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King of Ashes (The Firemane Saga #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,692 Ratings  ·  258 Reviews
The first volume in legendary master and New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist’s epic heroic fantasy series, The Firemane Saga—an electrifying tale of two young men whose choices will determine a world’s destiny.

For centuries, the five greatest kingdoms of North and South Tembria, twin continents on the world of Garn, have coexisted in peace. But the balance o
Hardcover, 499 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Harper Voyager (first published April 5th 2018)
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cardulelia carduelis Update: publication should be May 2018, see publisher's page here;

NB: date in US style, e.g. MM/DD/YY
Mighty I found the story of the book fresh and interesting (disclaimer in that I have not read any other books by the author).

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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James Lafayette  Tivendale
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I received an advance reader copy of King of Ashes in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Raymond E. Feist and Harper Voyager.

For many generations, the five great Kingdom's had enjoyed a time of peace and prosperity. Each realm had its own Monarch and the story begins with a great battle and the betrayal of Steveren Langene, the King of Ithrace. He is known as Firemane because of his bright red hair and his Kingdom was a place of arts, culture, and merriment. His former allies
TS Chan
I received an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

Feist is back in form as the King of Ashes establishes a promising and solid foundation for a completely new saga away from the massive Riftwar Cycles multi-series.

Five kingdoms used to co-exist in Garn, spread across the two continents of North and South Tembria. The Kingdom of Flames was destroyed by an act of betrayal and the ruling line of Firemanes completely wiped out, or so it was thought.

As different as the setting and
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I was a big fan of Feist's Riftwar books back in my younger days but lost track of the series more than a decade back. I was hoping that reading this brand new fantasy series of Feist's would inspire me to go back and try a full reread of the much more intimidatingly sized Riftwar series. Did King of Ashes achieve that goal? Probably not as this was not a fantastic fantasy story but it was a readable one despite its flaws!

I think King of Ashes was Feist's attempt to jump on the popular grimdark
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-own
It was fantastic to read a new Feist book. It confirmed yet again that he is one of my favorite authors!
This book felt like the start of a great story but really like a start, hence 4 stars.
In the end it was really picking up and I can't wait for the next installment!
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Its interesting that the release date for this was a few weeks before in Australia vs the USA. I have always been a massive Feist fan, and grew up reading about Pug. It was probably one of my first ever fantasy reads which I became obsessed with. This has all the hallmarks of a Feist fantasy from that time period. We have assassins, political intrigue, young heroes growing into their own and a little romance. Feist has also added a touch of the more recent grimdark fantasy elements to compliment ...more
Sabrina The Trash Queen
Haven’t read anything by this author but heard great things about it. I’m very excited to read this.
Robin Carter
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A new Feist, not only a new Feist but a new series, this has been a book i have waited for with some anticipation. I’ve been a fan of this writers work since my early reading days, Magician was a revelation, how fantasy could be written, to be epic and sweeping, and yet immediate and crammed with great characters and prose. Raymond Feist created a unique voice and style and a world that has wowed fantasy readers for over 30 years.

click link for full review
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
I received an ARC of this book and here is my honest review.

After 30 books in the Riftwar world which include 10 separate series Raymond Feist is back with a brand new series in a brand new world and it is amazing!

The prologue is about 50 pages and sets the stage...
Five kingdoms rule the twin continents until a great betrayal leads to the extermination of one of the kingdoms (Ithrace) by the other four.

The book follow the early lives of our two main heroes.
1. The rightful heir to Ithrace: he is
Bob Milne
Damn. I had high hopes for this, but it just fell flat. I've been picking away at the digital ARC for the better part of two months now, and it's finally time to shift it into the DNF pile.

More than anything, this reminded me of how bland Feist's work can be without a solid cast of characters to carry the story. It reads like one his Riftwar side-sagas, which turned me off his books for a long time (I honestly wondered if they were ghost-written), before the final trilogy won me back.

The writing
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, 2018
Starts off in the middle of a battle with some Song of Ice and Fire like intrigue and nastiness. Four kingdoms of the land gang up on the fifth and wealthiest one and destroy it. Firemane's infant son is secretly spirited away. Then we flash-forward 17 years to when the boy, Hatu, has grown up. He's been raised in an island country that raises its children to be spies and assassins. We alternate chapters mainly between Hatu and Declan, an orphaned blacksmith beginning to make his way through the ...more
Zoe Wilson (yerabooknerdzoe)
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: default
This was the first Feist book I've read, and I'm impressed! I'm definitely going to have to read his other stuff now after this book. I loved his world-building, and the characters were so well done. The only thing I didn't like about it was the fact that some things were repeated a few times. The one that sticks out the most was the phrase "first among equals" when Master Zusara was mentioned. There were a couple more like this throughout, but it wasn't enough for me to rate the book any lower. ...more
Joe Krakovsky
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"King of Ashes" was the last book in my pile of winnings from the Goodreads drawings. I regret that it took me this long to finish it, but I was busy. So now I would like to post my review.

Years ago in Japan, the ninjas were a force to be reckoned with. They were not only skilled assassins, who knew how to use all available weapons, but they were also masters of espionage. Both boys and girls were taught the various arts from childhood. They learned not only how to blend in to the population by
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it

Mon avis en Français

My English review

I discovered Raymond E. Feist a long time ago and when I heard about this new series, I was once again intrigued. It must be said that the synopsis, full of mysteries, made me really want to know more!

We discover in parallel two stories, the one of Hatu, young heir to a destroyed kingdom and who grew up learning to defend himself, far from home in the ignorance of his origins. On the other side, we follow the story of Declan, a young blacksmith who manag
Benjamin Thomas
I’ve read several excellent fantasy novels recently and so it was with some reluctance that I picked up this one, thinking the odds of yet another 5-star fantasy novel would be unlikely. Nevertheless, I was most pleasantly rewarded by perhaps the best of the batch, for this one started out as a wonderful read and sustained that all the way through.

The balance of power in North and South Tembria is reliant on the equality of the five greatest kingdoms, but this peaceful coexistence is shattered w
Lianne Pheno
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Une début d'histoire bien épique et pleine de potentiel que j'ai pris plaisir à lire malgré quelques défauts dont le fait qu'on a un peu l'impression de n'avoir lu qu'une longue introduction une fois le livre refermé.

Quand j'ai vu qu'un nouveau livre de Raymond E. Feist allait sortir, j'étais heureuse. En effet cet auteur à bercé mon adolescence de ces récits, que j'adorais. J'avais perdu un peu contact depuis mais je me suis dit que c'était l'occasion de
Adam Sequoyah
Apr 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaways
Since when did the genre known as Fantasy come to mean "political intrigue in a fake medieval Britain, plus some running away from bad guys"?

This is a book about a magic person, in which practically no magic is used or experienced whatsoever. But the thrilling plot! And the depth of the characters with all their relatable struggles! And the layered, unraveling mysteries bound to suck in any reader! ...No. The book merely sucks.

Granted, novels focused on politics bore me. Yes, unfortunately, even
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
What upset me the most about this book was the potential I saw in it. I normally go for better writing but can overlook that if the concept is interesting enough, and there were some genuinely intriguing plot points that hooked me into it and kept me reading in the beginning. The whole thing, however, felt rushed and poorly executed. There was an enormous amount of repetition with respect to the narration that it felt like Feist was trying to shove 1 or 2 character traits down my throat rather t ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a quick look at others reviews of this, after I had finished this book. Just to see what others were saying about the storyline.

I am a long time reader of Feist, ever since magician was released here in the Uk. In fact I spent part of my first every wages on a copy, which was only £27.50 YTS money.

I can see why people have said it’s reads flat, but it’s book 1 in a series it has inspired characters and a whole new world for the author to work his complex plot lines to keep us entertained.
Barry Mulvany
3.5 stars rounded down.

So this is Feist's first book outside Midkemia for an awfully long time. I was, and am, a huge fan of his even though the later books in the series had some serious issues. It's fairly obvious from the start that he is trying to be a little edgier here. There is proper cursing, lots of talk about sex, and the violence seems more visceral than his usual style. It's like he's trying to write darker while keeping the same sort of character tone from his Midkemia books. I'm no
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-novels
Fans of Feist will be thrilled to discover a whole new world which Feist will explore in this new series. They may also find it refreshing that Feist has apparently refreshed his repertoire of fantastical settings and creatures/magics. Fans of Feist will not be disappointed, and will have easily found a new favorite epic fantasy to look forward to the coming years.

However, for those of us who are not proclaimed Feist fans (although have found him enjoyable enough in the past), I'm afraid we migh
"There was no precedent for this butchery, and no one could reconcile what they were about to see with what they understood of the traditional order of things. History taught that a king did not kill a king, save on the field of battle."

For centuries the five kingdoms in Garn have co existed peacefully. Until the Kingdom of Flames was destroyed, and the ruling family of Firemanes, known for their bright red hair, were betrayed and completely wiped out. Except one child survived. He was hidden aw
Jun 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Un fantasy senza fantasy. I miss magic and sense of wonder.
Cosa è successo a questo scrittore, un tempo originale, ricco di idee, i cui libri traboccavano di magia, creature fantastiche e avventure in mondi suggestivi e tutti da scoprire? Feist evidentemente è stato contaminato dal grimdark contemporaneo, senza però farsi completamente convincere, e così ci presenta una creatura ibrida, che invece di prendere il meglio dei suoi generi: fantasy classico e grimdark, prende il "peggio" di entrambi
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

It takes a very special kind of magic to capture lightning in a bottle. Magician had just that kind of magic, but that was a long time ago and world away from Firemane and King of Ashes. In the intervening decades (Magician was originally published in 1982!) the author has been prolific, but all of the books he has written since Magician have been set in Midkemia, the world he created with Magician, with the exception of the standalone Faerie Tale in 1988.

Nick Brett
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
It has been a long while since we saw anything new from Raymond Feist. I loved his early books, but ended up confused by all the various sagas he produced and kind of lost the will to live.

Thank Goodness this is a new series with no reference to his previous works. A world with five key kingdoms is thrown into chaos when, by means of treachery, one is destroyed and all those in the royal line murdered. Except for the baby smuggled away...and now he has grown up and is discovering unexpected thin
Marc Rasp
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Feist has his top game going on with KoA! Wonderful start to a new series and I'm already feeling homesick and ready fro start the next installment. Fantastic world building and characters. The entire book felt a little like a prologue but it completely worked and really primed me for whatever comes next. The story follows two boys both around the age of 17, one a black smith and the other an heir to a kingdom who is raised by a sort of nation of professional criminals in order to hide his exist ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
After 20+ books in the same world it's great to see Feist trying something new and pulling it off.

He's playing to his strengths and it's still very much a Raymond E. Feist book, in a good way. The world is new with a grittier and lower fantasy feel, unburdened from the 1980's epic fantasy origins of his other books.

It's really a 500 page origin story rather than a standalone book. That being said the characters are well formed and the story doesn't bogged down in exposition.

Bring on the next on
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
King of Ashes is the first in a new series, and I have to admit I rather enjoyed it.

The chapters alternate between the two main protagonists, Declan and Hatu. Declan is an apprentice smith, while Hatu is being tried by a secret society in the arts of assassination and crime. Each young man is blissfully unaware of the other, but as the author expertly draws their seemingly disparate narratives together you start to see there is a far bigger picture developing. Politics, petty rivalries and power
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The world of Garn once boasted five great kingdoms, until the King of Ithrace was defeated and every member of his family executed by Lodavico, the ruthless King of Sandura, a man with ambitions to rule the world.

Ithrace’s ruling family were the legendary Firemanes, and represented a great danger to the other kings. Now four great kingdoms remain, on the brink of war. But rumour has it that the newborn son of the last king of Ithrace survived, carried off during battle and sequestered by the Que
Jonathan Rader
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf-content
I grew up reading Raymond E. Feist books. His Magician series was one of my favorites as a teenager. I read the next several series that take place in the same world and noticed a pattern. He started throwing in a lot of sexual content for no apparent reason. It was never extremely graphic, but it just started happening a lot. After a while, it kind of got on my nerves. Well, right from the prologue we are introduced to a character who has ultimately committed treason by turning agains King Fire ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
This wasn't something I had high expectations of going in, but it didn't even really clear that low bar. It's not even so much that it's bad, but that there wasn't anything particularly great about it -- it's like Feist is still writing the same epic fantasy I was reading growing up in the 80s and 90s, without having picked up on any of the exciting advances that authors have made in the intervening decades. The world is built out of various pieces that sound cool, put together without much cons ...more
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