Having played the computer game BETRAYAL AT KRONDOR (Sierra Games), I was eager to read KRONDOR THE BETRAYAL, part of the "RiftWar Legacy," a familiar theme to Feist fans. When the game came out in 1994, it received accolades and awards. I played it and found it to be far and above other CRPGs (computer role-playing games).
It's not often you find a book based on a computer gameusually it's the other way aroundso I was intrigued to see what Feist had done to the computer game. I wasn't disappointed. The book is fast-paced, introduces the characters quickly for those who may not know them and reintroduces them for those of us who played the game years ago.
Feist chose to stick with only a few of the major points of the game for the book, which didn't bother methe book would have been all over the place otherwise. He expands on the game's main story and actually breathes new life into the characters and lets the reader in on what the characters are really about. It's kind of hard to know everything about a character when you play a computer gameusually you make it up in your mind as you play. This book may not delight all Feist fans who played the computer game, but it will definitely delight Feist fans who love his books!
For the uninitiated, KRONDOR THE BETRAYAL follows the lives of Squire Locklear and Squire James (also known as Jimmy the Hand in the game), who each go on a quest to find answers to an impending uproar and possible conflict. Locklear finds himself teaming up with Owyn, an apprentice magician, and Gorath, a moredahl and known enemy, who now seeks to send an urgent message to Prince Arutha. Gorath wins the trust of Locklear and Owyn, albeit grudgingly, and the trio sets off to Krondor. James joins the trio at one point, then goes off on his own to find the answers they all seek. He meets with the great magician Pug and the denizens of the world of Krondor and beyond. When James joins up with the others later on, you know there are going to be fireworks!
There are battle scenes so graphic you feel you are there. Feist is wonderful at putting the reader in the book, something I've always enjoyed with his writing. The ending is satisfying, yet leads you to wonder what will happen next, which you can find out by playing RETURN TO KRONDOR (the next computer game), or KRONDOR: THE TEAR OF THE GODS (the book based on the new game), due out in early 2000.
Fantasy fans will enjoy KRONDOR THE BETRAYAL, whether they've read Feist or not. You can also download the BETRAYAL AT KRONDOR game free from Sierra's site at ftp://ftp1.sierra.com/pub/goodies/pc/krondorz.exe and play the game after you read the book (or while reading it, if you'd like). It's a regular Feist-Fest.
J. A. HITCHCOCK
ISSUE 19.1 - AUGUST 13, 1999
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