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Talon of the Silver Hawk (Conclave of Shadows #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  13,610 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
In a distant land, high among the snow-capped mountains, a peaceful nation is mercilessly put to the sword...yet one will survive. Little more than a boy, Talon of the Silver Hawk must carry on until, someday, he can take vengeance.

Leaving the icy vastness of his ancient home, Talon descends into the dangerous land of his adversary. Treading a perilous path, he must surviv
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 15th 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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I hedged between 3-4 stars for this book and it could easily been a 4.

First, I typically like stories, like here, where you have a youngling driven to accomplish some great deed whether driven by revenge, noble ideals, pursuit of power, etc. Here we deal with revenge on a grand scale (main character Talon's family and country are murdered). I like watching the development of the character as the mature both in age and abilities. Talon is adopted by members of the powerful Conclave of Shadows an
Dec 23, 2012 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really 2 1/2 stars. Granted, I read this way too soon after the Kingkiller books which set a crazy high standard...but this book really under delivered.

It started off promising. None of the poetry of Rothfuss, but definitely some interesting concepts. Talon's culture, a pretty obvious analogue to Native American culture, sets up an interesting character and premise. A revenge story? I'm in. Even when Talon starts to become "trained" with logic games etc. etc., I was still pretty interested. I li
Rebecka (is hilarious, shut up)
Actual rating: 2,5

Mostly, this book just served to remind me of why I prefer modern fantasy. In my experience, older fantasy tend to focus significantly less on the individual and his/her feelings and development, instead leaning heavily on honor and often some kind of epic quest. This was the case here, and I definitely did not like it. I like my characters human and complex and, most importantly, I want to be by their side every step of the way and feel with them as they grow and change.

Sep 10, 2011 Mithrendiel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So I was a bit disappointed in this book. It was VERY slow starting. Now, this is somewhat to be expected with the first book in a trilogy, but by VERY slow… I mean a good 85% of the book was all character development. Not even exciting character development. Nope, the protagonist was getting trained, getting laid, and having pretty much no adventures along the way. And in all of that character development, the author never managed to make me identify with or really like his protagonist. I don’t ...more
Jul 29, 2016 Milou rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. Earlier this year I picked up Magician by Feist and did really enjoy reading it. This one though…

There is no characterization. Every person in this story is exactly the same, apart from their name and set of skills. The one can hunt, the other is good with a sword and then there is one that can cook. That’s it. None of them have personality whatsoever. Our main character, having lived till his 16th in a group of people with a very different culture should therefore be
Jun 14, 2011 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a fan of 'Magician' in my teens and subsequently read the remainder of 'The Riftwar Saga', but I eventually lost interest somewhere near the end of 'The Serpent War Saga' and thus ended my Feist frenzy. I don't recall exactly why I stopped reading these fantasy novels, but I think it was a combination of Fantasy fatigue combined with the ever-evolving complexity of the series, especially the political aspects which generally bore me. It simply all got too elaborate and complicated for my t ...more
Allen Garvin
Recommended to me Dave as "possibly the best Feist ever". Starts out with a tribal kid out on his day of naming, basically where he becomes a man. He thinks about all his loving family members, great life growing up, and he's up on a mountain all alone. By page 3, I knew his village was going to be wiped out by murdering, cruel thugs of some kind, and hey! page 8 he sees smoke and circling carrion birds in the distance. Of course, you don't read Feist if you want an original Fantasy story, and h ...more
Ben O'neill
I'm a Feist fan. I have been for a long time. Not because I think he is a brilliant writer, or because his stories are particularly original. He isn't and they aren't. I'm a fan because he has a laundry list of publications, all in the same world, all interconnected. I've only had to deal with completely unfamiliar territory once or twice in what - fifteen books? And there is something to be said for familiarity. Sometimes I just want to read a generic fantasy novel, and Feist scratches that itc ...more
May 08, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an establishing book for a trilogy I couldn't help but feel a little short changed by the end.
For those who enjoy reading fantasy novels, you may become a little irritated by the protagonist's long list of convenient talents:
- Fluent in six (or more?) languages
- Amazing eyesight
- Philosophical mind
- Painter
- Wine appreciator
- Military strategist
- Lean, fit body
- Culinary chef
- Super swordsman
- Impeccable manners (yes, in my world this is a super power)
- Sexy-as lady-killer
- Fashionable

Not too
Steve Haywood
Jan 08, 2012 Steve Haywood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Note - First book in Conclave of Shadows, a 3 book series.[return][return]Talon returns to his home after completing his manhood ritual, to find his family and all of the Orosini mountain tribe, the only people he s ever known, being attacked by ruthless mercenaries. He tries to help them, but is knocked unconscious and left for dead. He is saved by a mysterious man named Robert and put to work in a tavern that Robert is staying at. This however is just a test, and once he is considered worthy, ...more
Oct 27, 2013 Toby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was quite a page turner for me. There was very little magic or fantasy in the book, it is basically a medieval tale of intrigue, deception and battle. The characters were believable and kept me interested in the outcome. I highly recommend it for people who like things like Game of Thrones or the like. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series and will probably go back and read some of the other series that are also set in the same world of Midkemia. I read the The Riftwar Saga and Magi ...more
A friend loaned me this once--he had just read it and LOVED it. I couldn't get through even the first half. 100 pages in and I was already skimming. I just wasn't interested in the world or the characters or the plot at ALL--everything felt so one-dimensional to me. Actually, no. It's not even that I just wasn't interested in any of it, it's more that I actively DISLIKED it. Maybe I'm just not crazy about Feist's style of writing, or maybe the setting just didn't work for me, I don't know. In an ...more
Nov 10, 2012 Leigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really know how to feel about this book, it just isnt interesting in any way, it was so flat that I dont feel strongly either way.
It wasn't bad in the sense that I would feel compelled to warn people about it, it's just a "meh" experience.
I do not feel compelled in the slightest to read book 2 and 3 but I probably will anyway just to see what else he is amazing at and what other ways Feist could make him perfect in every imaginable circumstance.
Jul 17, 2014 Elar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
New series has quite good start with fresh characters and location. Very good adventure story with fantasy spliced into it. Main hero is very likable character and it is easy to imagine all the trouble he gets into and out again :)
Jun 25, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that i am hooked on the Raymond E Feist stuff I thought id give this a go since it is in line with what happens after the serpent war saga.
And like the serpent war saga i am finding my self reading very fast, And having a good time reading the book.
Mar 08, 2012 Kaylah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, Feist has done a brilliant intro to a series. He has to do some of my favorite beginning's. I loved watching our main character experience culture clash and learn to adapt to new situations and surroundings.
Youtube Review with more detail:
Clare Farrelly
I ate this book. I flipped through it until I got to the end. The characters were likable and it was a good old epic fantasy kind of read, so hey it was predictable but I still enjoyed it. Not much in the way of magic, but the MC still has so many cool real talents. No crazy plot twists but still a good plot. So page turning though. I may have got really frustrated at the beginning when it was like JUST TELL ME WHAT IS GOING ON! But I eventually got over that, as they did eventually tell me some ...more
Brian Turner
Jan 29, 2017 Brian Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Talon of the Silver Hawk is the last surviving member of his tribe after they are wiped out.
Taken in by a group known only as the Conclave of Shadows, he is trained in various modes of combat and spycraft to infiltrate the group behind it.
A good look at his training and how he changes his character to pass as a minor noble.
Although he is working for the Conclave, he still wants revenge on the men who wiped out his people.

Set quite a few years after Magician/Silverthorn and Darkness at Sethanon,
Mar 04, 2017 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I always consider Talon of the Silver Hawk one of my favourite books in the Riftwar Universe. If Feist' books were a TV Series, this would very much feel like the first episode in the second season.

Especially after reading some of the somewhat lacklustre fill in books (Riftwar Legacy for example), this is a return to form, and very much in the style of Magician - we follow Tal Hawkin's growth from boy to Champion of the Master's Court of Roldem.

The only part that didn't sit well with me is that
Feb 10, 2017 Lillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy, adult
My favorite book by Feist yet! ...I think. I couldn't get into it at first, but then it got more interesting later on, especially in part two. (The tournament chapter was the best!) And the last chapter... so much fun. 8)

Tal is a complete Marty-Stu though. Lol. He should have died at least four times... Plus he's a miraculously good fighter. Like, come on... Screw up a little more, Tal. ...And if you're going to die, please actually DO die and stop fake deathing. xD
Mar 06, 2017 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed thoroughly.
Oct 20, 2008 Shivesh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore feist fans only
Shelves: fantastical
An uneven book by most measures, 'Talon of the Silver Hawk' is still a guilty pleasure of a read. The irony of Feist's success is that he can't keep up the pace. It's like a marathoner who runs 4 minute miles for the first third of the race but limps in at the end: he simply started out too strong. This is odd praise, no doubt; but it is finally clear that in the three books of the Riftwar Saga, Feist has prematurely shot his literary load. 'The Serpentwar Saga' as a whole was a bitter disappoin ...more
Jan 18, 2017 Joel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back to form! This is a fun one, with a lot of echoes of Magician. It is kind of annoying that Talon is so effortlessly good at everything, but hey--maybe the Conclave tried this with like ten thousand other war orphans, and his was the only story that worked out well enough to write down?
Eric Parker
Jan 12, 2017 Eric Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing book! The best book by Raymond Feist that I have read (reading them in publication order). The main character is supremely fascinating. The way in which he lives his life despite that fact that so much is hidden from him (and the reader). There is a great bit of philosophy on doing evil for the greater good and doing good for the greater evil as well. This book cost me a couple nights of sleep since I couldn't stop reading since it was so fascinating. I highly recommend this t ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I have one major gripe against this book: it is labeled as fantasy and I feel like it really wasn't. Magic is spoken of several times and used very occasionally, but it is not described in any great detail and there weren't really any fantastical creatures running around. So I was expecting something fantastical and received very little. Also, it's in the science fiction section at the bookstore and I don't really think it fits into that category, either.

My other issues are as follows:

I didn't
Simon Barron
Yep, Feist is starting to get back to what he does best with Talon. A writer who struggled to produce quality work since King's Buccaneer seems to have taken a step back and reevaluated what his strengths are and has delivered a quality read. His focus and development of a single character is one of Feist's strengths, and Talon is a quality character. Those who help him develop, like Caleb and Magnus are good too. You get the impression that bigger games are afoot in the world and often the like ...more
Nov 01, 2011 Cerch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have always regarded Raymond E. Feist with kinda mixed feelings. I have read his whole Serpentwar Saga in Finnish and I went beck and forth between loving it and praying for it to end. Talon of the Silver Hawk, a book one of Conclave of Shadows, suffers from exactly the same problems. I constantly find myself much more interested in other characters and subplots than the actual plot and main character. The fact that it took me almost two months to finish this realtively short book is also due ...more
Nina Schmitt
Sep 14, 2012 Nina Schmitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Evil has come to a distant land high among the snow-capped mountains of Midkemia, as an exterminating army wearing the colors of the Duke of Olasko razes village after village, slaughtering men, women, and children without mercy. And when the carnage is done, only one survivor remains: a young boy named Kieli. A youth no longer, there is now but one road for him to travel: the path of vengeance. And he will not be alone. Under the tutelage of the rescuers who discovered him, Kieli will be molded

Joe Aguiar
Jun 13, 2012 Joe Aguiar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Talon Of The Silver Hawk is not just the name of the first book in Raymond E. Feist's "Conclave Of Shadows" series but, the tribal name of the book's main character. Talon is the sole survivor or the Orosini tribe, butchered by a group of soldiers and mercenaries in their mountain village without any warning. Young Talon, who has just come of age, is left for dead but, is rescued and healed by the mysterious Robert. In debt to Robert, Talon becomes his student and is trained in everything from s ...more
Ian (lonelyboy1977)
It is a daunting proposition coming to a book set in a fictional universe that has been established in several previous novels that you’ve not yet read. That was the situation I found myself in when I began reading Talon Of The Silver Hawk, book one of the Conclave Of Shadows trilogy. Although Raymond E. Feist is an author I have been aware of for many years, and even have a number of his novels on my bookshelf, I had never actually read any of his work, until now.

Obviously, there were concerns
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Conclave of Shadows (3 books)
  • King of Foxes (Conclave of Shadows, #2)
  • Exile's Return (Conclave of Shadows, #3)

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