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Feast of Souls

(The Magister Trilogy #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  5,455 ratings  ·  352 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
Mass Market Paperback, 564 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by DAW (first published 2007)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  5,455 ratings  ·  352 reviews

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Natalie Monroe
“Have you ever made a flame dance upon a windowsill?” he asks softly. “Or called a lighting bug to your hand on a summer’s night? Have things ever happened because you wished they would, or those who would hurt you gone away suddenly and no one knows the reason?”

The crystalline gaze is steady. “No, sir, because those things bring death. And I do not mean to die.”

Reasons you should read Feast of Souls:

-The badass quotes
-Kamala, the protagonist, is dark af
-Yassss women thriving and winning in
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
May 08, 2011 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 infinite
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
This is only $2.99 right now and that blurb had me at "vampire-like powers."

Jun 01, 2011 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
Lesya BlackBird
Sep 06, 2013 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 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

Audio book.

Full review soon
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, fantasy
I REALLY like the premise that magic has a cost. That just makes sense.
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 diffe ...more
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 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
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.)
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
“Tonight . . . tonight that last precious spark will go out. And if she is lucky, if she is strong, if she is above all else determined … something else will take its place. Whether she can endure living with that something is another question entirely.”

Semi-epic fantasy fiction following a woman who becomes a Magister, thought to be impossible in her world. Based on the athra (soulfire) witch magic of a previous Friedman series, these stories ramp up the sorcery through men, who obtain their po
Sarah Wynker
Aug 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF. The book isn't horrible, but I couldn't take the misandry in it anymore. Besides, the main character is terribly frustrating. Weirdly, this novel was written in 2007, this is stuff I would expect in 2018. I keep seeing female readers complaining about male writers drawing attention to female body parts/ bad representation and calling it sexist, but frankly I find self-loathing in regards to one's gender a tad more problematic and sexist. Yet I see nobody complain when 90% of female heroine ...more
Jul 26, 2008 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, it´s 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, it´s one book
Apr 01, 2009 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
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.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was interested to read a fantasy novel with a unique twist on vampires but this ultimately wasn't as exiting as I'd hoped. There were a lot of characters I didn't care about and it was difficult to connect with the female protagonist. It wasn't terrible but I skimmed a lot and it left me feeling meh.
Oct 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 25, 2012 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
Leah Nugent
Note: This book has a very binary view of gender that may be harmful and insulting to its readers. For more information, read the last paragraph.

At best, Feast of Souls serves for mindless entertainment* but little else. The writing is passable, and there are enough interesting ideas about magic and stewing plot elements to keep the reader engaged. Friedman has a refreshing take on magic in her universe. All power has a real and tangible human cost. Unfortunately, Feast of Souls focuses too much
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
Jun 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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.
Aug 26, 2008 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....
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Previous to reading this book I have read all of Friedmann’s other novels (aside from the Magister series) and really enjoyed them. I ended up really enjoying this book first novel in the Magister series as well. This is a beautifully written epic fantasy series with engaging characters, an interesting magic system, and an intricate plot.

I listened to this on audiobook and it was very well done. I thoroughly enjoyed this as an audiobook and plan on listening to the rest of the series on audioboo
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. It’s so very, very good that I had to read it whenever a spare moment presented itself.

Given that this is first book in an epic fantasy trilogy, there were a number of characters to introduce and subplots within plots to establish. It took time and careful maneuvering, and all of it was delightful.

I am so glad I had purchased the entire trilogy because I have already nabbed book #2 off my TBR shelf and plan on starting it right now.
I don't know what to think of this book, really. I'm not even sure I want to read book 2.

I'll sleep on it and perhaps I'll be able to write a coherent review.

Asha Stark
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Really enjoyed this; though I did have a laugh at the names of the characters Gwynofar, Merian, and the kid calling himself 'Talesin'.

Hope I can get my hands on the rest of the trilogy easily
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Dark fantasy, layered characters, and a more complex plot than it first appears to be. Favorite characters? Colivar, Gwynofar, and the Witch-Queen. I plan to read the rest of the series in the coming months.
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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

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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