthawks that is all in the same world. The reason I read out of order is for a bookclub. I still enjoyed the characters but I felt I need to get to know them a little better. So instead of continuing the trilogy, I'm going to start from the very beginning
Well, book 1 of the Darkwar Saga is a promising start. Love the fact that the previous plot has been broadened to warrant intervention from the most powerful people in Midkemia. The book starts off slow but as the plot builds, so does the tension. It boils into a nicely crafted, if somewhat predictable, finale. I expected a bit more from the magical battle, so that was slightly disappointing. Overall though, with the inclusion of so many characters and different viewpoints, Feist manages to make ...more
Lonny Grout
Jul 19, 2010 Lonny Grout rated it liked it
Certainly not his best work, but not bad either. First the bad: One reader already mentioned he had too many modern phrases and references, which was true, but not in the extreme. What was extreme was the number of references to past characters and books, that it seemed like reading a "clip show" in book form. Although some background is needed, this was done in excess and even references that had nothing to do with the current plot were used. Obviously he was relying too heavily on past success ...more
Joe Aguiar
Nov 27, 2012 Joe Aguiar rated it really liked it
Flight Of The Nighthawks takes place a few short years after The Conclave Of Shadows series with Pug and the Conclave now facing a new threat from the vile sorcerer Leso Varen, who now seeks to destabilize and destroy the Empire of Great Kesh. Agents Talwin Hawkins, Kasper, And Caleb, along with his new stepsons Tad and Zane, head to the desert empire in hopes of stoping Varen once and for all. But, with the assassin Nighthawks doing his bidding, this may be an almost impossible task. Once again ...more
Aug 30, 2011 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
A ho-hum story without a real hook to it
Bottom Line: Try before you buy
Never read any of Feist's book before this one. The cover looked really good, and the it had gotten some pretty decent reviews.
So, the first part of the book, with Pug waking from a dream was didn't make any sense. And then we from that to the two boys, and the guy their mom likes. I had no idea who Pug was, and why did the book start with him?
Fast forward a ways, to the explanation of the all Gods..the Lesser Gods
Flight of the Nighthawks introduces two new heroes to the ongoing Riftwar Saga - Tad and Zane, the obligatory young men with little skill or prospects who find themselves caught up in the adventures of Pug, Tomas, Nakor and the others. Adopted into the extended father when Caleb, Pug's son, marries their mother, they soon venture to Kesh with their stepfather to stop the plots of evil Varen.

Tad and Zane's story feels like a retread of what Feist has done before. It is everything that is going o
Jul 06, 2012 Kailash rated it liked it
This book continues from where the "Conclave of Shadows" series left off. 'Exile's Return' ended with two big questions. The mysterious & extremely dangerous killing-machines from another world, called 'Talnoy', and a resurgence of the band of assassins, the Nighthawks. This book takes place mostly in the Empire of Kesh and deals almost exclusively with rooting out the Nighthawks (although we see precious little of the assassins). Nakor, Pug, Miranda, Magnus, Caleb & his foster sons and ...more
Riki Solanen
Dec 03, 2013 Riki Solanen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mid-series
This book was an improvement on the previous trilogy, Conclave of Shadows. I really had a hard time staying interested in those, but hung on in the hopes that the story would pick back up. This book is another installment in this long Midkemia story, but thankfully reintroduces some characters I really like, like Pug and Nakor. Feist has a fantasy formula he follows pretty well, and this trilogy is showing to be no exception, but that's fine as I love his stories. Pug lives so long that of cours ...more
On the surface, Flight of the Nighthawks tells the story of two "brothers", coming of age to be men, Tad and Zane, which Feist does really, really well. I find the more interesting part of the story is how Pug and Nakor continually discuss the very nature of good and evil, while Pug's mind is always on his new family and the one that he has lost. They are also trying to deal with the threat of the Dasati invading Midkemia, through a new rift that is open with the help of the Great Ones. Also, th ...more
Patrick Bättig
Feb 13, 2015 Patrick Bättig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Die Bedrohungen für Midkemia und Kelewan wollen nicht enden: Obwohl das Konklave der Schatten Leso Varen und seinen Nachtfalken dicht auf den Fersen ist, schmieden sie weiter ihre finsteren Umsturzpläne gegen das Herrscherhaus von Kesh. Zugleich wird offenbar, welche Gefahr von den fremdartigen Talnoy ausgeht: Sie stellen eine Art Magnet für einen neuen „Spalt“ dar, durch den die fürchterlichen Dasati eindringen könnten
May 14, 2009 Ty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i have read almost all of Feist's books and this one is not one of his best. i read the first dozen of so books set in Midkemia and really enjoyed them, but then i hit the "Krondor" series and gave up for a while. i picked them back up with the Conclave of Shadows trilogy and found that Feist was back on his game. now with this book, the first in the Darkwar Saga trilogy, it feels like he has gone back to the poor writing that made the "Krondor" series so bad.

i will likely at least try the 2nd
Jun 26, 2016 Toby rated it really liked it
Flight of the Nighthawks is the first in a new series set in Midkemia, full of familiar characters and settings. Talwin Hawkins, Kaspar, Pug, Caleb and others that you'll know well. While I have to admit that the Midkemia stories are becoming a bit predictable, they are nevertheless fun. I love the character development and plot, set in an excellent fantasy setting, but without making the magic the center of the story. An excellent balance!
Allen Garvin
Feb 19, 2008 Allen Garvin rated it liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy
It's been a decade or so since my last Feist book (the Merchant Prince one, which I never finished). I found this one at Half-Price Books and thought I'd give a try. The start seems a little clumsy in the introduction of the characters, but it is a reasonably enjoyable piece of fluff. Some young boys with special talents show their incredibly potential; there's a shadowy guild of assassins that threaten the king (and finding them involves contacting the thieves' guild and travelling through the ...more
May 16, 2015 Denn rated it it was amazing
As per usual, an amazing novel by an amazing author. Some might say it's too 'easy', but I prefer those kind of books. Books should be entertaining, and this one certainly was. It didn't feel like a chore reading it, in fact, I just wasn't able to put it down. I recommend this to anyone who's interested in great fantasy..
Jun 01, 2015 Jsrott rated it really liked it
Fast and enjoyable read. I like that Feist didn't sick with his same stock characters throughout his series but rather lets his characters grow old, die and make way for new characters to take the story further. I'm actually disappointed to know that I am getting close to the end of this world's stories.
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Raymond E. Feist was born Raymond E. Gonzales III, but took his adoptive step-father's surname when his mother remarried Felix E. Feist. He graduated with a B.A. in Communication Arts with Honors in 1977 from the University of California at San Diego. During that year Feist had some ideas for a novel about a boy who would be a magician. He wrote the novel two years later, and it was published in 1 ...more
More about Raymond E. Feist...

Other Books in the Series

The Darkwar Saga (3 books)
  • Into a Dark Realm (The Darkwar Saga, #2)
  • Wrath of a Mad God (The Darkwar Saga, #3)

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