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Feast of Souls (The Magister Trilogy #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,444 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews
A new trilogy of epic adventure from one of the finest writers in modern fantasy

C.S. Friedman, acclaimed author of The Coldfire Trilogy, returns to the epic style which has made her one of the most popular fantasy writers in the genre. In this first book of the trilogy, Friedman introduces readers to a world of high fantasy, replete with vampire-like magical powers, erot
Kindle Edition, 576 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by DAW (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I just finished the audio version of this book. C.S. Friedman is one of my favorite authors. She does dark fantasy like it's meant to be done. Plus, she has a way with scratching my itch for an antihero like no author author can manage. This isn't her best trilogy (I think that honor goes to the Black Sun Rising series), but it's pretty close. I love her writing. I love her characterization, and her complex world building. Perhaps the thing that caught me the most about this book that I never re ...more
Lesya Ink
Sep 10, 2013 Lesya Ink rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this and I'm pretty pumped about starting the 2nd book in the series. It seems like the first really original fantasy book that I've read in a long while. It's actually NOT about some amazingly all-powerful magical object that can only be wielded by one person in the entire world, who must then take it across the realm to some dark and terrible place. Madness. I guess if I have to compare it to another fantasy series it would be George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire but so far ...more
Jun 01, 2011 Chip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Eh. Seriously, eh. Read both this and the next in the trilogy based on excellent reviews - but these books really aren't great. Not awful - but pedestrian at best. Strongest element is the worldbuilding, which is fairly creative. Otherwise, however - pretty generic high fantasy, with somewhat cardboard characters. Apparently significant characters can and do die, which I applaud, but unlike in G RR Martin's books, I don't particularly care about any of them. Basically, pales in comparison to Mar ...more
Jul 04, 2008 Izlinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a wonderful fast-paced fantasy book. It's dark in places and it's not saturated with sexuality or the usage of sexuality in order to play games with someone, either as a pawn or not. It's pretty refreshing, actually. Characters are believable and I hope for more characterization of some rather intriguing characters. While at some point the faint misogynist and acute misandrist perspectives can seem somewhat simplified in their roots and solutions, it carries the story well. Believable en ...more
Doc Opp
Oct 07, 2007 Doc Opp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again Friedman produces a masterpiece. Her books are consistently creative, deep, and satisfying. This is no exception. I find that in today's fantasy novels, true originality is very rare. Mostly there are variations on an old theme, and rehashing and combining a couple of archetypal plots. Friedman's works are all strikingly innovative. But she also manages to pace her books well, develop intriguing and memorable characters, and tells a really good story. This is a great book - the only p ...more
Aug 14, 2011 AJ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to AJ by: Thongor
Shelves: fantasy
I feel, after reading multiple reviews and seeing a majority of people provide a lot of stars on this, that i should provide some insight into my low rating.

Friedman has a great concept but unfortunately never gets off the ground with the characters. Most come off as paper thin ideas, devoid of much description minus a few details on hair and eye color with one predominant character trait. They have about as much personality as the players in a one shot D&D game.

The world of magic seems infi
Aug 03, 2008 Hirondelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Marketing of books is strange, this beginning of a new trilogy, by an experienced author of some cult books nearly passed under my radar. Thank goodness it did not, its probably the best fantasy novel I have read recently. The setting is interesting, the economics of magic are original and suitably creepy. There are courtly intrigues, mythical history, well drawn characters and a feeling that this series will bring a lot yet. I look forward to the rest of the series.

As drawbacks, its one book i
Laura (Kyahgirl)
1.5/5; 2 stars; C-

I finally finished this book, but, sadly, only because my garden is so freaking huge that it took me about 10 hours to weed it and I just left the audiobook running while I worked. I know a lot of people loved this story but it did not grab me. I couldn't really feel connected to any of the characters and couldn't get excited about the plot. I started this book last year and tried a few times to get into it. I should have just let it go.
Oh, C.S. Friedman. Your name stirs up nostalgia and memories of hours spent curled up in an old worn armchair. I used to adore your books. It seems like only yesterday that my friend told me to pick up Black Sun Rising because he thought that I would like it. He was right. I remember voraciously devouring When True Night Falls and Crown of Shadows and wanting more. In Conquest Born blew me away and This Alien Shore left me agog. True, The Madness Season was a little different, and I ...more
At present, I would consider Martin and Friedman the best living authors of Fantasy. Both are capable of rendering deeply 3 dimensional characters, endearing them to the readers (and presumably themselves) and offering them to the rightful fates that their worlds require. That's no mean feat, when it's far more palatable to pad their worlds in the name of story-telling, keeping them in gilded adventures, with only a shadow of true risk.

That's a beautiful thing.

This book has many of CS Friedman's
Oct 02, 2011 Travis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
With all three out now of this awesome trilogy, it may just be time to pick up this little gem. Please check out my full review HERE
Very good epic fantasy that gets out of its own way. Only the basic world building frees the reader to invest in plot and characters.
Xara Niouraki
Apr 05, 2015 Xara Niouraki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feast of Souls is a unique book, like all the books written by Friedman that I have read. Her books not only tell a story, but present philosophical issues making you think and examine your moral point of view.

Feast of Souls describes a world where in order to use magic without dying, you have to kill someone else. You have to use their soul, their energy as a fuel for your magic. That concept seemed tragic to me and I had to wonder what would I do if I had that option. Would I choose to have u
Aug 26, 2008 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book, I look forward to the second book in the series. ALthough there is one cheesy sentence at the end of the next-to-last chapter that had me giggling for hours....
Blodeuedd Finland
Oct 20, 2012 Blodeuedd Finland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I love a good fantasy book and this was just that. I could not put it down.

I did want a map though, I always need a map in fantasy. But ok, on to the story. We meet a king and queen and one son is dying. Those who are the masters of magic in the world has been sent for (the Magisters). They know what's wrong, I am not gonna say it, but it was such a good twist. And I so want to talk about it as it's one big part of this book, and the whole series. But just know's good.

We follow a few pe
Jun 02, 2013 Andreea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible, terrible, terrible!

I just don't understand all the rave reviews - on picking up this book I was under the impression it would make for a good fantasy read but I couldn't make myself get halfway through.

So, you get a universe where witchery consumes the souls of female witches, while males can apparently become "Magisters", and thus use magic unlimitedly without making themselves die. At the same time, the prince Andovan is riddled by a terrible disease, and in the wake of some more ev
Mike M.
Dec 02, 2009 Mike M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2012 Stefanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the back of this book there's a quote about the author: "She writes bright, clear prose that can shine like gemstones or cut like broken glass. If you haven't read her work, you need to do something about that right now." And it couldn't be more true.

Before this book, I was one of those people who didn't know about C.S. Friedman and now I want to read everything by her. I haven't given this book 5 stars - yet - because I give out 5 stars rarely and I need to reflect over time and see if this
Steven Montano
Jun 20, 2013 Steven Montano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
C.S. Friedman is one of the best fantasy authors out there, period. In "Feast of Souls", we're introduced to a deeply developed world where powerful sorcerers called Magisters secretly control the world through their magic, which draws upon the lives of others. When Kamala (the first female Magister) sets off to find her way she triggers a series of events which threaten the entire balance of order. As if that wasn't enough, an ancient evil is rising, and the most powerful king in the world may ...more
Alicia Utter
Jun 25, 2016 Alicia Utter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rate: 9

There are realms where Sorcerors, called Magisters, help kings rule their countries. Sorcerors feed off the souls of other humans for mortality. Kamala, the first woman sorceror, came up from the streest and becomes a Magistrer. During this time, King Danton is slowly going crazy, and his new, evil magister is stirring evil in the realm, allowing for dragons, akati, to start coming back into the world. They are deadly and kill anyone in their sights. This first part of the trilogy, they k
Jun 30, 2015 Kat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Okay, so. I'd never read any C.S. Friedman, was at the library the other day, decided now might be a good time to try her. I've been jonesing for good solid fantasy novels that I haven't read before, this has magic and kingdoms in peril, etc, so why not.


About halfway through I put the book down. I'm giving up.

First, the world has one of the more repulsive and horrifying magic systems I've ever run across. Use your own life essence to do magic? Sure, okay. Use other people's life essence to d
Michael Havens
I am glad that this is a trilogy, for I must say that I am still trying to find characters in this book that I can see eye to eye on morally, for the magic system in this series is based on a parasitic premise that one who wields magic does so by expending the "soulfire" as it is called in the book, of another person, until that host dies from the complete depletion of it. I'm also confused a bit by what will be an upcoming war between creatures and (perhaps) a human element that was supposed to ...more
Sep 02, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The not-so-typical feast of fantasy fiction resides between the covers of this book. I was hooked by the idea of the protagonist being a low born woman of her world making the literal leap of faith to become the most powerful magister in all the land. gets darker and more dangerous by the minute.

I might have been happier though if Ms. Friedman did not try to split this trilogy up into three books, as there seems to be more filler than there needs to be. Lots of omniscient narrating and
Ана Хелс
Jul 26, 2014 Ана Хелс rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Нека ви запозная с една великолепна трилогия, невидяла досега бял свят в България, но искрено се надявам някой да се позаинтересува и разпространи идеята за страхотно класическо фентъзи, разглеждащо драконите от съвършено различна гледна точка, виждаща в тях дуално дивите животни на първите създатели – безмилостни зверове, хранещи се с души, и почти по човешки емоционални създания , изтъкани от гордост, ярост и древна справедливост, носещи едновременно наказание и пречистване на твърде покварени ...more
Jun 01, 2011 lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i had a whole long rant here about what a sexist piece of shit this book was, but you know what? i'm sick of making myself more irritated about it. i have finally finished it so i can stop wasting my brain cells on it, yay! (i do miss collander and omnibus (collivar and ramirus, whatever) though. fortunately, i will have completely forgotten about them by the time the second book comes out so i will not even be tempted to read it. sometimes i really love my brain.)

(review pulled from lj.)
Mar 17, 2014 Alina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Celias Friedmans Roman „Die Seelenjägerin“ – der Auftakt einer Trilogie – hat der Gebrauch von Magie einen sehr hohen Preis: Mit jedem einzelnen Zauber wird der menschlichen Seele Kraft entzogen, sodass die wenigsten Hexen und Zauberer an Altersschwäche sterben, sondern ihre gesamte Lebensenergie für ihre magischen Fähigkeiten aufbrauchen. Die einzige Ausnahme bilden die Magister, die ihren Platz meist in unmittelbarer Nähe zu Königen, Fürsten und Adligen finden und ihre Magie mithilfe der Le ...more
Daniel Muldoon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2015 Allan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
Having read the excellent Coldfire trilogy by C.S. Friedman, this series was an easy choice to make. Like the Coldfire stories, magic and power in this world have a dark cost. Using magic requires the very stuff of life and if the user isn't careful, death soon follows.

The story centres around Kamala, a life-hardened street whore who has the ability to cast spells but who also aspires to be so much more. Witches in this world don't tend to live long but the male sorcerers, the Magisters, have ma
Mar 11, 2009 Latharia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable read from CS Friedman, with her unique worlds and moral questions. There are few "good guys," just people with dilemmas and resources to handle them in a variety of ways. I look forward to the next book in the series!
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Celia S. Friedman is a science fiction and fantasy author. She has also been credited Celia S. Friedman and Celia Friedman.
More about C.S. Friedman...

Other Books in the Series

The Magister Trilogy (3 books)
  • Wings of Wrath (The Magister Trilogy, #2)
  • Legacy of Kings (The Magister Trilogy, #3)

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