Posted: July 1, 2016 in Book Reviews

rise of a merchant prince

Rise of a Merchant Prince: Book Two of the Serpentwar Saga

By Raymond E Feist

436 pages

In the last book Shawdow of a Dark Queen our friend Roo, also known as Rupert Avery was determined to become the richest merchant the world has ever seen. He has earned his freedom and has started his merchant business. Like he always said he would, he married a homely daughter of a rich merchant and became his father in law’s partner in business. His business partner is murdered and a feud between Rupert and sons and Jacoby and sons starts as both battle for control of the world markets.

Erik in the meantime is across the sea in Novindus seeking, hunting and destroying the Lizard Queen’s people, or snake men. While there Erik and company discover that there is a third player in this war that is even more dangerous and deadly than the threat of the lizard men. All the while the Emerald Queen is preparing a fleet of ships to carry hundreds of thousands of soldiers to krondor to conquer the world.

Pug has returned to stardock and is aware of the threat at hand. His story line however is yet to be highly involved but rather just an observer at this point but the need is growing.

Roo’s Character and his story is an extremely heavy focus within this book, however given it is about his rise to being a merchant prince that is to be expected. The problem with Roo however is that he has great business sense but not marriage sense. It seems that the idea of a marriage is a undiscovered country to him. Roo did not marry for love, but for business. He has 2 children with his wife but basically ignores them throughout the book.

What seems to be happening with Roo however is he is growing as a husband and father. Towards the end he starts to show some signs or indications of affection for his children at least. Throughout the story you can see and feel Roo’s struggle with this relationship. His wife’s pain at her husbands neglect is also shown through the writing and I feel that was done quite well.

Roo is a good man but lost and not knowing where to go or how to handle the situation. He seems to have no feelings for her or his kids but wants to do right by them.

Now that he has become the richest man in the kingdom he is set up to help the crown with the coming war. The prince of Krondor has personally contracted Roo to provide gold beyond the likes of which the world has ever seen.

This was a really good read and enjoyable. I do believe however we could have had some more time spent on Erik’s and Pug’s story line. Not a lot more but more for sure. This book was about 80% Roo and 10% Erik and 10% Pug. Both story lines deserved more space in the book. Doing a 60/20/20 split would have worked just as well I believe. That is really my only criticism of this book. The next volume I am sure will prove to be just as good however.

I give this book 7/10 book worms. Mostly for its strong character development surrounding Roo and his rise in the business world and personal development in his personal family life.  I eagerly look forward to the next volume.

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