Shadow of a Dark Queen

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In SHADOW OF A DARK QUEEN, Eric von Darkmoor, illegitimate son of the Baron von Darkmoor, discovers that father’s family is none too interested in having him around for the man’s funeral, and succession of power. Enticed into a fight with his legitimate brother, Eric finds himself on the wrong side of the law. His flight leads him to becoming a reluctant soldier for the elf-leader Calis. Soon Eric and his comrades are taken far away to fight a strange enemy that seeks to dominate the entire world. Eventually they discover that the evil which drives this enemy is none other than that which nearly destroyed the world some eighty years before.

As usual, Feist’s characters are well drawn and his world is quite engaging. While this story is a continuation of his previous RIFTWAR SAGA, he takes pains to make this a stand-alone novel. It is clear, however, that reading the previous books would provide readers with a greater depth of understanding not only about this world and its evils but also about its history and the background of casually mentioned characters. Feist makes no effort to resolve the greater dilemma of the powerful enemy, but chooses to focus on the characters in order to provide insight into their lives and into the political situation in which they find themselves. His novel offers plenty of action as well.