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Shadow of a Dark Queen (The Serpentwar Saga #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  22,647 Ratings  ·  197 Reviews
“An epic reading experience.”

San Diego Union-Tribune


Acclaimed, New York Times bestselling fantasist Raymond E. Feist gets his masterful Serpentwar Saga off to a spectacular start with Shadow of a Dark Queen. Feist’s classic epic fantasy adventure returns readers to ever-imperiled Midkemia, a breathtaking, richly imagined realm of magic and intrigue, where two unlikely he
ebook, 528 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 1994)
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Fredrik Holmkvist No, the Riftwar saga (Magician: apprentice) are the first books set in this world. If i remember correctly though, it is set in a part of the world…moreNo, the Riftwar saga (Magician: apprentice) are the first books set in this world. If i remember correctly though, it is set in a part of the world that has not been explored prior.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, library, series, 2016
Maybe even 4.5 stars

You like fantasy. You have never read Raymond Feist. You are seriously missing out.

While you are waiting the next 10 years for George R. R. Martin to finish the Game of Thrones series, you should check this one out. And, this one is already finished (you can read all 30 in the series, or just a segment of the saga, it's up to you)

Shadow of a Dark Queen starts a new saga with several old enemies. People who have read the entire series up to this point will be able to enjoy thi
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
(This is a review of the whole series. No spoilers other than what can be inferred from the existence of four books and their titles.)

The Serpentwar Saga is a series of four books set in Feist's Riftwar Universe. I warn you now: if you haven't read The Riftwar Saga, then I strongly suggest that you go read that before you even consider this series (a lesson I learned the hard way). That said, The Serpentwar Saga is a complete epic in its own right. It tells the story of the Kingdom and its war w
[Name Redacted]
This book seems to occur towards the tail-end of Feist's "rape-fantasy period" (a name my friends and I gave to those of his books written between 1988 and 1995 which all seemed to involve graphic rape and abuse of female characters) as the actual rape of the female character is not narrated and only the after-effects are described. Instead he seems to replace it with a consensual encounter between the male protagnoist and a middle-aged prostitute, which I suppose is something to be grateful for ...more
The more of Raymonds's Books I read the less I like them, to may mistakes, in this saga the first book he says the blacksmith was the first dead person Eric has every seen and then as the story continues Raymond writes that it was someone else. There are many little mistakes like these in most of his books I dont understand why he nor his editors are picking them up I'm deslexic an i can pick them out. Also the characters always have the same personallities he kills off a few main characters the ...more
Shadow of a Dark Queen is the first book in the Serpentwar Saga and takes place decades after the events described in the previous books of the Riftwar Cycle. It features an all new cast – and some returning heroes, but with the exception of two of them, they only have limited page time – and an all new conflict, even if it has its roots in the same foe as the previous one. Shadow of a Dark Queen introduces two of my favourite characters of the entire Riftwar Cycle and also features a third, so ...more
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A breath of fresh air.

I can never tire of this type of fantasy, the fantasy without multiple POVs, grey characters, and multiple subplots.
It's always refreshing to read fantasy with over the top world building. These days, with the rise of the Grimdark subgenre, most fantasy works tend to be character driven. We're left to figure out the world on our own.
But not with this book! The world building is top class! The world of Midkemia is vast, both in geography, and in the range of cultures. Sta
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-and-sf
This is man's book, with wars, fighting, battles, soldiers and so on.
It features, Goodess of Death (lesser know as Khalisi, but this name is mentioned in passing), birth companions, Saaurs who reminds of Dothraki, bastards sons of nobles, dragons, magic, morbid jokes, rape, sailing, hanging, and lots, lots of camping and camp rutine.

I gave this story 3 star review because endless camp rutine, which was time consuming. I will try next installment, I usually love boring stories.
Kevin Xu
May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was better than what I expected to be. This book was really readable that pulled me right in the minute I started reading even thought I figure out what was going to happened from the back cover. Great job, Feist in writing a fun and readable book for my return to the world of Midkemia.
Jon West
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fantasy series is set in a world with multiple races and a threatening doom. So far it sounds like many other sword and magic fantasies. However the quality herein is in the story telling and it is quite good. We are given a pair of principal characters that are well developed and relateable . This is my first experience with the author and I will certainly be reading more of his work.

My rating system (* = star)
1* couldn't finish book
2* finished book, but didn't like it
3* a good read
4* a ve
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is okay, but not incredibly amazing. The writing was alright (I actually found quite a few errors that baffled me because isn't this supposed to be on some bestseller lists or something? Breath instead of breathe, carnage instead of carriage, etc.) I liked the characters quite a bit, but the way in which the author wrote the story was confusing. It wasn't one or two characters that had the limelight. We jumped around a lot, from a woman sorcerer on a quest, to their captain, to a captai ...more
Clare O'Beara
May 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This may be the most accessible of the four tales in this series. A young man named Erik is growing up in a village, unacknowledged son of the noble. After an incident he and a friend Roo are sent to be hanged and instead told they will be spared if they train as special soldiers to fight an unknown menace approaching from another continent. Not much of a choice but they accept.

An evil magic-using force on another continent is pushing an army to take over cities along a major river. When the fo
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A sub-par fantasy book by my standards. The plot was relatively boring as long as it concerned the main characters (who were also boring), and the more interesting parts of the book involved minor characters with a completely different plot thread. It's sad that I didn't have much interest in the main point of the book, but I just don't think it worked. It felt a little forced together in some parts. The "climax" at the ending wasn't even that compelling either.

Apparently, I lot of people like t
C.S. Woolley
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read
Set across the sea from the Kingdom, this book gives a feel of ever widening the world of Midkemia. Drawing from characters from the previous books in the Riftwar Saga, there are some wonderful appearance of much loved characters that create continuity. I love reading books where at the moment you start wondering what has happened to a set of characters or what they are doing, they make an appearance and change events unfolding around them. Feist is a master of this. With Pug the Magician acting ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Feistster writes books that are quick and easy to read. Normally very entertaining too. This has been his weakest to date but it's still a decent read. The main guys here are Roo and Erik and they just aren't that captivating, Roo being pretty boring in fact. But there are a few old favourites here to keep interest up and those nasty little green buggers we've met previously show a bit of their evil.
One thing that surprised me was there are a couple of stupid mistakes made in this book, the
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've had this in my to read pile for years. I was hungering for a bit more Fantasy so gave it a go. It is a continuation of his other sagas and standalone books set in Midkemia. I had very fond memories of the cracking Magician and it sequels and was hoping for more.

I was to be sadly disappointed. It is the first book in a Quadrilogy (?) and as such seems to be a big setup of the major characters on that book. That wouldn't be too bad if it was like (I remember) Magician was, but it isn't - it i
Aug 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
Overall, this was a pretty good read. An interesting start to another saga. I love that Feist keeps writing about this same world of Midkemia but keeps moving us forward in time, through the generations. This book takes place some twenty years after the King's Buccaneer and Prince Nicholas' adventures. This book actually reminded me a lot of the King's Buccaneer since they travel to Novindus just as Nicholas did. In many ways, it is very much a continuation of both the King's Buccaneer as well a ...more
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I have so much time for Feist's world that I get lost in it. In this one the servant men are rising, they have a queen. There is quite a hidden twist in this instalment that I feel it is going to carry through to the rest and I'm excited about it! New characters are introduced as old favourites die, the pace is well done and the intrigue is superb.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Again dark forces are marshaling their power and new generation needs to step up and take challenges. Men who are supposed to be hanged get new chances to prove that life after hanging does make sense if you live like a french legionnaire. Full of stereotyped young and older men. Book is quite fast paced and finishes first phase of series quite nicely.
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
See the shark, watch the series jump it. Loved the Riftwar series although the last few were not as good. This series pushed me away from his work as I felt these books were more of an attempt to capitalize on the first series. Stopped reading feist after this one.
David Shaffer
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easily one of the best fantasy series ever written. I have followed Pug, Tomas, and Jimmy the Hand through continued heroic deeds. With each new book Saga, Feist wraps his tale into the original history of his world.
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite of the new stories of Mikedemia, especially with Erik, and how Feist describes in a sirreal way how the Serpent Queen comes to be and in the later books how it's revealed she is actually possesssed by another.
Peter Blanckaert
Zeer zwak boek. Flinterdun verhaal. En bij momenten saai. Jammer. Hopelijk is het vervolg een stuk beter.
Jun 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I don't appreciate stories that are driven by rape. Especially when the rape doesn't allow the woman to grow and overcome, but propels two men to become heroes. Meh. Not my thing.
Jordan Grossman
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feist is great at picking out new characters to focus on in the midst of characters we already know.
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
Too long ago to remember, but I always LOVED Feist.
David Montgomery
The basic story: a bunch of desperate men are dragooned, like a fantasy Dirty Dozen, for a dangerous mission into a strange land to try to save the world. Sailing from the Europe-esque fantasy setting where most of Feist's novels are set to an India-esque continent, the band of desperate men sneak, fight and spy their way across a war-torn continent in search of information that can save their land from a coming apocalypse.

I hadn't read this since I was a child. It holds up well as an adult — no
Paul Allard
The first part of a series called the Serpentwar, this novel is all about a fierce campaign between the human race and the Saaur, a race of serpent/lizard creatures hell-bent on conquest. The main character, Erik, is a blacksmith who gets embroiled in this conflict against his will. Other characters abound and luckily there's a list of them at the beginning of the book if the reader can't remember them all.

There's not a great deal of fantasy elements apart from the odd show of magic and some int
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good read. I picked the book up at a used book sale because there were two other books in the series for sale as well. The picture inside of the cover threw me off and made me a little concerned about wasting my time but after reading the opening chapter I was hooked.

This book has similarities to another favorite series of mine, The Stormlight Archives. Specifically Erik's storyline reminds me of Kaladin's beginning story from the first volume.

There's also a really cool side p
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This is the first in the Serpentwar Saga and mainly follows Erik as he gets swept up in some serious happenings to do with our old snake friends the Pantathians. Although Erik is the main character here, it's not really about him, more seeing events take place through his eyes. There are plenty of old favourite characters who make an appearance and lots of battles, banter and intrigue as you'd expect from Feist. Overall a good start to the series.
Deborah Jade
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
While I have apparently read 'Magician' and 'Daughter of the Empire' in the past, I have completely forgotten them so it feel like I'm reading Raymond Feist for the first time.
The depth of his world-building is at a level that reminds me of The Wheel of Time series (still on Book 9 there).
I mostly picked this book because it was available from my library as an eBook.
I really enjoyed it and look forward to working my way through the rest of Raymond Feist's books.
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Goodreads Librari...: Serpentwar Saga, swedish series w/ split 2 11 Sep 22, 2016 04:01AM  
Favourite character 2 17 Sep 16, 2014 07:43AM  
  • Raymond E. Feist's Magician Master: The Great One
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  • Traitor's Knot (Wars of Light & Shadow #7; Arc 3 - Alliance of Light, #4)
  • Magi'i of Cyador (The Saga of Recluce #10)
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 Serpentwar Saga (4 books)
  • Rise of a Merchant Prince (The Serpentwar Saga, #2)
  • Rage of a Demon King (The Serpentwar Saga, #3)
  • Shards of a Broken Crown (The Serpentwar Saga, #4)
“All right, me darlings. You heard the Captain. Look around and tell ol'Biggo what you thieving rascals grabbed when you ran for your lives!” 3 likes
“Kings and marshals can look back and relive their triumphs, their great victories. We common folk must take what pleasure we can from life's little victories.” 3 likes
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