Would just like to add a comment of thanks for the Empire Series, they were an awesome read! I have a lot of respect and admiration for you and Raymond Feist, you two are my favourite authors, with consistently good books that I am able to lose myself in other worlds. Keep up the good work! (I can't wait to read Stormed Fortress once I finally get my copy..!)
Hi Stephen - thanks and welcome here!
Thank you both so much for writing this series. I have now passed it on to several friends and family members, and they all love it (even the non-sci fi fans).
I know the idea gets tossed around a lot, but this series would make an awesome movie. Picture it: exotic sets, elaborate costumes, CG animations......it would be great.
Hi Rebecca - welcome here!
What a nice thing to see on an already beautiful day - yes, indeedy, a movie of this story would be quite spectacular....I would LOVE to see that, too!
Hope you will explore around, a bit - there's a nice bunch on this chat. And of course, teaser excerpts and mp3 audio files of some of the other titles, and tons of artwork pertaining to the stories.
I am with Rebecca on this one completely in that The Empire series combines such a broad range of events and scenes that it would have a lot of appeal as am movie. Can you imagine how breathtaking it could be if the director for LOTR were to apply his particular genius? Some of the imagery could be amazing.
I agree in principle, JH, but I'd be rather disappointed if he decided to go Hollywood with Mara the way he did with Faramir in LOTR....
How do you see that? I guess that even though the LOTR movies were not perfectly in line with the books, they were an amazing adaptation and have probably done more good in throwing greater attention on Fantasy Literature than anything else.
Did you not like the character they chose for Faramir or did you not like the way he did the movies?
I'll weigh in on this though Mark's opinion may differ.
I found the depiction of Faramir to be imprecise. His character on the screen failed to capture the significant difference between him and his brother. Faramir was a true son of the line of the Stewards, descended from Numenor an age before. But Boromir was not. That blood running true enabled Faramir to utterly refuse the ring... 'though it were lying beside the road' but not so in the movie. He played the 'good son' the 'Boromir wannabe', but that was not Faramir.
Further, Faramir was much like his father, Denethor, but yet another character was twisted into a poor shadowed caricature of the man that Tolkien put on his pages. Denethor was also a true descendant of his blood line and could not be broken by Sauron, only fooled with false images in the Palantir until he succumbed to hopelessness. He was not a madman who dribbled food down his front.
But that's just my $.38 (inflation you know).
I think that Trys has nailed the Faramir problem.
There is also the Frodo problem, and the Elrond problem. Aragorn was also quite different from the book, but not necessarily in a bad way.
One must remember that Jackson repeatedly stated that the screenplay was an interpretation of the books, not just a mere adaptation. Certain parts could have been adapted better, such as the characters of Faramir, Frodo and Elrond. As it was, Faramir was the wannabe, Frodo was the whiner, and Elrond was just plain bitter.
On the flip side, Boromir was done beautifully, Gandalf was Great, Gollum was perrrrrfect, precious, and Gimli and Legolas were pretty darn good. The best bit of casting: Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee. He nailed that part.
Uh, did we just hijack this thread?? Inside joke...
I can see what was meant now. It's interesting because if you have to pick and choose with things to keep and which to drop, it's got to be pretty tough.
Since we are on the subject of Empire and movie... Who do you cast as Mara of the Acoma? Do you look for an Asian actress or does it matter? My image of Mara is of a small, slight, cute not pretty woman with loads of intellect and amazing percpetion. What female actress carries that role off well?
And the Sam problem. Character assassination of Sam occurred on the stairs of Cirith Ungol... Sam would NEVER, EVER have left Frodo... "Don't you leave him." ::said Gandalf:: "I don't mean to sir." and he didn't.
Yes, that really wasn't a Sam problem, though. That was script-writing, and an addition to the plot that was unnecessary. Sam's character was only assassinated by the plot, not by the way the character was written or directed.
Frodo, on the other hand... I hated him by the end of RotK. In the book, he was far more stoic. In the movie, his decline occurred at the first encounter with the Black Rider in the Shire (sniff sniff). By Weathertop, I began to really dislike him.
And yes, John, we did hijack this thread, but we had accomplices this time!
Clansman, I suppose your right... that said there was only one problem... the Peter Problem. Given that there is a solution to the Peter Principle, I wonder.... <grin>
In pre ILM, cgi 1974 some friends and I decided LOTR would be difficult to bring to film because Who Could play Aragorn??? His character is so layered and nuanced. I never thought about the battle scenes or grand vistas.
Almost 30 years later and countless re reads including with my children I was impressed with the richness and detail on screen but disappointed with the mixed
casting,characterizations and acting ability. I certainly understood why Aragorn was written the way he was(although I think PJ did not do this conscioulsy) given the actor originally slated to play him and one who actually got the role, I did not expect the movies to be an exact replica of the book (and face it the target audience was 14-30 year old males)but I did not understand why some characters were written so well and others so poorly. For example Theoden was essentially unaltered and Denethor trashed.I won't waste my time on Elrond,Frodo, Sam, Eowyn, Haldir
It seemed as though by the third movie the director just got bored (probably why Farimir was fairly bland)and threw everything into endless cgi battles.After all he already recouped his investment! Many people in the theater left before the end!
Hi Janny from Sydney Australia. Like others here, I would like to add my gratitude for the Empire series.
This is a stunningly beautiful work and there is something in the style that is both captivating and exciting and yet, soothing and gentle, to my mind at least. I have read it many many times, taking the time to absorb the detail often missed in the rush to move on.
Two questions only at this time.
Firstly, have you and your family ever visited Australia?
Secondly, and more importantly, The Empire series is the only work of yours that I have read, and being co-authored, I was wondering what you would recommend to me of your own work that I might like.
I am sure you love all the works that you have published, but when I ask others about your work they all recommend something different of yours.
So, where should I start, given that I loved The Empire series.
So many different choices. I have recommended To Ride Hell's Chasm as a great book to get started with to other people. It's a single volume, but just a wonderful ride and it lets you get a feel for Janny's writing before committing to The War of Light and Shadows. If you read the one you are almost certain to agree to the latter.....
Hi Brian Clark - Welcome here, and thanks for your extremely kind response to the Empire.
Yes, I have visited your wonderful country - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Alice Springs & surrounds, and Tasmania. What an incredible experience, I'd return in a heartbeat! The people there - all a delight. We made some lasting friends.
Past question start with To Ride Hell's Chasm, the reviewers who liked Empire seemed to enjoy that one enthusiastically. It is still in print in your country, and should give you a feel for my stuff without stepping off the cliff with a huge series.
My works tend to wind up, and set things in place - till about halfway, when all murder busts loose. Try to time the end bits when you can shut off the rest of your life (wives burn food, husbands neglect Honeydo lists...just a friendly warning)
Janny - Clansman and I actually had quite a discussion about that by the way. I am still a huge fan of Sorcerer's Legacy, it's tough to top because it's short, it's action packed and very well written. Clansman, once again proving he's smarter than I am, was able to point out that TRHC contains a better sample of many of the themes and the style that you use. So, at this point, I stand firmly with him on THRC being a wonderful intro.
Thankyou Janny, and John, for your advice. As soon as I finish Mistress of the Empire [again] I will pick up a copy of TRHC. I am looking forward to it, because I am extremely fussy on what I read and rely on recommendation.
Makes sense. There is so much being printed these days and being able to avoid the bad stuff so that you can invest your reading time into things like Empire and TRHC is essential. Getting a solid recommendation makes all kinds of sense.
*** Spoiler ****
Speaking of Mistress.... Are you a big fan of the ending? I was always frustrated with who she ends up with because I felt that Hokanu totally got the raw end of the deal....
Heheh, I'll cop to having always had a big soft spot for Hokanu, and while I liked Kevin a lot, I always preferred Hokanu. That being said, I think the ending had to happen that way. It wouldn't have been fair to Hokanu to be without an heir, and we'd already established earlier in the book that he'd been disappointed with the thought that he wouldn't ever have a son to raise. I also think it was necessary to show what sort of regent Mara would be. We all knew she wouldn't be a grasping sort, but this demonstrated to everyone else that she would make sacrifices as well for the good of the empire.
I have considered the Kevin/Hokanu question on several occasions and honestly don't think it could have played ot any differenly, given the cultural and socialogical contexts at play.
I too have a soft spot for Hokanu and I have often wondered if that is because I see more of myself in aspects of his nature, or if it is that I see that I am not at all like him, and wish that I were so.
Do you know, one fine day, I got 2 letters from Empire readers - one went on for 7 PAGES ranting about How Could You and Ray EVER!!! have Mara leave Kevin and marry another man - literally, shredding us up side and down....
And the second letter, ranted on at least that long, in very VERY damning language -- how COULD we have Mara EVER break her marriage vows, do the D word, and return to Kevin...how morally reprehensible this was, and did we know, it RUINED the series...
What to do? (This is a true story) How to respond?
Well, I just took the letters, reversed them, and sent the one to the other angry party, with a sticky note attached - who do I disappoint??? Your call...
It was Ray's and my call, that for all the tradition breaking Mara and Hokanu and Kevin did...for all the basic cultural shifting of values they accomplished - Family honor remained. Upon this principle, Mara gave up her life in the service of Lashima, and upon this principle, the new Empire would still flourish.
We saw Kevin's return, later, as a bittersweet reward, (beyond Hokanu getting his heirs and son) that the loss of the marriage was not to be for naught.
Can't please everybody - that's for certain! But the ending of the story stayed true to the cultural backdrop.
Hee hee, just goes to show ya, there's always someone who thinks you got it wrong. That's the best story ever.
***All kinds of spoilers!***
I personally loved that Mara left Kevin. Not because Kevin's a bad guy, but I liked her reasons. (Plus that scene makes me cry every time, and I love that.) And I liked that he came back later, rather than choosing to stay and defy the edict. Not just because it was nice to let Hokanu and Mara have their time together (although I enjoyed that also. I loved every minute of Hokanu from the very first.) but it seemed like it would be the only way for them to meet as equals. Time apart to consider what Kevin really wanted, then to return to Mara as a freeman as his free choice.. much better.
I guess I also never saw a conflict between the two relationships, so I never felt like she was with the "wrong" person at any given time, except of course Buntokapi. I mean, it's stated pretty baldly in the beginning of Mistress of the Empire how different the two relationships were for Mara, that she could love them both equally for very different reasons. And I don't adhere to the idea that there's one perfect person for anyone, so I rather liked seeing that illustrated so well in this series.
I did feel badly for both Mara and Hokanu at the end there, but knew it had to be that way. I think the person I felt the worst for was the poor Emperor. ;) I always felt like he and Mara were kindred spirits, but while she was free(er) to change traditions, he would never have been allowed to, and it was only through the violent upheaval after his death that any substantive changes were going to be wrought. I was always a little sad he had to die for that to happen.
Ok, now that we have hashed through Kevin/Hokanu I have a slightly different question. Is there still room for a revisitation of Kelewan? Feist did some stuff with it in his Riftwar Saga, but, to me, Kelewan was actually the more interesting planet compared to Midkemia.
Now, I would rather not interrupt the next Arc of WoLaS, but with all the additions that Feist has done to Midkemia, I would love to see some more from Kelewan. The Empire with the changes that were unfolding was going to be incredibly interesting...the Assembly being emasculated etc...
What do you think, Janny? Something you would entertain?
John - the ideas and the opportunity never came up, although, an emasculated assembly does give one pause for thought !!!
Ray actually has plans for Kelewan...so for that you'd have to finish the Riftwar books. I daren't spoil the plan of intention he mentioned in passing in a phone conversation. Although I do admit, it's making me BITE MY TONGUE rather severely to keep quiet.
Much as I loved the Empire series, I'm not going to entertain distraction from WoLaS. Repeat after me, Janny; "Must write Initiate's Trial, must write Initiate's Trial, must write...."
O.K. Returning thread to its proper purpose...
There is that, of course...did you know, that was the biggest howl in my argument, to Ray, against doing the Empire (Daughter) in the first place? That it would delay Light and Shadows for the duration.
If only!!! the two sets of readers were compatible!!! Or, that Light and Shadows was as visible ---
Initiate's Trial continues...but you're right, being patient is hardest! I have more than one project going, at the moment, but this one is central. When it moves, it takes precidence.
Janny - would that plan for Kelewan be the one he put into his most recent book 'Wrath of a Mad God'? If so then I can't actually quite believe he did it.
Zorana -- if that is the last book, and if Ray did what he said he was gonna, then you know why my tongue is a'bleedin' to keep quiet. Not my place to spoil for others who may be his ardent readers.
Yeah 'Wrath' is his most recent book, and I can understand why you're biting your tongue - I've got friends reading the series who are a bit further behind and keeping quiet until they catch up is proving difficult. :D
I feel you pain Zorana and Janny... I felt a lot of poignancy that the closing scene of Ray's return to Kelewan was on the Acoma estates...
(I hope that that was imbiguous enough!)
Drat!! I didn't want to climb back into Midkemia and that whole series again because I really lost interest with some of the characters who had become the central point. A return to Kelewan might be worth it.
I don't know that it could be the same because the voice that Feist writes with is quite different than what Empire was written in....I wonder why??? Said with a smile.
I am a big fan of Feist's work at Magician and the books through Darkness at Sethanon were wonderful...not on a par with WoLaS, but what could be?
I, personally, wouldn't mind being spoiled. I tried reading the new series back when the Serpent War books first started coming out, but I couldn't stick with them. I've always longed for a return to Kelewan, on the other hand, so I personally would LOVE to know this juicy bit of spoilery goodness. ;)
If you REALLY want a spoiler, then email me at email@example.com - I don't think it fair to post it in here and ruin it. *g*
John, you describe my takes on Feist almost exactly, although I did enjoy the later exploits of Jimmy the Hand and his quasi-successor in character, Roo Avery, within the later books. Did you by any chance note that Honored Enemy recaptured some of that feel? Ray seems at his best when collaborating, and it DOES really shine in the Empire series.
I have read some of the later stuff... I think that I stopped with Exile's Return because I found bettter stuff to read. I liked that series pretty well, but I never tried Honored Enemy. That might have been a mistake that I will need to correct.
I think that part of the brilliance of Empire is the combination of Feist's story with Janny's perspective and characters. Like them or hate them(Lysaer, Morriel, etc.) they are vivid, well written characters and in Empire that lead to a uniquely wonderful combination.
Janny doesn't need Ray to write great stuff and he writes well too, but the combination was memorable. Some of my favorite stuff ever...
Crap, now I have to go and upgrade them on my list of books that I can't do without.
I read a couple of the collaborations and my summation was that Ray had allowed another writer to write a story in his world, to the detriment of the series in my opinion. One felt like a spaghetti western set in Midkemia, with no Clint Eastwood in sight to spice it up.
Jimmy the Hand I rather liked, although the original series unfortunately milked the "honest" criminal element far too much. Roo Avery I was hoping would get killed immediately i.e. I didn't like him as a character at all.
Keep meaning to re-read Magician, I was always hoping Tomas would be the major character - he did get to ride a dragon and marry an elven princess.
Wow, for a couple years now, I've checked out this sight for news of releases and finally checked the forums. A truer bunch of kindred spirits I believe I've never found. Having said that, seventeen years ago, on a grueling car ride in a beat up Subaru to South Carolina with my mother, we stopped at a truck stop that had a bargain book section. I picked up Feist's "Prince of the Blood" because I liked the cover. I devoured it, partially to avoid conversation, and upon returning home bought every book Feist had written.
I don't remember how long it was before the Empire Series lead me to pick up Curse of the Mistwraith, but sufficed to say, that trip brought me to you Janny and for that, I am ever grateful. You hold the title as the only author to scare my dog, as I shouted in triumphant joy while reading PG. You are fantastic. I'll keep notes to you in these forums to a minimum and converse instead with my fellow admirers in hopes that fewer distractions will allow for more writing. Godspeed.
Hi Carl - welcome - POST AWAY!!!
That's not distraction, it's happy encouragement. Automatic ticket to alleviate creative tantrums and turn them into smiles, and smiles fuel More Text, faster Draft.
Whoever says artists/writers have to be miserable to create wasn't a working, producing artist, but a dreaming fool of a total Nutcase!!!
Even Questions Help - they force me to reexamine the ground, peer into past of future cracks and see the data from another angle.
Sooo....put up your thought balloons, they are most welcome! I do not respond (or embarrass you) unless you Ask my direct input...so you're safe from blushing, too.
well, it is all coming to a head again in MOTE, and I am glad to say that following your recommendation, I have tracked down a hard cover edition of TRHC.
As my partner and I are going on a South Pacific cruise in about 6 weeks, I think I might time the start of this book so that I am about half way through it as I board the ship, and am reaching the conclusion somewhere near Tonga.
What a way to combine passion, excitement and delayed gratification!!
Brian - have a fun trip, on both counts!
Oh, and when you reach the last 1/3 of Hell's Chasm -- try to do it when you won't have a thrilling shore excursion planned, or immediate scheduled fun...because when this book really winds into the finishing sequence, you won't have nice little leisurely "stopping points" - just a warning, the the pace picks up and by that point gets a bit relentless...
Ok will do re: the last third of TRHC. By the way, I am just finishing up Re-reading A Darkness At Sethanon by Ray so I can get a good run into TRHC.
THE POINT IS THIS; I AM HAVING MY EYES LASER CORRECTED ON WEDNESDAY, SO YOUR BOOK WILL BE THE FIRST I WILL HAVE BEEN ABLE TO READ WITHOUT GLASSES....EVER!!
Quite an experience for me and I am sure an honour for you : )
I have some reservations re the surgery, but have wrestled with fear in my life before and so will put my credentials to the test, so to speak.
After all, the only things we can truely change in life is the way we feel about things.
I look forward to seeing you more clearly dancing behind each sentence. I never forget a syntax.
Brian -- good luck with your surgery - Don had his eyes corrected some years back, and he said, the scariest part of the whole thing was the FORMS you had to sign off on beforehand.
It went swimmingly - as I am sure yours will, too. My thoughts are with you, all the way.
May the Man's hand be steady - take care, recover quickly.
In defence of peter jackson remember that he filmed the three movies concurrently. there wasn't any running out os team by the third movie because it was filmed at the same time. the only things that were not done at the same time were the editing and special effects.
As for sam leaving frodo, that could not be helped as he did that in the books, it is key to why he took on the ring and became the last of the ringbearers to leave middle earth.
The characters that were the most glaringly changed were arwen and eowyn. But this i attribute to the breaking of the boys club that some film adaptations and re-doings have done (anyone seen oceans 11-12-13, julias character is a much bigger role than the original one).
And now back to topic. Mara is by far and away my favorite character from the riftwar cycle. followed distantly by arutha, jimmy, pug and miranda. of all creations by janny or raymond i fell in love with her the most. only arithon's deep compassion and depth can compare.
(it's a toss up for me, mara or arithon, who do i like more)
And as for who would play her in a film adaptation possibly the girl who played sparrow in the forbidden kingdom. if she had been younger i would have said Michelle Yeoh, she would play an excellent adult mara, able to stand up and stare down any overbearing arrogant ruling lord and not only show then she was their equal but humble them and show them she was their superior. I would hope against hope that they would Not choose Zhang Zhi Yi, because though she has done well with the roles she has done she would not suit Mara.
I could see Casper Van Diem playing kevin, or perhaps Tatum Channing. Both of them are big guys able to overshadow a lot of people. Jet Li could make a good Hokanu.
Though in casting it would have to be remembered that though the tsurani culture is more asiatic the people are not homogenous. though they are mostly short and lighter their features and colouring run the full gammit of human appearance.
My complaint of Sam leaving Frodo is not a reference to when he leaves what he believes to be a dead Frodo which occurred after the Shelob encounter but rather the movie versions earlier departure on the stairs of Cirith Ungol before encountering Shelob. Sam would never, ever, ever, ever, ever leave Frodo unless he thought Frodo was dead.
Ah thanks for the clarification. I see and conceed your point.
Who would you cast as Mara, Kevin and Hokanu in a movie adaptation? past and present actors are applicable.
* Spoiler Alert *
* Spoiler Alert *
You have been warned.
While I enjoy Ray's stuff quite a bit (though the earlier stuff grabs me more than the current stuff) I am pretty disgusted by his pretty much destroying Kelewan, and making sure that we can't ever have more stories about how the land develops after Mara's time.
I am fairly ticked off, though I will still keep reading the new books. And I am looking forward to eventually reading the Jimmy the Hand book. Got to do that fairly soon.
And there are few people who are as straight-laced as me when it comes to people ending relationships and starting new ones, I have to say the situations with Kevin do not bother me. Now Mara getting what's-his-name killed ... I understand, but don't like.
Jon, I was very saddened about Kelewan's demise - when I heard about it (after the fact). Sigh. More than unhappy, disturbed...
But it IS Ray's "universe" - he has the only say.
Spoiler? Spoiler? Spoiler? Spoiler? Spoiler? Spoiler? Spoiler?
Janny, I tend to read as an observer and just follow the events to see where they lead. While I was reading, though, I did wonder about your perspective on the events involving Kelewan. I would think you should have received at least a short note in advance.
In case you haven't yet and want to read for yourself, I'll just say that it's not necessarily the end for all of the peoples of Kelewan...and there is a kind of continuity from pre-Empire events.
Of course, I don't want to distract you too much from working on Arcs IV and V of WOLAS... (Now isn't that just a little bit selfish of me?)
Jeff - I had no consult or say.
I do realize he "saved" the people and he thought it a necessity. If I'd been consulted (no obligation to on his part) I'd have looked for the grace of another (third alternative) solution to the problem.
But it was a done deal.
To reassure you - right now, I'm reading little, writing lots.
I've just discovered this site, but I just wanted to let you know I think you're a fantastic author and I can't wait to read more of your books! Keep writing, please!
Hi Jake - welcome here! On the writing, you betcha. I love my job.
Heya just joined, i simply have to know for 100% certainty. i know you and ray have said alot of times that you will never do an actuall empire book ever agian. i just have to know is that 100% or just most likely. i would love to see some book or books about the empire in the early days. with familys attacking familys and the building and creation of the empire. that would give you guys alot more options to fiddle around since it wasnt really discuseed much. "sigh" i think i know the answer i just have high hopes
Hi Artyom Gulin - we have no plans.
A story about bloody politics that changes nothing - isn't my bag...I daren't say NEVER - but the truth is there is nothing on the radar/no plans/no discussion.
If you like bloody intrigue to the nth degree, I suggest you go read Martin.
Thanks for your interest and enthusiasm.
I feel the Empire series was fully explored. The origins are not a mystery, by the third and final book. I do feel that there could easily be a million off shoots however (such as was done with Jimmy the Hand and Roo Avery). The struggle with any of them would be just like you said, not revisiting the same old bloody intrigue that makes up the world of the Empire. However, I do have to say some of my favorite characters were not always main characters. Arakasi(though most of the third books subplot was focused on him), Keyoke, the Thuril nation (and the wars they had), and the Choja magi. Any of these could have a book of their own in truth.
Hi - I haven't written on the message board before, which seems odd in retrospect since it was several years ago that I first read, and loved, these books.
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, them.
This was one of those series that had the double pleasure of being something that my mum and I shared. In fact, she still holds on to my old paperbacks! If I'm going to prize them away from her I'll need to give her some copies of her own.
Which leads me to my second point - I'm desperately trying to find some hardback versions with the UK cover art. So far I've located hardbacks on ebay and amazon with the US cover art, and while I know that the books are the same on the inside, if possible I'd really like to give Mum the UK versions.
I was hoping that someone on this message board might know where I could find some? My next port of call is the publisher...
Hello one and all, I have just finished reading the Empire Series for the second time, I first read it several years ago.
It is a gripping yarn!
Hey Laurence, nice to see your post! How is weather in the Shetlands?
Hello Janny, the weather here is as changeable as ever, but thankfully we have not had much snow this winter yet.
My interest in reading has been rekindled, I had a dry spell for quite a while.
Bagpipe music still does not reach me, but it may some day!
Janny was there any stories that you wanted to tell from this series but never got to? These books for me after countless re reads still rank as one of my all time fav books.. Despite the insane killing off of the world.. just wondered if you ever had more to tell?
Hi Nurgle, welcome here!
There are no other stories in the Empire that interest me, no.
I'd have been mildly curious to wonder what Kevin was up to during his time, sent back in the Kingdom. Both Ray and I have been too busy; the concept is NOT even in discussion, so if you please, don't mistake this post as anything other than idle rumination on my part.
we are all mildly curious i am sure! Ray too busy.. well alas in his last book too busy to actually proof read it....
Yes, unfortunately Ray Feist's quality has dropped considerably with the passage of time.
I got the impression that he simply got tired of writing in that world. No inspiration or drive to keep his writing interesting? Hard to know.
The original Riftwar trilogy and the Empire series were very fine writing and two very different stories. Subsequent novels/series were perhaps a pale imitation of the original and were to keep people happy who wanted to follow other characters rather than developing new stories to be told. I found them to be very similar to later novels in George RR Martin's series where they were full of characters which I just didn't care about - not a good sign to continue reading..
Will the Empire trilogy be out as e-book any time soon? I'd like to re-read it. :-)
Hi Selene, thanks for your interest, last I heard, I was told the agent was working on it. If you sign for the e mail list or my twitter feed (jannywurts) you'd receive the announcement when it happens. Or watch here.
Thanks! Good to know it's being worked on. :-)
News yesterday - the e rights for the Empire series are settled at last. News of the release date will be forthcoming the moment I have it.
The Empire series outshines almost all of Ray's work except his original Magician, which is on par. I'd like to thank you for helping a young non reader to become a consumate consumer of the written word...across multiple genres.
I have to admit that i have not read any of your other work though for fear that it may dispell my admiration for your imagination and creativity. This is something i wish to remedy. Which series would you suggest i read next?
Also, as i value your work so highly and always suggest to friends that if their children don't like to read then they should introduce them to Riftwar saga and your Empire series, could you pls arrange for your publisher to contact Dymocks Hong Kong and sell them a wider variety of your works and more copies. I always have to request the books i want which i don't mind....but the Empire series should always be on the shelf.
Thanks for sharing Janny
Hi Aaron MacCormack - welcome here and thanks for the kindest of notes.
The best way to get books on any bookstore shelf is for the customer to ask for them, and have other readers do the same...shops will carry what sells and what readers demand, and they do listen to their clientele.
As for trying out my books - there are several avenues to take.
Sorcerer's Legacy was my first, and simplest novel - that story has a lady lead, too, and it was the reason Ray asked me to collaborate on the Empire series in the first place. IT is not in print at the moment, you would have to find a used copy, if you could.
Cycle of Fire (Stormwarden/Keeper of the Keys/Shadowfane) is out in audio from Audible books - it is a fantasy 'coming of age' - more of a quest story, but with a lot more twists.
Master of Whitestorm is also a stand alone/runs to action adventure more or less - it came a little later in my career/also out of print but there are used copies about.
Those books were my 'earlier' career and are less complex in both style and story.
The latest book (still in print/easy to get in ebook or print, from HarperVoyager) is To Ride Hell's Chasm - expect a careful build and an explosive fast paced finish - this was the story the reviewers and critics who liked Empire took to best - if you like this one, then you would perhaps test the waters with the Wars of Light and Shadow series, after.
If you try to start with War of Light and Shadows, bear in mind, you are jumping in at the deep end!
All the books are character driven, but do have action and all have finishes. I don't EVER do cliff hangers even in a series.
MOST of the books have 'excerpts' available on this website - in print, epub, mobi, and even, audio. The first three chapters of To Ride Hell's Chasm are done as a clean reading, (look in the podcast section under excerpts) - and you can also hear the entire first chapter, in audio, of audible's production of Stormwarden.
So do feel free to test the waters!
The best thing to bear in mind is that (like Empire) the events WILL change the characters - and like you have seen, there WILL be a big shift at the half point (as something big unveils or comes to a head) - I always slow build to a huge finish, so don't give in too soon, because things you feel don't count will play in the end.
Some readers coming off the Empire series have to adjust a little to the style - I've heard said in mail from readers that you read about 5 chapters, you 'adjust' to the style and it works - but I wouldn't know - each individual is different.
Empire was a total blend of Feist and Wurts - if you read into our solo work, you will see that individually we are different, but you also will recognize some of the 'traits' that made our works what they are, together. Some readers take to this immediately.
Only way to know is to try. The best thing, too, is to let go of your 'expectations' and let the book tell its story - and see what happens by the end.
If there are other readers here who have read Empire and also the other solo works, do feel free to post your experiences to help Aaron out. Often the author is the last person to know how it feels in the reader's shoes!
Best always, Aaron, and good reading no matter what you choose!
I recently re-read Daughter of the Empire to write a review... So impressed by the characters and some of them felt very familiar. Arakasi so reminds me of Arithon. The breadth of talents that they share and the close held personality. Am I wrong? I am enjoying writing the review....so important for newer readers not to miss out on stuff like this!
Aaron, I too found Janny's work through reading Ray Feist, which I read as it was being published back in 1986. I went from Riftwar to Empire, and then looked for any Janny Wurts I could find, which led me to Cycle of Fire (which I recently re-read. Very cool blend of Fantasy and SF). Then I dove into Curse of the Mistwraith when it was brand new.
There are a few of us on this board who have been with Janny, whether she new it or not, since those early days of Arithon's continuous running battle with his older half-brother Lysaer. It has easily been the best epic fantasy that I have ever read since I gobbled up all the Tolkien I could find. No one else comes close, but it is a big bite to chew, and you need to be ready for it. There are layers upon layers, and if you like detailed plotting and sudden twists, and all of whats best and worst of human nature revealed so that you can look at US from a different perspective, then it's the Wars of Light and Shadow for you.
Perhaps i'll jump in at the deep end after all...whilst i keep an eye out for the books that are no longer in print.
John!! Are you re-reading for a review at fantasyliterature.com?? If so, I'd be thrilled to hear it - that is a significant 'hole' in their list, to have nothing on that series.
Aaron - whatever you try, I hope you have a good time. If you plunge into the deep end, bear this in mind: NOTHING you see (at first) is as it seems. Each time you get more information, everything you thought you believed will shift and shift again. Good hunting!
Janny - You know me too well. I loved the Riftwar Saga as a kid and Daughter of the Empire was amazing. There are some points in the plot that literally make me sad to consider even at this point! You have a habit of writing things that actually touch me like that.
Angus - You are missed my friend!!
Thanks, John! Good to see you on these Boards. I miss being at FanLit, but life's just too dang busy!
Thank you, John, that is very pleasing news - it's great to see you around here, too.
Long time fan of the Empire series here... can't tell you how many times I've read them... Would love to see a HBO series encompassing both sides of the Rift War...
I'm sure its been asked before, but are there any audiobook versions of The Empire Trilogy out there? I've been listening to the Magician series, but would love to listen to the Empire side on my way back and forth to work!
Thanks in advance!
Hi Rob Jones, welcome here!
Oh, yes, a TV series for Empire would be something, wouldn't it? (DREAM BIG!)
Likewise and audio book would be fabulous - best way to get that happening is ask your favorite audio book venue to offer for it. I'd enjoy seeing this happen, very much!
Yep, its not worth dreaming if you're not dreamin' big! :-)
I figure if "Game of Thrones" (which the name fits the Empire Series better imho) can be done, the Rift War could be done.
In looking for The Empire Series in audiobook for, I found a site where the author can claim the book and work towards getting an audio version available: http://www.acx.com/help/how-it-works/200484210
... but is there a site you would suggest that might be better suited to start a grassroots movement to get it started?
Thanks in advance!
Hi Rob, may your enthusiasm be infectious!!
The best way I know (and particularly here, where Ray's involved and it's not ethical for me to initiate this on my own) - every audio company DOES keep track of customer requests. (so do editors at book clubs and etc) - there IS what they call a 'magic number' - wherein, if they reach that number of customer requests, a bid for the rights will be offered. This is the 'grass roots' way for readers to make anything happen, and I do encourage (always) that people express their preferences because it DOES make a difference.
My husband used to laugh at me all the time, for calling out the managers of the local supermarket and telling them what product I would buy IF they had it/and always they told me (the managers) it was NOT cost effective that they'd not be able to carry such and such, or label the produce this or that way, customers would not care abut a niche market or whatever - and ALWAYS - about a year later - the change I'd asked for appeared. That meant: I was not the only one asking, and they DO listen - it's just, too many people waive their right to that power and think it's not worth speaking out.
I do appreciate your interest so very much! An audio version would be just a delight to see, I'd be grateful in so many ways.
Just saw on Google play that they are selling The Empire Series 3-book Bundle for $23.99 au from the 14 of march 2013. Just wanted to let every one know. Hope things are going well
I am an avid fantasy reader and have just discovered this series. I would like to purchase the series to read in ebook format in the US. I can only locate the ebook format (well, legally) for UK readers
Will this series be coming to epub soon?
many thanks -
I see Ray Feist is releasing Magician's end this month which is the final (?) book in the Riftwar Cycle. I haven't read any of the books published in the last eight to ten years as I thought the quality and originality diminished significantly with the books in the later trilogies. Has anyone made it through the entire series (as laid out here - http://www.crydee.com/raymond-feist/reading-order/written) and can offer their opinion as whether Magician's End is worth getting?
Hunter, I gave up at Shards of a Broken Crown (1998), which I never even finished. I understand that there were some bright spots afterwards, like Honoured Enemy, but Midkemia was unfortunately milked for all it was worth. It started so well and wonderfully, and introduced me to Janny's writing, but after a while, it seemed that Ray Feist was just producing books in order to keep an income, and to ensure that his backlist kept selling. I could be wrong, but I think that Feist is capable of much better writing than what he's done since the late 1990s.
The titles below continue the storyline going FORWARD after Shards of a Broken Crown:
Talon of the Silver Hawk
King of Foxes
Flight of the Nighthawks
Into a Dark Realm
Wrath of a Mad God
Rides a Dread Legion
At the Gates of Darkness
A Kingdom Besieged
A Crown Imperiled
I stopped reading after At the Gates of Darkness because of limited free time AND so I could read the final three books back-to-back.
Regarding the other books, I tried the first Krondor book and didn't get into it. It had a different feel to it. I think that series was based on a computer game that was available in the early '90s.
I didn't read the other Riftwar era books, but may try them in the future when there's time. It partly depends on whether or not I'm still curious after reading Magician's End.
Hope this helps...
Reading the rest probably isnt worth it if you want books of substance and quality... if ure after some light fluff which is about all Feist can write these days then yeah read the remaining books.. The last book is going to make zero sense though unless u have at lest read the last few.
Janny got an honourable mention in the forward of Magicians End...
Audio book for Empire is in production!!!!!
Tania Roduigues has put out on Twitter that she is the narrator - check out her voice, she is AWESOME! and an excellent choice match for Mara's character.
Audible has added Daughter of the Empire to its catalogue now and it is long! Nearly sixty hours, is this even possible? The book has a similar lenght as Stormwarden, each one is about 400 pages long, and yet the audio version of the first book of the Empire series is four times longer than the first volume of the Cycle of Fire.
This can't possibly be, can it? I venture the guess that the whole Empire series (and not the first book of it) has a length of 59 hours and a half and someone got it mixed up.
As for the cover, I would have preferred the original art as the one chosen for the audio book does not look particular memorable to me, though others may have a different opinion on it.
Hi Ypso - I went searching for this, to see when it will release (to my knowledge, it will be done in separate volumes, but really, facts about the audio edition are scant, Ray doesn't know either,)
I could not find the page for it on Amazon yet - is there a live link you might be willing to provide?
According to the Audible websites each book of the series will be released separately, so your information is correct.
Here are the links:
Audible UK - http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Daughter-of-the-Empire-Audiobook/B00J JXXC3G/ref=a_search_c4_1_4_srTtl?qid=1397077114&sr=1-4
Audible US - http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Daughter-of-the-Empire-Audiobook/B00JJY 4VDK/ref=a_search_c4_1_6_srTtl?qid=1397077151&sr=1-6
The mistake regarding the first audiobook's lenght has been fixed now and with a running time of nearly twenty hours DoE is the longest audiobook so far.
Servant and Mistress will be longer...!!!
Unabridged audio for Daughter of the Empire releases from Audible today!
With the recent release of the Empire Series by Ray Feist and Janny Wurts in an e-book format and the release of Daughter of the Empire in audio format the Maitz and Wurts Studio Shop has made prints available of the covers of the books done by Don Maitz. They can be found in the collaborative section of the store or you can follow this link: http://www.paravia.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&
Hm, the Empire Series is not available on the German Audible website. I will send them a request and ask if they could consider obtaining the rights, but in case they do not have such an intent I will have to check whether it is possible to purchase it from the British or American Audible shop (let's hope so).
There's a tor.com re-read starting of the Empire books....
Here is a Soundcloud link of the new audio book production, Tania Roduigues narrating:
https://soundcloud.com/search?q=HarperAudio%20London%2C%20Servant%20of%20the%20E mpire%2C%20By%20Raymond%20E.%20Feist%20and%20Janny%20Wurts%2C%20Read%20by%20Tani a%20Rodrigues
Hi guys, any other Australian's unable to get their hands on the audio editions of the Empire Trilogy?
I have an account with audible.com but they won't show it in a general search. I either have to sign out of my account and use a VPN to find it, OR when I use the direct url (as listed above) I get a message saying 'We're sorry. Due to publishing rights restrictions, we are not authorized to sell this item in the country where you live."
If I go to aubible.co.uk via the direct link - I see it no problem. If I log into my account I get a new page explaining the same thing as the message above.Not available.
It's so frustrating!
I love this series and want to listen to it on audio
I have taken to twitter, tweeting harperaudio as to when it might be made available and tagging Janny and Ray in on it too as my emails to my HC contacts have not had a response.
Okay, for those interested, the audio version of the trilogy is now available for Australians to buy from iTunes.
HarperAudio UK is (still) working to fix it's region setting feeds on audible.