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Talon of the Silver Hawk

(Conclave of Shadows #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  16,698 ratings  ·  227 reviews
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: ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 378 pages
Published April 2004 by Harper Torch (first published 2002)
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Rich Lambe I think it's fair to say that Feist makes errors - he is trying to hold an entire world (and a few more) and it's history in his mind and drops the ba…moreI think it's fair to say that Feist makes errors - he is trying to hold an entire world (and a few more) and it's history in his mind and drops the ball sometimes. It's worth finishing the series - the last trilogy gets really good.

The penultimate groupings of books aren't great however, except to build the story to the final series.

Pug's later story, especially the conclusion, is fantastic in my opinion and you FINALLY find out the deal with Lims-Kragma's prophecy.(less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  16,698 ratings  ·  227 reviews


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Bradley
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-shelf
Heroes Journey. Traditional.

That being said, I honestly had a good time following this future era, post-Krondor war building of a hero. Young/old Pug is here, briefly, but for the most part, this is not of magic, but the crafting of one quick boy into a hell of a weapon.

Simple premise, really, and one we've all seen, but I really enjoyed the journey. The last of his tribe, he's taken in by the Conclave of Shadows, full of magicians and spies, trained and inducted in their order, and is sent out
...more
Sotiris Karaiskos
This is the Raymond E. Feist that I like, the author who narrates an epic story without hurrying, taking his time to put us in the right mood. This is certainly true at the beginning of the story where we meet a young man, a member of a tribe with a distinct culture, who, in the midst of a maturation ritual, is confronted with tragic events and thus devotes his life to revenge. To reach that point, however, he has to go through many stages and meet people who will make him a powerful and brillia ...more
Michael Pang
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
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
...more
YouKneeK
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Talon of the Silver Hawk is the first book in Conclave of Shadows, yet another subseries in the very long Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist. After the previous 7 books which had returned to some earlier time periods in the series, this book resumes our forward chronological progress and is set about 30 years after the Serpentwar Saga.

This was a solid, entertaining read. It mostly focused on brand new characters and less familiar settings. I really liked the characters, including the main charact
...more
Mithrendiel
Sep 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Milou
Jul 29, 2016 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
...more
Amanda
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Rebecka2
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.

"Talo
...more
Sam
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: high-fantasy
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
Channah
Apr 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF at 45%. Just impossible to get through. Incredibly dull.
Laura
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
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
...more
Adrielle
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Beautiful writing as always. However, it feels like this is a throw on, an addition to a series that was done but didn't stop there. If that makes any sense.
Ben O'neill
Feb 16, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Christina
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dropped
DNF at 60% :/ It started off strong, but plateaued a few chapters in. It gets boring to just read about Talon doing various tasks (in no great detail) over and over again. Talon himself is very boring as well. He has a vague motivation of revenge for the men who slaughtered his people, but aside from one instance where his mistakenly attacks a man at an inn bc he looked like one of the murderers, Talon is very passive in his goals. He doesn't ask questions about why he's being taught all these d ...more
Steve Haywood
Jan 08, 2012 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
Anthony G
Mar 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
A story told without nuance. The first words that come to mind: base, vapid, surface-level. There is nothing here of note and truthfully I am left wondering what it is I am missing. Feist writes almost as if he it is his goal to dampen any potentially interesting plot points with cringe-inducing dialogue. The plot is driven forward entirely by continuously fortuitous happenstance. Our "protagonist" is so unlikeable that it defies reason that this book has any level of popularity amongst fantasy ...more
Toby
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Lara
Oct 13, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
Leigh
Nov 10, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Kaylah
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
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:
http://youtu.be/7WP07ibLonw
...more
David
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Elar
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 :)
Joel
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
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?
Katy
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nigel
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This was an OK book, the pace for the first three quarters of book is somewhat pedestrian but it does pick towards the end. If I’m being honest it was only past association with Fiest’s Riftwar novels that kept me at it. I knew from experience how good his stories usually are and was rewarded by my perseverance but a good end of the book.
The central theme of the book is revenge. A young man of the Orosini people must climb the sacred mountain to await his vision from the gods which will determ
...more
Joe Kendall
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
So this book was okay. But then all of Feist's first books to a series are okay to good. They suck you in just enough to want to continue reading the series. Then usually the series goes down hill with each book. I started reading these books because one of my brothers lent me many of the books of this world. He said it was a great series that I would probably really like. And as I said, in the two mini-series that I had read already, the first books were not bad. So with this next installment t ...more
Miranda Kate
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: raymond-e-feist
It's been a while since I've read a Raymond Feist novel and it was lovely getting back into his style of writing and how he develops characters.

This is the first book in a series, and really it is a set up for the series to follow on from. It focused on one main character, Talon of The Silver Hawk, who loses his entire clan at the beginning of the book and then is selected to be trained to make him ready to serve the Conclave of Shadows, a mysterious group we never really understand the full in
...more
Gerald Matzke
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book and the other two in the series at a BAM “buy two get one free” deal. I was looking for a new author and the story seemed interesting. I wasn’t disappointed. The story was full of twists and turns as the young man who is the main character faces many struggles as he seeks revenge against those who destroyed his village and all his tribe. You are drawn to the young man right from the beginning because of his unfortunate circumstances. He takes the name Talon of the Silver Ha ...more
Elly
May 08, 2020 rated it liked it
The first book of feists series are always the best ones, with decent world building and character growth. It helps that in this one the set up has been explained in previous series, so while Tal doesn’t know why he serves, I do (it makes it no less frustrating that we’re repeatedly reminded that Tal isn’t privy to the master plan).

Some of the past tropes were frustrating (how many times is he going to be ‘as weak as a day old kitten?!’ Is there no other metaphor available for use?!) but otherw
...more
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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

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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“Suddenly feeling overwhelmed, Talon said, 'It doesn’t matter. They are all dead.' He felt moisture gathering in his eyes and blinked. 'It’s been a while since I’ve felt that.'

Caleb nodded. 'It never goes away, completely. But you’ll discover other things in life.”
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“The ways of the heart are complex.” He looked out at the ocean again. “The waves churn and break upon the rocks, Talon. So do human feelings. Passion can be a man’s undoing. With passion must come wisdom; otherwise, your enemies have a weapon to use against you.” 1 likes
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