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Rise of a Merchant Prince

(The Serpentwar Saga #2)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  25,388 ratings  ·  227 reviews

Roo Avery, recently returned from a harrowing brush with the armies of the Emerald Queen, is now free to choose his own destiny and his ultimate ambition is to become one of the richest and most powerful merchants in Midkemia.

But nothing can prepare him for the dangers of the new life he has chosen
Paperback, Special Overseas Edition, 479 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Voyager (first published May 1995)
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Kristen Stanton You would struggle to really understand the scope of it. The main story might make sense as a standalone, but there are lots of parts of the book that…moreYou would struggle to really understand the scope of it. The main story might make sense as a standalone, but there are lots of parts of the book that wouldn't make much sense.(less)

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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,388 ratings  ·  227 reviews

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Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2016, library, series
4 to 4.5 stars - the continuing saga of the Kingdom of Midkemia vs the Emerald Queen.

This book was very entertaining! While it stood on its own, it is very obviously part of the larger Serpentwar Saga. The main focus here is Roo and his interests in business (view spoiler). I may have not always understood what was happening as I do not have an accounting background, but it was interesting to read about the characters' rise from poverty
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-shelf
Oddly enough, I had a lot more fun with this than I expected I'd have with a title with MERCHANT and PRINCE in it.

As a matter of fact, I pretty much loved every part of Avery and his rise to grand wealth from practically nothing. All the bit parts from characters we've seen and loved before were just icing. Avery, on the other hand, was the real star. I think I liked this better than the first book in the Serpentwar Saga. By a lot.

HOWEVER, I do have one gripe that has a lot more to do with my
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rise of a Merchant Prince is the second book in Feist’s Serpentwar Saga, a subseries of his larger Riftwar Cycle. It picks up not too long after the first book left off, sort of continuing that story but focusing more on finance. There’s still a fair bit of action, though.

The main character is familiar from the previous book, but it’s a different main character. We do spend some time with other characters from the first book, but the focus on both characters and plot is quite a bit different. I
Ian Hall
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 * I'm going be honest this book was absolutely pointless and I hated roo for most of this book. The only part of the book that was necessary was calis and Eriks arc and pug and mirandas arc also nakors but there wasn't enough page time for any those arcs. Roos story was boring and the only good bit was his duel and the ending in which he helped. The book didn't need to be included in the serpentwar saga at all really in my opinion. I was really enjoying the serpentwar saga and I'm just glad ...more
Aug 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I read this book and continued the series to give it one more chance. I wasn't a fan of Shadow of a Dark Queen, and I was even less interested in this book.

The story focuses on a character who was extremely wimpy and boring in the first book, and all this one does in its 400+ pages is show us how despicable a person he really is as he becomes the city's richest man--marrying for money and power, cheating on his wife, neglecting his children, killing rival business men--anything for power and
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Finally, a genre novel that -- at least partially -- pays homage to the more mundane.

Do you every get tired of fantasy novels that lean completely on the crutch of cliche? Tired of the newest batch of wizards and swordsmen? Do you ever long for a novel that exists in a fantasy world, but explores the life of a relatively normal fellow?

No? Well, feel free to move along then. I, on the other hand, long to see the daily life of someone who has a real job and normal set of responsibilities in an
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Giving this two stars very regretfully, but I can't bring myself to give more.

Throughout the reread of Feist's books, I've rediscovered bits, I've reevaluated bits and I've come across things I never noticed before. One of them is this: Roo Avery is a disgusting little weasel. For the life of me, I cannot remember why I ever loved this book because it was mostly the Erik parts that kept me going this time around. And those were few and far in between, sadly. Maybe it's because I'm now nearing
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Very good.
May 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
Well shucks, Mr. Feist, you've bamboozled me again. Yet again I found myself unable to put the book down and once again I was pretty disappointed when I did. Some small steps were taken to resolving the huge conflict previously mentioned, but even the huge triumphs were skipped over in a pretty unsatisfactory way. "Okay, we're about to do that super-mega-ultra-important life-threatening task...Okay, we did it. It was cool. Some people died. Now we're making some food." If that were the only ...more
Timelord Iain
Like this one more than the first book in the Serpentwar Saga, but had similar feelings as the story progressed... I LOVED the first third of the book... there's just something about watching the development of a merchant empire... but as Roo became more and more successful, his personality shifted in unsatisfying ways... things got better towards the end, tho...
Mar 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: feist fans, prisoners, money grubbing sycophantic adulterers
Shelves: fantastical
The Midkemia train chugs along... Raymond Feist wrote a set of hugely entertaining novels back in the 80's concerning magicians and whatnot: the Riftwar Saga ended up becoming a million copy bestseller and spawned new stories. Since then, the writing has actually degenerated in quality and things are not looking good for either the storylines or for Feist's writing career. Actually that last bit is an overstatement, since he is still a bestseller and going strong. In the early 90's he set out ...more
Simon Barron
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
C.S. Woolley
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not the best book I have read by R.E.F, but still have the book hangover that comes from finishing a good book when you are left just wanting more.

The book does drag in places and the plot following Roo is dull compared to the action of Shadow of a Dark Queen and the action parts of the book where Calis, Miranda, Erik & Bobby DeLongville are fighting the distant enemy.

Really enjoyed the characters of Jimmy and Dash being brought in for roguish charm as well as Luis managing to return to the
Roland Flynn
Dec 12, 2015 rated it liked it
An amiable enough read. The machinations of a would be merchant in a swords and sorcery world. The back plot to the four books seemed a bit of an afterthought to the story of Roo Avery, rising merchant, and it felt as if Feist wanted to write this tale, and somehow tie it in to the series.
Nothing ground breaking, and as I took a month to read it, it can't have been that gripping. Not a 4*, better than 3, just a slightly different take on standard fantasy fare.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Far more complex in terms of character personality and plot, this book oddly lacks the charm of Rise of the Dark Queen. Roo is shown to be a disgusting character even more than could have been guessed at previously. I found myself wishing for greater exposition of Erik's story line and less on the business deals conducted by Roo. However, I will say that the jargon was fairly limited in terms of business as even I was able to grasp most of what was going on.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-fantasy
Roo is not a nice character and reading about him was boring and irritating. The whole time I wanted his fortune to fall afoul of his vile nature. Neither has Feist improved on his character development, plot development, or world-building. In fact, this book has next to nothing to do with the Serpentwar. An all-time low for Feist.
Have re-read this several times. Not because it's taught me anything but because it's really well-written, I like the changes in narrative focus and how they are handled. There's always a sense of lots of things going on in different places, but it's never confusing. Actually the first Raymond Feist I ever read, and now I've read loads.
Sep 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I hadn't read Feist since the Riftwar Saga and the Empire Trilogy.

This was another hair razing, rapidly paced adventure! I couldn't put these books down.

I was on a climbing trip in France for 2 weeks or so and read the first 3 books.

Same complaint as always... the characters are pretty safe, but they are so fun and colorful and the adventure and story are top notch!
Donna Varley
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was as good as i expected it to be, but i wished for more battles and action scenes and a little less business. But i knew it would be like it was, and i was not disappointed. Feist never does!

I look forward to the next book and the impending battles to come!!
Martyn F
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Skip the prologue. It would give you the wrong start. The rest of the story is good. Why it is positioned in a fantasy world I do not really know. But I really liked the little rat Rupert rising in the merchant ranks. Sometimes funny. Sometimes exciting. Almost always interesting.
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well honestly, this was better than I expected. I never really liked Roo as a character in the previous book, but he has proven himself interesting enough for me to continue reading. I like how the book ended and I'm excited to see how the story will develop in the next one.
Jun 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I didn't like the books of the Serpentwar Saga as much as the original trilogy, and don't actually remember much about them beyond the fact that I did enjoy reading them.
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Just love how Feist develops the characters over time in his books, not all at once, or not at all. Amazing books and storytelling that I feel is overlooked by most.
Jul 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Very little magic (read:cloak) and knight (read:dagger) action in here, but lot of trade exchange manipulation with catching adventure story.
NAK Baldron
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This may be my favorite fantasy book of all time! I've learned so much from it as an author, and every time I read it I feel even more for the characters.
Duffy Pratt
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
An enjoyable mess of a book.

It follows Roo, who is Erik's best friend, and who was part of the "Dirty Dozen" team in the first book. His main goal in life is to become a filthy rich merchant, and this book details how he goes about that. This story, for what it is, I liked very much. Roo is not a simple character, and he's a bit of a jerk.

Because of the limitations in scope of this story, there is very little in the way of high fantasy. If you pulled this story out of its setting, it could just
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This was certainly a fantasy story with a difference. It continues the story of Roo and Erik first introduce in Shadow of Dark Queen having returned from their adventures to receive royal pardons. The story is in a way a filler between the destruction of the Serpent Queen’s fleet and its being rebuilt and ready for her planned invasion.
The focal point of the novel is Roo and his desire to become a rich merchant. As his character develops he becomes a much less likeable person than we first
Jul 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Rise of a Merchant Prince was one of the books I was most looking forward to rereading for my Midkemia Reread as I adore Roo. And while it was still an entertaining read, my enjoyment of the book was somewhat affected by changes in how I look at the world. Or rather, some of Roo's actions bothered me far more than they've ever done. Still, I really enjoyed the economic aspects of this novel and any scene Erik was in and, in the end, Rise of the Merchant Prince remains quite entertaining.

David Montgomery
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book continues the story established in "Shadow of a Dark Queen," but really takes it to another level. It's still nothing profound, but the structure and characterization both get a lot deeper. The key difference is that instead of telling a straightforward fantasy adventure story as in the first book, Feist's main story is about commerce: a greedy, morally questionable fellow doing what it takes to get filthy rich. In the background, the warriors and wizards of the prior volume continue ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was a bit of a disappointment. It started off okay, and I actually enjoyed the economic/merchant aspect, but Roo's behavior in this novel was pretty despicable. Feist took a likeable rascal type character and made him almost unbearable. He really doesn't have many redeeming qualities in this book. The other part of this book that was disappointing was the haphazard and rushed treatment of the storylines that were not Roo's. I would have liked to hear more about Erik, Calis, Nakor, & Sho ...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Rise of a Merchant Prince [Oct 1 ,2019] 17 18 Oct 29, 2019 05:07AM  

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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 ...more

Other books in the series

The Serpentwar Saga (4 books)
  • Shadow of a Dark Queen (The Serpentwar Saga, #1)
  • Rage of a Demon King (The Serpentwar Saga, #3)
  • Shards of a Broken Crown (The Serpentwar Saga, #4)
“Every person you encounter, whom you interact with, is there to teach you something. Sometimes it may be years before you realize what each had to show you.” 141 likes
“Luck is when those who are prepared take advantage of the moment.” 2 likes
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