The King’s Buccaneer

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

THE KING’S BUCCANEER is a sequel to the four fantasy novels by Raymond E. Feist, collectively called the Riftwar Saga. Like them, it is a story of conflict between good and evil, a struggle in which good triumphs, but only at a terrible cost.

After almost a decade of peace, Prince Arutha of Krondor has no reason to believe that his kingdom is in danger. When he sends his seventeen-year-old son, Nicholas, to visit his uncle, the Duke of Crydee, Arutha’s intention is merely to place the prince in a more primitive environment, where he may develop the self-confidence he lacks. At first, it seems that Nicholas’ greatest challenges will be avoiding his uncle’s displeasure and defending himself against his cousin Marcus. However, such concerns are forgotten after the Duke’s hunting party rides home to find that raiders have stormed the castle, slaughtered the garrison, killed the Duchess, and carried off a shipload of prisoners, including the Duke’s daughter and her beautiful companion.

As the ranking nobleman present, Nicholas must take command. Disguised as buccaneers, the prince and his followers sail westward into pirate territory, where after weeks of hardship and peril they locate the prisoners but discover a horrifying truth. By the time the forces of evil have been defeated, Nicholas has found love, won his cousin’s respect, and learned his own worth. THE KING’S BUCCANEER has everything one hopes for in a fantasy: convincing characterization, well-maintained suspense, and a theme which clearly relates unearthly events to life on our own imperfect earth.