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Raymond E. Feist's classic fantasy epic, Magician, has enchanted readers for over twenty years. The revised edition was prepared to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its publication, and incorporates over 15,000 words of text omitted from previous editions.

At Crydee, a frontier outpost in the tranquil Kingdom of the Isles, an orphan boy, Pug, is apprenticed to a master magician – and the destinies of two worlds are changed forever.

Suddenly the peace of the Kingdom is destroyed as mysterious alien invaders swarm the land. Pug is swept up into the conflict but for him and his warrior friend, Tomas, an odyssey into the unknown has only just begun.

Tomas will inherit a legacy of savage power from an ancient civilization. Pug’s destiny is to lead him through a rift in the fabric of space and time to the mastery of the unimaginable powers of a strange new magic.

'Epic scope… fast moving action…vivid imagination'

'tons of intrigue and action'

681 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 1982

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About the author

Raymond E. Feist

302 books8,238 followers
Raymond E. Feist was born Raymond E. Gonzales III, but took his adoptive step-father's surname when his mother remarried Felix E. Feist. He graduated with a B.A. in Communication Arts with Honors in 1977 from the University of California at San Diego. During that year Feist had some ideas for a novel about a boy who would be a magician. He wrote the novel two years later, and it was published in 1982 by Doubleday. Feist currently lives in San Diego with his children, where he collects fine wine, DVDs, and books on a variety of topics of personal interest: wine, biographies, history, and, especially, the history of American Professional Football.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,869 reviews
Profile Image for Emma Sea.
2,190 reviews1,074 followers
August 31, 2016
Sometimes a book comes along at just the right time.

The year after high school I was working a dead-end job as a receptionist for a company that ground lenses for prescription glasses. I was glad to see the back of everyone from high school: I'd been awkward and gawky and utterly overlooked, and the word frenemy had not yet been coined, or I would have understood why the one girl I thought was on my team consistently ran me down to others. But I was very aware that everyone else had gone off to college, and I could not. No one in my family had ever been and I lacked the cultural capital to understand what I had needed to do to even apply. Or what one studied at college. But, anyway, New Zealand had no student loans back then, and you had to pay tuition up front. This was financially impossible.

I had already gigantically screwed up one job, and I was low-level incompetent at being a receptionist, spiking to appalling on a regular basis. I had an abusive boyfriend who was faking a back injury from his job as a navy mechanic so he could live on disability. I was in my second flat (share house) and I had 20 cents a day budget for food – one deep-fried potato fritter – supplemented with endless quantities of free alcohol, bought for me by my boyfriend's cronies, who, in retrospect, hoped to get me drunk enough I'd go for a foursome. Needless to say, my body wasn't doing well on this diet, the skin flaking off me as if I were a scrofulus medieval peasant.

I was living in monkey mind, wading through hormones and ignorance, flailing my way from one moment to the next with no thought of tomorrow; unable to imagine that the next day could be any different.

The tobacconist next to my bus stop sold books. I'd just been given the unheard-of sum of $80 by my dying great-aunt, who intended me to buy moisturizer and body scrub so I would stop scaring unprepared members of the public with my sloughing. I bought Magician, and Silverthorn, and A Darkness at Sethanon. Yes, I was medically malnourished and deficient in every vitamin known to humans, but I bought books. And I fell in love with Tomas, and Arutha, and Admiral Trask. I fell in love with Jimmy the Hand. No, I wanted to be Jimmy the Hand. And I discovered I wanted a purpose, something, anything more than the shithole my life was.

I ditched the boyfriend (the never-realized foursome retains the faint pastel aura of regret). I took a second job waiting tables six nights a week. I found out what I needed to do to go to college. I applied and was accepted (business management). I saved money. I paid my tuition in cash. I grew up and took responsibility for looking after myself.

Today I found my original copy of Magician. It's held together with masking tape and hope. Maybe it's true that another story would have started it all even if I'd never found Feist's work, but I'll always remember Magician as the book that saved me.

Profile Image for [ J o ].
1,950 reviews435 followers
October 27, 2019
Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003.

I was looking forward to getting back in to fantasy. Lately, it's mostly been literature: classics, contemporary, genreless fiction-nothing particularly fantastical. This excitement was high, fantasy is my bread and butter. It is not the magic, or the made-up nature, nor indeed the plots. It is just everything about fantasy that makes me enjoy it. Usually, no matter what.

Of course, going in to Magician I was filled with a deep sense of anticipation. But I was quickly disappointed. The first 150 pages or so are pure Lord of the Rings and I could not get past that. Beyond, the storyline expanded and went beyond the standard trope of fantasy that was-and sometimes still is-prevalant in high fantasy, but to no avail.

I felt nothing for any character. They all seemed to have one or two traits, and nothing more. Their voices were similar, their ideals and morals seemed interchangeable. They were just characters, not people. I cared for none of them. Not relevant, and possibly petulant, but I hated the name Pug, and his other name, and couldn't seem to get past his stupid names.

Futhermore, I do not think anything particular about the plot. Sometimes standard fantasy, sometimes beyond the norm, often with clichés and often unique and imaginative, but never enough to keep me interested. It just seemed as if things were just happening, as opposed to the characters actually influencing or making the plot happen. It just sort of stumbled along.

And lastly, because I dislike taking any more time than its necessary in talking about a book I have not enjoyed, the writing was vague and mediocre. But standard fantasy, I think. Perhaps when it was first published, at some point in the 80s, it was nice and new and fun back then. But now, it just seems flat and dull.

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Profile Image for Markus.
475 reviews1,561 followers
August 15, 2014
Peace and prosperity flourish in the strong Kingdom of the Isles on the world of Midkemia. Upon the death of King Rodric the Third, his son Rodric the Fourth was elected king by the Congress of Lords after Prince Erland of Krondor and Duke Borric of Crydee, both prominent and powerful noblemen of the royal line, pulled out of the succession in favour of their nephew, thus solidifying his claim on the throne. But the young king is set upon a dark path towards the depths of madness, and the stability of the kingdom is threatened both by his own reckless impulses and the machinations of the scheming eastern nobles attempting to control him.

In the city of Crydee in the far west, two young boys are approaching the age of apprenticeship in a certain trade. Tomas is training to one day become a warrior in the Duke’s household guard, while his childhood friend Pug has a destiny greater still. But both of their lives are drastically changed when a strange and alien-looking ship wrecks on the shores of Crydee, carrying mysterious warriors from another world. All passengers are dead before they can be interrogated, and none of the Duke’s many advisors are able to identify the vessel’s origins.

Pug and Tomas are chosen to travel alongside Duke Borric and his son Arutha to the far east of the Kingdom, to warn the king and the nobles of the east of the imminent danger to the kingdom. Their great journey takes them through abandoned dwarven mines, the isle of a black sorcerer and the grand city of Krondor, before they finally reach the capital of Rillanon and the court of the king. And even then, the story has just begun. For when they return to the west after speaking with the King, a rift between worlds has been torn open, and an invasion has begun…

The story of Magician is mostly split into three different points of view. The tale of Lyam and Arutha is the tale of the princes. The tale of the two sons of a powerful but relatively minor duke who rise up to become two of the most important military and political leaders of a kingdom in grave peril. Lyam is the elder brother, a kindly and lighthearted man, and honourable to a fault. Arutha, in contrast to Lyam, is the pragmatic, silent and calculating kind of a man who rarely shows his face with a smile, but whose actions are still based on good intentions for the future of the realm.

Tomas’ tale is the tale of the warrior. The tale of a young castle boy who finds a dark and mysterious artifact in the depths of the dwarven mines, an artifact of an evil long forgotten. His life is spent training as a warrior among the dwarves and the elves, eventually becoming something of a legend in the lands of the elder races, for good or ill.

And finally, there is Pug’s tale. The tale of the magician. Pug has spent his childhood dreaming of becoming a warrior like his friend Tomas, but lacks the physical strength and the skill at arms. When the young boys of Crydee line up for the ceremony in which they will be chosen for the different apprenticeships, Pug experiences the worst nightmare that has befallen him so far: he is the only one not chosen by any master. But as he stands alone and in shame in the middle of the great courtyard, a voice suddenly speaks his name. The voice of Kulgan, the Duke’s court magician. And thus Pug’s career in magic begins. A career that will eventually take him through the rift and into the world of the strange invaders.

Besides the protagonists, there are lots of interesting characters in this book. One such is King Rodric, a young man of grand vision whose madness threatens to destroy all. Another is Princess Carline, sister to Lyam and Arutha, whose courage and determination are almost as great as her beauty. Then there is Guy du Bas-Tyra, the greatest general in the kingdom, but a sworn enemy of Crydee and Krondor. And last but not least there is Macros the Black, the ancient and enigmatic magician who inhabits the fabled Sorcerer’s Isle.

The most impressive part about Magician, is the pure scope of it. It is far from the longest book I have read in number of pages, but it is the magnitude of the story that is particularly impressive. The book spans more than a decade in the history of Midkemia. It tells of bloody wars, journeys to far lands and shady conspiracies. It tells of different cities and lands and continents and even worlds. There are tons of characters with completely different personalities and motivations, and the story, while mostly predictable, is filled with twists and turns and revelations.

Another remarkable thing about this book is that there is no evil. At least not in the normal sense of the word. There are ambitious and cruel characters, but there is no dark lord nor any demons to be found here. To be honest, there is actually not even a proper antagonist. Only a story of different people acting differently for different reasons.

Feist’s writing is pretty great. I would not go so far as to call it remarkable, and this is not the kind of book I will frequently quote in the future, but the overall writing is exactly as good as it needs to be to serve the purpose of the book; which is to be an entertaining and fascinating fantasy novel.

It also needs to be said that there are strong similarities with Tolkien. Occasionally even stronger than the same similarities found in books like The Sword of Shannara. The overall plot is quite unique, but certain scenes appear to be taken straight out of The Lord of the Rings. This did not bother me in any way when reading the book, but I know that a lot of people are bothered by such a thing.

I truly enjoyed reading this book. Had I based my rating solely on the objective quality of books, I would say that this one deserves five stars. My ratings are normally more or less purely subjective, however, and there were a couple of aspects about the book I did not enjoy as much as the others. The main characters, with the exception of Arutha, were rather dull and uninteresting; the switches between different point of view was done rather clumsily at times (though that can be excused as this was the author’s first major fantasy novel), and there were also aspects of the story itself I did not really care much for. Still, I would say that this book deserves a place among the greatest of the works of fantasy, and I really look forward to continuing with the series.
Profile Image for Graeme Rodaughan.
Author 9 books346 followers
April 10, 2020
This book is rich with themes. Love, loyalty, duty, and courage, all figure strongly in this amazing tale.

Completed a re-read of this marvelous book. It was a joy to be reacquainted with all the original characters. Pug, Tomas, Arutha, Amos, Jimmy the Hand, the family of the Shinzaiwai, Macros and the sacrifices he has to make.

I've recently begun reading the Book of the Fallen by Stephen Erikson (SK), and this book is very similar in themes. Although stylistically different, there is little of the back and forth banter that you can get with SK, the multi-level conflicts between characters of matching powers is common to both. Both writers have enormous and richly detailed worlds which are awesome to behold and seamless in execution.

I rank these two writers at the top of what I've read, and I look forward to reading more books from each author in the near future.

From my original review...

I had the good fortune to discover and read this book in the early '80s when it first came out and I was hooked. If anyone asked me who my favourite author was for the next 30 years I could be relied upon to state "Raymond E. Feist." Whenever I saw a hard cover come out I would buy it - no questions asked.

The adventures of Pug and Tomas and the many assorted characters of this world have been a true fascination for me and I am pleased to say that every second I spent reading these books was time well spent and I would be willing to bet that my view will be the same on my death bed.

Long live heroic, epic fantasy - the truest form of story I have ever come across. When Feist passes on, Tolkien will welcome him into the next world as an equal and the two of them will swap stories over a fine brew and a pipe of the finest of the Shire. 5 'True Epic Fantasy," stars.
Profile Image for TS Chan.
719 reviews882 followers
May 23, 2021
Magician was my favourite epic fantasy book for over two decades, and the one I've reread the most until The Way of Kings came along.

The last time I've read this book (for the third time) was when I first got my Kindle Paperwhite and then proceeded to finish The Riftwar Cycle (except for the books non-essential to the main storyline). That was a good eight years ago, and I wondered whether it would still hold up well after I've read so much modern fantasy since. I'm pleased to discover that it did. In fact, all my favourite scenes or moments from the book were just as good as I remembered them to be.

Of all the classic, tropish fantasy written in the 80s that I've read, the writing in Riftwar was possibly stylistically closest to modern fantasy's third person limited perspective. This may likely have been the reason it became my favourite as I felt most invested in the characters of this series. I'll forever have a soft spot for Pug and Tomas, whose development started off in a most wholesome manner in Magician: Apprentice, and really took off in Magician: Master.

I personally thought that it was a good decision in part of Feist to release both Apprentice and Master in a single volume, as the combined format served the story of Pug and Tomas much better. And sure enough, I found myself completely engaged and not wanting to put down the book as I reached the second half even though this was my fourth time reading it. When I came to the end I knew that I'm now in trouble, for my desire to reread the entire Riftwar Cycle, as well as those books which I've skipped the first time has once again come to the fore.

Admittedly, the quality of this read would realistically warrant a 4 or 4.5-star rating now. But call me a sentimental fool for I'm keeping this book firmly in my favourite shelf, and retaining its 5-star rating for feel-good nostalgic reasons.
Profile Image for Gary.
948 reviews209 followers
February 18, 2022
Magician and The Riftwar Saga' are among the greatest works of fantasy/science fiction ever.
Yes, I believe Raymond E Feist is just as good as Tolkien!
It is filled with great new ideas, and while he has in his books some of the older concepts from Tolkien and Lewis - eg Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, Elvandar and Mc Mordain Cadel, which bear similarities to places and peoples in the older works, he has reworked them with great creativity into something new and exciting. in the some way that Shakespeare's works took concepts from older balladeers and authors.
There are new concepts such as the Valheru (the Dragon Lords) , the Tsurani , the Rift , the Empire of Great Kesh and new types of magic. What emerges is a great and engaging epic that matches up every bit to Lord of the Rings.

Feist's advanced understandings on magic, warcraft, the nature of world and it's peoples, and its internal politics is astounding. It is jam packed with energy and is somewhat faster moving than Tolkien.

I also like Feist's gentler concept of dragons, far more than Tolkien's (the pet firedrake Fantus is just great) I love reading about all the Princes, Dukes, Earls, Squires, Knight-Marshals etc in the Kingdom, as I similarly enjoy the stranger politics of Tsuranuanni (which is based of Japan/Korea as the Kingdom is on Europe/North America)
With it's system of honor and Great Families, the Emperor, the Warlord, the Great Ones, and the different shifting alliances and parties such as the Blue Wheel Party , the War Party , the Party for Progress etc.

I also think the characters are nicely developed. I finished the book wanting more of Thomas, Pug, Carline (one of my favourites), Arutha, Anita, Amos Trask, Gardan etc, which are available in the subsequent Midkemia/Kelewan books. Feist explores (albeit in a tasteful way) love and sensuality more than does Tolkien.

And Feist's worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan are also well developed, you'll really find yourself lost in these intricate lands.
Certainly Magician and it's sequels are immense in scope in creating a vast world of magic,war,adventure,love,hate and political intrigue
Profile Image for Penny.
172 reviews347 followers
November 2, 2012
I really enjoyed this book! I was captivated and interested from the start which is really important for me. I don't like books that are slow to start and often put them aside after a few chapters if it hasn't grabbed my attention by then.

I didn't notice Feist spend any time at the beginning on world-building, but rather it felt like he let the world of Midkemia spring up around a diverse and interesting cast of characters. I loved all of the main characters and felt them grow and change as time passed, even when months or years passes between two pages.

I'm not a big fan of cliff-hangers so I thought the end of Magician was really well executed. I started the next in the series Silverthorn the same night because I wanted to know what would happen next, not because I needed to.

In short, there's a good reason why so many people list Raymond E. Feist as one of the best fantasy writers.
Profile Image for Zitong Ren.
504 reviews156 followers
December 13, 2019
4 stars. Look, I want to say, that I loved this book, but I didn’t love it since I had so many problems with it, yet at the same time really loved many elements of the book, so this four star rating makes me fell pretty conflicted about it.

A bit of history between me and this author was that his Serpantwar Saga was one of the first truely epic fantasies that I ever read around a little two years ago? ish? I had, ultimately read other fantasy books, but not a lot of fantasy that would be considered ‘epics’ aside from Lord of the Rings and Earthsea if that is considered epic fantasy. In a way, I almost have to say that it was Serpantwar that propelled me to read more fantasy in a sense, even though by then, fantasy as already my favourite genre. Ultimately, I have read a lot more fantasy since then, and also more better fantasy in my opinion, such as A Game of Thrones or anything by Brandon Sanderson really.

Now Magician, in a way felt to me that it almost felt like then sort of book that tried to combine all the popular elements in fantasy at the time of publication, such as magic, elves, dwarves, dragons, etc. It is evident that there are many aspects influenced by Tolkien’s Middle Earth. There’s nothing wrong with that and I personally am a huge sucker for elves and the like, so I had no real problem with that.

Dare I say it, but it almost felt that too many things were pushed into this one book, and that may seem surprising since it is over 800 pages, but as many people have mentioned, it the book does skip years at a time, which makes it feel more events are occurred than they actually have. He also does this in his later books, such as Talon of a Silver Hawk. It’s a tad bit unusual and does make some parts of the book feel choppy and I feel like we do miss parts of a character. Furthermore, this singular book here as enough events in it to make it into a trilogy and by the end of the book, if all the threads are tied up(which they aren’t), the entire series could have been finished here.

There is a lot of good stuff in here that makes it feel like it is definitely fantasy and there are numerous parts that does make me, a total fantasy nerd feel happy inside. It is very military centred and most of the important characters are all male, which is hugely typical of more traditional fantasy novels.

Something I would like to bring everyone’s attention to is that the romances is this book are utterly garbage. Very rarely to we actually get a scene of interaction between male and female and then they are off proclaiming their love for each other. There are some nice moments, granted, but it still makes it feel weak. Almost everything is based off physical attraction and we straight up have century old Elf Queens needing a lord, which like, just feel so bad. There’s nothing that makes me feel that certain characters do in fact love each other, apart from the fact that every single woman in this book is stunningly beautiful in appearance. I far prefer modern fantasy which features strong female characters that actually have some flaws and are useful to the story other than just as a tool for big powerful dudes to lust over.

Beyond that, the world building and history of everything is done pretty well and I really do like the world of Midkemia, though some things can feel a tad bit standard. However, it does feel pretty realistic and I know many people will disagree with me on this, but I like at how the world does not feel empty but rather is full of all sorts of things. It is clear that the author has planned out things pretty well and it works well. There’s politics, castles, lords and everything else expected in a medieval inspired society. I was a bit nervous at how the Kingdom was maintaining a war for so long, but thankfully it stated that the Kingdom was exhausted by the end of things.

Overall, for it is, and that is, a traditional fantasy book written almost forty years ago, it’s pretty good and I really enjoyed and will be continuing on with the series. In terms of representation and the quality compared to lots of modern fantasy, it falls a bit short. 8/10
Profile Image for Diana Stormblessed.
548 reviews35 followers
January 30, 2019
The book started off interesting enough, following a kid, Pug, who gets chosen to be a Magician's apprentice. But it's not a real magic book. Barely any magic gets done. Instead it turns into a Lord of the Rings wanna be book. Elves, dragons, and dwarves are all introduced, and all of those story lines basically go no where. There is an adventure and the party is split up. None of those storylines are interesting though. The only person I cared at all about was Pug, and even that enthusiasm waned as the story grew. There's a large cast of 2 dimensional characters with no charisma. And from this large cast, there are 4 women. 4. And all of them are just placeholders for relationships for our heroes. None of them have true roles or personalities of their own. And there is no relationship building. Why should there be? These are not real women. They are just thrown in so our REAL heroes have someone to marry. Ugh. This book might have been something special in the 80s. But in 2019 women are people and this story has been told a million times. Often in better ways.
Profile Image for Mark Harrison.
733 reviews21 followers
February 15, 2019
An absolute joy to read. It may seem too generic, orphan boy makes good, but written in 1982, this was ahead of its time. Brilliant story of magic, treachery to steal the thrones, dwarves, elves, dragons, portals to a strange warlike people similar to feudal Japan, battles, love and heartbreaking loss.....the list could go on. Sweeping nine year story that is just a brilliant tale and totally captivating. Could not have enjoyed this more.
Profile Image for Shivesh.
136 reviews10 followers
December 26, 2007
Good story, but filled with fantasy cliches. Feist wrote this back in the early 80's so he should know better - Tolkien, Norton, Moorcock and others tread this ground before.

Admittedly though, it is a hell of a pageturner even though the characters are badly drawn and the narrative is wacky as it speeds through years of development in a single paragraph. The love and romance is painful to read, skip over them.

Considering that Feist stumbled upon a unique and admirable new fantasy conceit in these novels, I am amazed that he couldn't truly extract better characterization and narrative from the two worlds of the Tsurani and Midkemia. A shame, really. I do wish I read this series a few years ago, I would appreciate them much more and rate them higher.
Profile Image for Richard.
452 reviews107 followers
December 5, 2016

A book of two halves. Whilst meant to be read as one book this was split and published in certain areas as two books. If I could rate the two separately it would be 4 stars to the first part and 1.5 stars to the second part.

The first half is a generic fantasy tale but it’s quite a good read. Feist isn’t a bad writer so whereas what could be seen as generic and bland is spiced up a little with the style of writing. Some of the characters are plain and stereotypical which lets things down but the plot moves fast and over a number of years so plenty is going on to keep your attention.

Then the second half happened and I just wasn’t interested. I had to skim read to get through it. The thought of slogging through it for a couple of weeks didn’t appeal but I’d put in time an effort to read the first part so I wasn’t going to DNF it. I didn’t like how the characters acted and how the narrative changed styles, my interest was at a low. The ending was very sugary too, maybe reading ASOIAF and Abercrombie has made me want all fantasy characters to suffer.

I’m now in two minds whether to read the follow up. Whilst not enjoying this one I have read a trilogy of Feist’s set later on in this world and did enjoy it. The next one may just be more appealing with a different set of characters, I’ll need to do some long hard thinking on that one.
Profile Image for April.
44 reviews16 followers
January 24, 2013
Lord of the Rings written for Middle Schoolers, but with aliens.

I was looking for something easy to pick up and put down, something story driven that wouldn't be too much of a mental commitment; in that way, this book was perfect.

However it felt very... done. I suppose all fantasy books have the misfortune of being compared to Lord of the Rings (the only fantasy series I've ever devoted myself to), and this one is no different. The elves, the dwarves, and goblins. There's a bit of political drama, and magic. But it felt a bit obvious. I didn't feel myself getting lost in the story. The people you wanted to live, all lived. The characters you didn't expect to make it didn't make it. At the end the good guys who make it, all get rich or a nice title. I was able to pick it up, read a chapter or two, forget about it for a while, and when I picked it up again I didn't have to re-read anything to remember what had happened, because it was all pretty predictable.

I picked this book out because it made it onto NPRs best Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. Not really sure what all the hub-bub is about
Profile Image for Aidan Walters.
5 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2011
One of the best novels ever to be released? In a word yes.

Magician remains the greatest stand alone fantasy novel ever to be published despite being a quarter of a century old. Truly epic in scale the novels main focus is the story of Pug, from his humble beginnings as orphaned kitchen boy, to his apprentice and mastery of the magic arts. So far so normal, as far as fantasy novels go. What sets this novel apart is the sheer scale of the thing, it is set over 25 years for a start. Also it is set over two worlds, Midkemia; your typical western medieval based fantasy world, and Kelewan: An eastern based world.

The sheer volume of side stories that enrich the novel and in no way detract from the main stories of the Riftwar and Pug's journey make this work special. Some of them of the top of my head; Tomas' metamorphosis into a dragon lord, the seige of Crydee, the madness of the King, possible civil war approaching, the treachery of Black Guy, martial law in Krondor, Arutha's trip to Krondor, Princess Anita and the Mockers, the romance between Princess Carline and Pug, the romance between Princess Carline and Roland, the romance between Anita and Arutha, the migration north of the Dark Elves, the effect of the invasion on the dwarven peoples, the effect of the invasion on the Elven people, Kesh taking advantage of a weak Kingdom, the great game of the Tsurani, the introduction of cavalry to the Tsurani, the Assemblies politics, the Emperor of Tsurani and his policies, the parentage of Martin and more.

The characters stand out as well. From Macros the Black, surely the most iconic mysterious magician since Merlin. To Father Tully, the priest who teaches Pug to read and write the secondary characters are both memorable and fully fleshed. The plot is also fantastic, although it spans years and multiple worlds it never feels rushed and all of the various side plots add to the main story, the invasion of the Kingdom of the Isles.

Any review should touch on the negatives of a novels as well. Feist is not the best technical writer in the world, his prose can be a little flat and he overuses some words. Frankly however this is one of the best novels ever published, its a pity that Feist has never written another book even half as good.
Profile Image for Anirudh .
764 reviews
September 1, 2014
I know that this book was written in the 80s and should not be judged by 2014's standards, but despite that there was very little which held my interest in this book. I had high hopes for this series but unfortunately I did not like anything in this book.

1. Plot & World Building The story is about Pug, an orphan turned magician/squire. The world follows the rule of dungeons and dragons and does not offer any kind of surprise. The plot is predictable and mundane. Elves, Dwarves etc make an appearance but it lacks the grace of The Lord of the Rings completely. This is more an RPG than a book. It surprised me how quickly Pug became an apprentice and all of a sudden rescues the princess and becomes the hero.

2. Writing The writing is very straight forward and does not offer any sort of elegant prose. Sentences are often awkwardly structured. The information that has to be given to the reader is pushed forward early on. Without the backing of a sound plot or interesting characters the lack of a skilled narration is clearly visible.

3. Characters The characters are all good natured and it's basically good vs evil. More often that not you begin to wonder whether any interesting character would appear or whether there will be any improvement in the existing ones. Unfortunately you are left wondering. The book is filled with generic characters. A prince, a warrior, a mage and none make an impact on the reader or the book.

Only recommended to those who like RPG based books and do not mind generic plots and characters.
Profile Image for Ian Hall.
246 reviews38 followers
February 10, 2022
Possibly the greatest book ive ever read, gripping from the first page, i cant wait too read the next book. When i read what it was about i thought it was going to be a difficult book to read, but i found i couldnt put it down once id started. i would recomend this book to anyone.
Profile Image for Antonomasia.
973 reviews1,221 followers
December 8, 2020
When I read a lot of Discworld twenty-odd years ago, it was clear the series was satirising countless tropes. Yet until now, despite spending a lot of my post-school social life with SFF geeks, I'd never read the background material in book form: chunky novels in which these fantasy clichés were used with a straight face, where it became evident just how laughable they were by the time Pratchett started writing Discworld.

And as Magician (1982) was published the year before The Colour of Magic (1983), perhaps there's something of the apogee about it. (Incidentally, what would be equivalent 'serious' novels for Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy?)

A few years later, the earnest naivety of a story like Magician could never sound the same again. Except perhaps to a kid who stumbled on it unaware of how cliché-ridden it is - and many of the enthusiastic GR reviews are from people who first read it aged around 11-14, an age-group for which it almost seems intended, with its focus on adolescence and its remarkably clean content, which would pass muster with many prudish American parents. (Though the worst of those would still mind the fictional polytheism and occurrence of pregnancy outside marriage.) I found it weird how little smut, swearing and generalised grimdark there was, but after reading fourteen volumes of Hellblazer in four months, perhaps any old-school fantasy will seem super-clean by comparison. Magician seems as good an indicator as any of where fantasy fiction was at immediately before the Dark Age of comics and fantasy began, and why the reaction and satire in that era were necessary.

Yet it's nice that books like this are still around to go back to. I can understand where Emma Sea's top review is coming from. This is a good book for bad times. It may be flat and mediocre in characterisation and prose - and there are times when readers my not want something spectacular anyway - but there's a great tenacity and endurance to the characters, and somehow, the sense of a long, grinding epic struggle is conveyed effectively without it being too depressing. It's useful, and somehow mostly likeable whilst reading, even though there are stick figures with more original personalities than several of Feist's characters.

Magician, in being about a war with a civilisation from another planet, nominally combines SF and fantasy. However it is really more like a war between two different countries on a fantasy Earth, because the means of transport between the worlds is entirely out of fantasy - a magical rift in spacetime - and because of the relative similarity of the warring people, who seem to be members of the same human species separated thousands of years earlier, shunted from the same place of origin to their respective current planets, by cosmic magical forces, and now at similar medieval-like stages in their history - although the two societies do have very different magical systems. The main protagonist, Pug, whose origin is not explored in the novel (presumably that's later in the series) seems, rather like Luke Skywalker, designed to bring balance to the forces of these two systems.

I started Magician straight after Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, another 1980s doorstopper, which I absolutely loved. The flatness of Feist's characterisation and writing was very obvious in the days just after that, and how Follett had the skill to make dramatic, emotionally involving characters out of tropes. Yet by repeating some similar elements, e.g. talented orphan boys; that princesses could be the ultimate objects of crushes for boys in a medieval world influenced by chivalric court culture (whilst nowadays princesses are a definitively girly fandom) Feist reminded me that among the reasons I'd loved Follett's book so much was that it was years since I'd encountered some of the popular-fiction clichés it uses.

I've no idea how a couple of reviewers managed to make a favourite character out of, or generate early crushes on, Prince Arutha, who seems to have no discernible traits beyond being a bit more impulsive than his brother - but then the adolescent mind can make an awful lot out of a vaguely nice-shaped cardboard cutout. (See also: most boyband members.). And I suppose that I, having imagined huntsman and tracker Martin Longbow (nearly all the names are this terrible, incidentally) a more weatherbeaten version of Robin of Sherwood as played by Michael Praed, but looking like he actually was a thirtysomething who'd spent most of his life outdoors, would have liked more scenes about him. He, like the protagonists, at least gets to be an archetype rather than a blank outline of nobility. But generic archetypes is about as good as you're going to get here.

If you're a male character anyway. This is the sort of lazily conservative-by-default mediaevalesque fantasy where female characters are boring and mostly passive and have little to do, and little development. The few that there are all seem to be seen through the eyes of a nervous, polite early-teen nerdboy, one who has fallen for a 'popular' girl in an American high-school movie. Feist doesn't write the originally-teenaged characters very well as adults, and they become distant, with less and less from their close points of view, including their barely-described mature relationships: perhaps it's because they become ridiculously powerful and it's too much to imagine what that *feels like*. From skimming a bio, I'd assumed that Feist wrote this book in his early 20s, which would have explained the awkwardness when Pug and Tomas had become older than he was - however now I check, he went to college in his 30s and published the novel when he was nearly 40, so it wasn't that either.

Its values are poised at a point that's clearly post-1960s, but only recently so; there are differences between generations and peoples over whether illegitimacy matters, but it's clear the author doesn't think it does. Princesses get to complain about being bored, and occasionally wear trousers and have short adventures, but they're mostly still boring damsels. It's clearly also way before the cultural shifts of the 2010s in fantasy fiction; it is certainly not ahead of its time as far as representation of social class, race and gender is concerned, on all of which it is close to repeating Tolkien. (If you've seen the Lord of the Rings films you already know what the elves, dwarves and rangers are like in Magician, even if you've never heard of Raymond E. Feist before. And, this review points out, where it doesn't copy Tolkien, it copies late-70s D&D.)

In the penultimate chapter, there's a hint that Feist was using genre conventions without intending to support their values. Says a goblin-like being, " ‘I am but one of my master’s servants. The others are instructed to keep from your sight, for it was feared their presence might cause you some discomfort. My master lacked most of the human prejudices and was content to judge each creature he met on its own merits.’" Throughout the novel, there was previously no questioning of these prejudices and ongoing wars against some of the other intelligent humanoid species.

The Tsurani civilisation (heavily inspired by M.A.R. Barker) is in some ways a lazy grab-bag of common Western ideas about China and Japan, but I would argue that its use in the book has other meanings too, albeit Americentric ones. The late 1970s and the 1980s were the years when the US was dealing with the cultural legacy of the Vietnam war, as shown in many action movies. In a longer, less-specific work like a fantasy doorstopper, you can also add the Korean war: to an American born just after WWII, the Far East had repeatedly been *the* theatre of war when he was young, so in the early 1980s it was one obvious choice to write about a war with a similar fictional place. The Kingdom's embattled 'West' (the Kingdom is the country the protagonists are from; their planet is Midkemia) can easily be read now as something lazily prejudicial, but a less kneejerk reading is that, like the West Coast where Feist has spent his life, it's between two "Easts": the US east coast, in some ways a different culture, and East Asia - and the way that the humans are relatively recent arrivals to their planet, echoes the colonisation of America by Europeans. And continuing the analogy, there was already other intelligent humanoid life on Midkemia when they arrived; the humans of the Kingdom are at war with those who weren't human allies in Tolkien.

I don't know if much political commentary in 1982 was yet predicting the rise of China as 'sleeping giant'; I think that appeared mostly in the late 90s. However, there are elements to the Tsurani invasion of the Kingdom that can fit with that idea. It made me think about how political polarisation, and favoured foci of culture wars during the Trump years - and possible string-pulling behind the scenes of both - have meant, that, despite dystopian novels being a huge trend in the 2010s, there has been an absence of literary fiction reflecting on what the rise of China's hegemony and increased cultural influence might mean in the Anglosphere and the West. (On the left, from which most of the online commentary on contemporary literature comes, such fiction would risk being decried as racist, even if there are ways of making it about a regime, rather than everybody with heritage from a country; and the far right is rabidly obsessed with Islam - something China doesn't like either. A topic such as the rise of China instead has to be the province of non-fiction.)

So, thinking of contemporary phenomena like the Belt & Road programme and online troll farms, there's something clumsily topical and cathartic about running into a nearly forty-year old novel in which invaders from this China-like society have, by means of a magical rift in spacetime, started covertly living on and digging in to parts of another planet, before the existing inhabitants discover them, and a resource war ensues. Likewise the culture-shock of the characters from both societies, in particular over the issue of individualist versus communal culture. (Some of which is all-too-obviously rooted in WWII encounters between American and Japanese forces, including Kamikaze pilots and PoWs - plus a few features of Ancient Rome.)

It's rather grown-up having a resource war about metals as the focus of the novel, and young characters who ultimately prefer peace and trade; like the bit where Pug essentially says that he's too young to hold back from his career because of a girl, Feist is didactic from time to time. Especially in the early part of the novel, through both narrative and some characters, it feels strongly connected to the culture of the nerdy teenage boy fantasy fan, the sort who alternates between sounding like he's ten or forty-five and who has a penchant for speaking in cringeworthy, pompous cod-medieval English (there's a particularly excruciating drinking scene featuring Pug, Tomas and Roland where all three boys do that) - but, at least unlike his 2010s counterparts - I guess, sons - he tends towards the awkwardly chivalrous, not the trollish. (Or, as you could put it, benevolent sexism and an androcentric social world.)

The other concept I found depth in is one which I'd always thought was Pratchett's, but turns out to be generic to fantasy: Thieves' Guilds. (Goodness knows I've hung out with enough ex-roleplayers; how did I not know it was a common feature?) Wikipedia tells me that Cervantes seems to have been the first known writer to use the idea. A friend reminds me that the idea of a Thieves' Guild is commonly seen as a broad comment on politics, about how some are allowed to steal from the populace, or questioning who the real outlaws are (and those criticisms can handily lean left or right as desired). However given debates of recent years, I couldn't help see in the Thieves' Guild concept a solution (suitable for one type of crime anyway) to the problem of carceral state versus those absurdly idealistic notions, with apparently minimal understanding of criminal and human psychology, that assume that if only society were better organised, crime would totally disappear. In a pragmatic and liberal outlook, it accepts that a certain amount of crime will always exist and a certain amount of uneven low-level extra "taxation" is okay.

Magician was once hugely popular, and in 2003 it was still popular enough in the UK that it made the top 100 of the BBC Big Read poll for Britain's favourite books. Which is where I first heard of it and why I bought a copy in the year or so afterwards. I've been finding late 2020 is a good time to read old genre books like this (easy prose but long) - although, now, if you're going to read one post-Tolkien epic fantasy novel, when you don't usually read epic fantasy, that should probably be Game of Thrones. But I think Magician is a different proposition. The plot's stakes are high and the characters endure a lot - but essentially it's not a dark and aggressive book. Very few of the main cast get killed off. It's got more obvious comfort reading potential than GoT.

In any case, it seems to have been read by, and influenced George R.R. Martin and J.K. Rowling. You can see their footprints here and what they picked up and trod over to their own signature works: there's the lost ancient civilisation of Dragon Lords called the Valheru; there's the ordinary orphan boy whose remarkable magical powers are only spotted at adolescence by his mentor, the plans to build an academy of magic.

Magician would be a frustrating novel to read with high expectations, both in the generic nature of the story, and in details. If you know even a little about historical linguistics, you may be frustrated that names from disparate Earth languages are supposed to be from one language in the Kingdom or among the Tsurani, for example names that look Nahuatl in lists that are mostly East Asian (and even then whilst Chinese and Japanese might be geographically close, the mish-mash made of them here smacks of lazy Anglophones).

It is super-generic, especially in the first 3/4 (meaning, for US readers, Magician: Apprentice and the first half of Magician: Master - there it's divided into two books), and as a wish-fulfilment fantasy for nerdy boys, but it's possible it might be interesting for others like me who've only read spoofs like Pratchett and Tom Holt, yet never the sort of thing they were spoofing. And as I said, there may be times when you don't want something too intense but which is nevertheless involving and distracting. For that, it can work.

(read Nov-Dec 2020, reviewed Dec)
Profile Image for Kostas.
302 reviews32 followers
May 13, 2017

It has been, litteraly, a really long time since I first wanted to read Feist' Magician and now, after hearing so much about this book, I finally got my hands on it I understand why after all these years it still remains so famous and lovable; as Feist manages from the very first page to win you and make you love the characters and the world.

Of course, Feist’s writing in the first part has a lot of problems, and some clichés that may be a somewhat turndown for someone, but as it goes on the story becomes better and better and with the ending leaving you in suspense for the next part.
The second part is more balanced with better narrative and with the story also becoming stronger, and making you love the characters even more.
The only thing that bothered me a little is that Feist has, perhaps, put too much stuff in the book, even if considered a “double” book, and sometimes leaving a lot quickly behind. But with the fast pace he has managed to make a very entertaining story with lots of action and with good humor that makes you forget his flaws.

Definitely a must read for fans of the fantasy genres and, if I may add, a classic!
Profile Image for Joshua Thompson.
840 reviews136 followers
February 5, 2023
Just as enjoyable as when I read it as a kid - even more so. (There's definitely some nostalgia associated with my reception of this book!). I think the single volume of this book, rather than the 2-volume Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master, hits a little better than the 2-volume version. It feels like a grander unified story that's greater in scale. 4.5/5
Profile Image for Sarah Wynker.
281 reviews136 followers
July 21, 2014
Many people had told me that Magician from Raymond E. Feist was a REALLY GOOD fantasy book. So, I actually had high expectation for this one. Unfortunately, after a hundred of pages all my expectation got shot down.

First off, Magician is SUPER long. It was more than 700 pages. I have nothing against long book, as long as they don’t make me yawn. The yawn factor is a mixture of several things: The pace was off, the characters were bland, the author can’t deal with romance, telling instead of showing was the Feist's favourite formula (which is always a recipe for literary disaster), there was too much things going on with the plot, too many over the top and/ or rushed scenes and there were smears of LOTR rip off.

One day, out of the blue, the region of Crydee belonging to the Kingdom of the Isle starts being attacked by the Tsurani, people with Asian features who come from a completely different world called Kelewan. A magical rift which also suddenly appeared allow this whole world travelling. *sighs* (writing about this book even makes me sleep but whatevaa). By the way, Islemen are white people (am I the only one who feel some unconscious racial prejudice?) and their kingdom belong to the world of Midkemia. So the Duke of Crydee, Borric conDoin decides to travel to Rillanon, the capital of Isle to inform his King. Are also part of this journey, his second son Arutha, his troops, his master of arms Fannon and his personal magician (I couldn’t think of a better way to put it) Kulgan. Both have an apprentice, blond, good-looking and good natured Tomas is aiming to become a glorious soldier and the short , dark-haired and clever Pug is learning (with many difficulties) the craft of magic. The story mostly centres on them.

Early during the trip, Tomas is trapped in a cave with Dworkin, a dwarf and must therefore remains behind in Elvandar, the Elves’ country. By the way, just so you know, the Elves Queen’s name is Aglaranna, she’s beautiful, tall, gracious, old beyond time and her name means Shining Moon in the ancient tongue (no kidding!). She’ll also fall in love with Tomas, but that’s for later. And Pug is captured by Tsurani soldiers during a raid and subsequently carried in Kelewan and made a slave (Yeah, life’s a bitch sometimes).

I don’t even know where I should start ‘cause there’s so many things that received *the confused shake of head*. Okay, let’s start with the pace. The story spans over more than a decade. At the beginning our heroes are about 11, then about a hundreds of page later or so, they get to thirteen. So far, all is well and good. But then later, things start to go messy. Sometimes, you turn a couple of pages, and you realize that four years lapsed O_o, at other times one years, two years, I mean whatever, the time spanning is ALL over the place. The pacing didn’t actually annoy me, it merely perplexed me. It was just so random, like DANG.

When I started Magician, I was looking forward to seeing Arutha, Lord Borric’s second son, because so many people loved him. And really, after the thousands of pages I swallowed, when my brain starts thinking about him, it goes ──── error...──── nothing found...──── bland *crash*. The same goes for every single character in this book. I found the whole cast uninteresting.

I think this feeling stems from the author’s writing. As I mentioned in this review’s intro, Feist tells rather than show. His writing lacks imagery, because of that, in my opinion, there isn’t any substance, any personality or flow to its characters. For example, a character may be described as ill-tempered, but you don’t really feel it. Let’s take Arutha, he’s described as shrewd, sullen and quiet. I’m told these things, and every now and then I might say that Arutha did a smart thing, or doesn’t talk much, but still, there’s no life inside the character. To me, it’s just words written on paper, when it should be an imaginary person for whom I’ll want to root for (or not), that I’ll want to know more about, that I’ll want to have an happy ending (or end miserable and alone). What I’m trying to say, is that this person should stir something inside me, because that’s what characters in books are meant to do. Whether you like them or not, they should arouse some emotions. And unfortunately, in Magician, I felt nothing for none of the characters. The love stories (which I’m usually always looking forward in a book) were equally dull.

But the main problem I have with Magician, the thing that really bothered me, is that things were either over the top or/and rushed and EVERYTHING was so obvious. There was absolutely ZERO suspense.

This gutted me so much that I’m going to make a list of the time I *shook my head in disappointed and/or bewildered :

- the King of Crydee is becoming mad and there’s this bad guy Guy du Bas-Tyra who’d really like to wear his crown. He already has a lot of power and would rather prolong the war if it meant becoming king. Borric hates him and he and his sons are also in the waiting line for the highest spot in the kingdom. We never get to know why Borric hated Guy so much and Guy is dealt with in a matter of a few pages. So much build up for nothing.

-During their trip to Rillanon, Pug and a few men of the Duke talk about the legendary sorcerer Macros. And a few pages later, obviously they met him. This Macros also gift his magician’s staff to Pug. And of course, he has something to do with the rift.

- When Tomas is trapped in the cave, he meets a dragon *insert immense side eyes*. This dragon is about to die, and since Tomas and Dwarkin are witnessing his death, he hands downs everything he possessed to them. Tomas decides to take a golden armor. Thanks to this armor, Tomas goes from a sweet little boy, to a psycho master swordsman. Yeah, ‘cause this piece of golden metal was enchanted. Such an easy way to power up a character. Tomas’ possession was actually interesting but he shouldn’t have become that scarily strong that soon (or that effortlessly).

- A toddler would have figured who was going to end with whom, even though the level of chemistry between the characters was as low as the temperature in Antarctica. And I never really understood why, but wise, ancient, Aglaranna fell in love with Tomas (even though she knew he could be a danger to her race).

- In the first part of the book, Pug couldn’t really use magic. Pug’s days as a slave end when a Tsuranni magician detects his power and subsequently take Pug with him so that he can practice magic. We never really know how or why, but Pug becomes excellent after his training in the magician’s “academy”. Apparently, the reason he couldn’t use magic under Kulgan’s tutelage was because his teacher was a magician of the lesser path while he was of a higher one. Ahhhhh...No further explanation is given.

- By the way, just before Pug met this magician, another slave had predicted that his social status was going to change soon. I warned you that suspense was not the author’s forte.

- Elves believe that when they die, they will go to a blessed Island. Massive Shout Out to Tolkien.

I could go on and on with this list but I won’t ‘cause I’ll start spoiling you.

There were actually a couple of things that I liked about Magician. The part with the Valheru was really interesting and I genuinely wanted to know more about them. I was interested by The Enemy and what its coming might mean. However, this was truly the only two things that warmed me. I who LOVE political intrigue, didn’t care for the fight for the throne.

When I compare Magician to the Daughter of the Empire (from The Empire Trilogy) written by the same author in partnership with Janny Wurts, I can only think one thing: EPIC FAIL!
Profile Image for Jared - Jarock on Discord.
82 reviews3 followers
July 29, 2021
8.5 out of 10
How do you fairly rate a classic? I flipped flop back and forth between an 8.5 and 9 repeatedly.
This is one of my favorite works of all time but there are some clear flaws.

The good - Raymond Feist is one of the great fantasy authors of the 1980s and he absolutely built an epic fantasy world that rivals the best. Magician is an exceptionally long book and despite its title has many protagonists from an orphan who becomes the titular magician to his best friend who becomes a warrior with few peers, a Duke who lovingly raises his children and is the picture of a good ruler who still has secrets that may shape the Kingdom's future. This only scratches the surface of all the characters who you are introduced in this first book. The cast list is large but never feels overwhelming. For those who choose to continue in the world, many of these characters will return, but Feist continually introduces new heroes in each series and each one has their unique qualities.

This is classic fantasy. That means if you are expecting sex and violence to be thrust in your face, look elsewhere. As the name Riftwar implies there is war aplenty but don't expect gruesome descriptions. Feist follows the approach that most authors of his time period did and does not focus on such matters. That makes this work appropriate for readers of teen years and even younger if they are advanced enough.

There are tons of feats of derring do. Classic creatures like elves and dwarves with Feists unique spin on each. Preists of varied gods and the hints of threats that could end universes. All of these things combine to create a fun and fascinating journey through a world that you quickly realize you are just scratching the surface. This work is epic in scope and length and sets up an entire universe to be explored.

What keeps it from perfection are issues that plague most books of this age. The characters while deeper than they appear at first glance clearly hold to common tropes of epic fantasy. Female characters are particularly problematic by modern standards as are many of the relationships. Feist puts the feudal system on an underserved pedestal when you consider the problems that feudalism creates. Critics will point out the glorification of Western European society while the clearly Eastern Asian inspired Tsurani are initially painted as warmongering enemies. This is resolved in the second half of the book but whether these things are deal breakers depends on the reader.

For fans of epic fantasy, Magician will introduce you to a wide and varied world that is well worth visiting.
Profile Image for Jessamay.
22 reviews13 followers
May 28, 2011
I loved the whole idea - the clash of two fantasy worlds. And I LOVED Tsuranuanni, it's just a fascinating place - no metal, Ancient Chinese culture, giant ants...anyway, it's all good stuff.

But what I loved most, was watching something happen to Feist that it seems like he didn't entirely plan. I dunno, I could be totally wrong. Maybe he planned from the start to have Arutha kind of monopolise the story and make his other two main characters look...fairly boring. Okay, Pug wasn't boring, but he was so powerful at the end, I lost interest. Tomas WAS boring. But Arutha...

During the first half of the book he was just this background character. He was there, but he seemed a largely decorative figure, you weren't even sure he was gonna survive their snowy journey (although he was named, so...). Then at some point, he just stands up, coughs, and kind of goes "I've got this, I'll take it from here." And suddenly he IS the main character. And that's...FINE. More than fine. I am such a fangirl...

There's a reason the sequels focus on our dark, sardonic Prince, and not on the wizard boy.
Profile Image for Jonathan.
157 reviews4 followers
August 20, 2019
I first read this book as a teenager, sometime around 1990. At the time my friends and I considered Magician to be the pinnacle of the Fantasy genre, and I still see it discussed with the same reverence today.

A few years back I reread Magician with very high expectations, but found it a fairly bland read. Neither the story or its characters gripped me, and the narrative structure seemed somewhat clumsy.

I finished reading Magician, but didn't rush out to buy the other books in the Riftwar saga.

At 15 years old I would have given this book 5 stars, but at 36 years of age I only consider it to be an "above average" read. For my money authors like George R. R. Martin leave Magician in their dust.

Update July 2019:

I recently read Magican for the third time and enjoyed the book a lot more this time around. Perhaps I went in with lower expectations, or maybe I was just in the mood for some classic sword and sorcery. Either way, Magician scratched my high fantasy itch, and I am glad I gave it another chance.

In my original review I compared Magician unfavourably with the work of George R. R. Martin. Interestingly, while rereading Magician I noticed several similarities with Martin’s A Game of Thrones, notably the Tsurani political power struggles which Feist called the “Game of the Council”. Perhaps “Game of ...” is a common turn of phrase in fantasy novels, but it makes me wonder if perhaps Feist was an influence on Martin. Food for thought!
Profile Image for Twerking To Beethoven.
391 reviews65 followers
February 28, 2014
This was kind of a weird read in the sense that it started off as a somewhat YA novel: young magician apprentice saves princess who consequently falls in love with him and blahblahblah. Then, as the story unfolds, it takes a whole different road and it sort of becomes darker, leaving the whole YA flavor behind and switching to war and conspiracy. Overall, it's not bad; I guess "Magician" would have been a bit more enjoyable had it been, say, a couple of hundred page shorter. My two cents.
Profile Image for Noella.
948 reviews61 followers
March 13, 2020
Prachtig boek. Dit is fantasy zoals ik het graag lees. Niet te veel beschrijvingen van geweld, en geen langdradige beschrijvingen van landschappen en dergelijke. De personen die erin voorkomen worden ook niet met een overweldigende snelheid voorgesteld, zodat de lezer de gelegenheid heeft om te onthouden wie wie is. Ook worden de machtsverhoudingen duidelijk maar bondig uitgelegd. Het verhaal wordt ook niet melig, niet alles loopt goed af, en niet iedereen leeft nog lang en gelukkig.
Ontspannend, en ook spannend, ik voelde mij helemaal meegesleept in het verhaal.
Profile Image for Catie.
194 reviews21 followers
June 14, 2017
Basically everything you could want in a fantasy epic.
Profile Image for Mahshid.
86 reviews103 followers
August 25, 2016
گاهی اوقات متعجب میشوم از اینکه میبینم یک کتاب اینقدر الکی محبوب است. کتاب magician هم از ان دسته کتاب های الکی مشهور است. ایده شکل گیری داستان جالب است اما خوب پرداخته نشده و بسیار ضعیف است در حقیقت داستان magician تقلید بسیار ضعیفی از سری ارباب حلقه ها و هابیت تالکین می باشد. نویسنده محترم حتی به خود زحمت نداده برخی فضاها را عوض کند. وجود الف ها، کوتوله ها و گابلین ها. ملکه الف ها که در جنگل ساکن است. اژدهایی که در کوه سکنی دارد. همه و همه شما را به یاد کتاب های تالکین می اندازند.
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