Raymond Feist is best known for his classic rags-to-sorcery fantasy book, Magician, which is one of the best fantasy books around if you ask me! Magician forms the first part of the Riftwar saga, chronicling the invasion of the planet Midkemia by the oriental-inspired Tsurani of Kelewan. Alongside these stories sits the Empire trilogy, written in collaboration with Janny Wurts, which retell the events of the Riftwar from a Tsurani perspective and in a totally different, yet similarly engaging style.
The Empire trilogy, rather than following the Riftwar saga's typical epic fantasy style, focusses more on the political machinations of the Tsurani Empire. The series charts Mara, ruling lady of the Acoma's struggles to restore power to her troubled House. The books are somewhat slower paced than the Riftwar trilogy, but make up for this with political intrigue and diplomatic struggle in abundance. Feist succeeds in painting a detailed picture of the complexities of life on Kelewan and running a House, the importance of honour, diplomacy and protocol. Mara is a strong female lead and it is refreshing to find a main character who is not a mighty warrior or magician but someone who the reader comes to respect for their cunning and political guile.
Whilst the series may not be right for those more interested in an upfront, action heavy fantasy book, if you are keen for more cerebral set of books then these are well worth a read.
Buy on Amazon USA
Buy on Amazon UK
Daughter of the Empire
Servant of the Empire
Mistress of the Empire