Jimmy the Hand
Raymond E. Feist & S.M. Stirling
Eos, Aug 2008, $13.95
The Mockers enable the royals Arutha and Anita to flee Krondor and the assault of Duke Guy du Bas-Ytra. The irate city ruler demands his thugs bring him the head of teen thief Jimmy the Hand and the other Mockers who abetted the Prince in his and Princess Anita’s escape. Not caring to delineate, the ducal’s assassins go after all Mockers demanding they turn over the head of Jimmy the Hand to them or else.
Knowing his allies are turning against him, Jimmy accompanied by Flora, a Mocker seeking her grandfather to start over, flee Krondor heading towards Land's End. Jimmy expects a respite in the Southern city, but instead the thief finds himself in the middle of a dark magic altercation. He tries to con his way out of a confrontation that could prove unhealthy.
This is an entertaining Legends of the Riftwar tale but fans of the saga will need to take a step back to somewhat place the tale in its chronological order as Jimmy is the bravado thief just beginning to show his noble heart in his legendary tale. The story line is fast-paced and filled with plenty of action as the lead rotates; when Jimmy or the royals are front and center, the plot is top rate while when others take center stage it feels off kilter especially since some star one scene players. Enjoyable in spite some descriptive weather and geographical paragraphs repeated seemingly verbatim several times (don’t need a photographic memory to realize this as it is jarring), fans of Midkemia will appreciate the latest entry as Jimmy shows why he is a fascinating protagonist.