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Magician - Raymond E. Feist

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Author: Raymond E. Feist / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 28 June 1993 / Genre: Fantasy / Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers / Title: Magician / ISBN 13: 9780586217832 / ISBN 10: 0586217832

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      12.04.2013 15:19
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      Follow Pug along his path to become one of the greatest Magicians

      In January, instead of setting myself New Year Resolutions, I set myself a challenge. The challenge was to read 50 books in a year (not a problem for pre grown-up me) to try and get through my mountain of books. As of today, I have just completed book 6 in my challenge. Naughtily, this book wasn't in my to be read pile, but had been leant to me by a colleague. I had heard of the author, but not much else, so proceeded to dive into it as my 6th book. I think one of the most pleasant things about the book is its size - a nice thick book to curl up and read. Perfect.

      Magician is a book written by Raymond E. Feist in 1982, and I have subsequently found that it is the first part in a series of books known as the Riftwar saga. The book begins in Crydee with a young orphan boy named Pug, who becomes apprentice to the city's magician, Kulgan. The story almost follows this predictably with Pug coming into his magic and saving Lord Borric of Crydee's daughter (who becomes enamoured by Pug), and rising in rank in the city. However, events take a not so predictable turn when a shipwreck is found near Crydee. The ship is foreign, extremely foreign. Events unfold that lead Lord Borric to leave Crydee for the capital city of Krondor to inform his king that there may be an invasion from these extremely foreign soldiers. Pug and his friend, Tomas, are brought along for the ride. Along the journey of the book, these boys grow into young men with fascinating stories of their own - and events they never dreamed of.

      I have tried my best not to give too much away - there is a plot point that could make the book sound much more exciting, but it is a major plot point. I was so unexpected by it, and that's part of the reason why I loved the book. Every time you feel that it is treading a predictable path, something extremely unpredictable happens, changing the story. Early on I did find that I had to force myself through a few chapters, but once I got over an invisible hump - and once the scene was well and truly set, I found myself glued to the book; I even looked forward to going to the laundrette so I could have an hour or so with the book!

      As usual with fantasy books that I seem to like, the world Magician is set in is very intricate, and Feist helps you paint a detailed picture of Pug's world. I even kept up with some of the complex explanations of how the monarchy of the foreigners was chosen - which is a good sign! The book is set over a long period of time (several years) and has several storylines, which at times can seem to jump about a lot. At other times, I found myself what was happening here or there. There are a fair few characters to get your head around, and it helps to register their names properly because some are important later on in the book; I found myself flicking backwards and forwards occasionally to help the penny drop into place!

      At the start of the book, it mentions that it is a revised edition. Out of curiosity, I looked into why it was revised. It turns out that when it was originally released it was at least 100 pages shorter. Feist in his forward explains that this is how he wanted the book - so perhaps reading the shorter version will also mean you lose parts of the story, or even some storylines. But as I like big books, and I enjoyed the majority of the book, I don't think I'll look into a shorter version any time soon.

      Overall I found Magician a well written book, with the right amount of 'history', magic, drama and romance. Unlike some fantasy novels, I found that Magician lacked much comedy, but it didn't bother me too much. The story was gripping enough that I deliberated taking it out shopping, just in case I had chance to read it (and I haven't done that for a while!). Even though it is part of a series, the book works well as a stand-alone novel. There are some hints that could be taken forward, but it is complete, so you can read it on its own and not worry about finding somewhere on your book shelves for the whole series! And it's definitely worth a read for those who like magic, epic adventures, dwarves, elves (who get along), dragons, and much more (which I can't say or i'll give too much away...)

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        23.04.2010 16:29
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        An example of the highest calibre of fantasy writing

        Magician the first book by Raymond E Feist is the definition of an epic. First published in the UK in 1982 it has been in print ever since and in 2003 it came in at number 89 in the BBC big read to find the nations favourite book.
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        Plot
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        The book starts at the outpost town of Crydee which is part of the Kingdom of the Isles on the world of Midkemia. Here we meet Pug who is apprenticed to a magician unfortunately although he has a great aptitude for magic he can't seem to do it. We also meet Tomas Pugs best friend who dreams of becoming a soldier.
        One day while walking along the beach Pug find a strange ship that has crashed on the rocks. It turns out the ship has come through a rift which is a portal from another world and contains a scouting party of a strange race of warrior aliens called the Tsurani who are intent on conquering the world of Midkemia.

        The kingdom if the Isles now has to prepare for the oncoming invasion and on the way to the king to inform him of what they have found Pug is captured by the Tsurani. The book now becomes two stories one the war in Midkemia and the second storyline follows Pug on the Alien world of Kelewan where he first becomes a slave before his magic aptitude is recognized and he is allowed to become a magician.

        It transpires the reason Pug was incapable of learning even the easiest magic on Midkemia was because his magic was a different more powerful kind that they didn't know how to teach but the magicians on the alien world of Kelewan also practise this magic and teach Pug now named Milamber the greater path of magic. During his time on Kelewan Pug becomes the most powerful magician in the land. In kelewan magicians are the most important people and what they say is law. Pug marries a girl he met when he was a slave and settles into his new life as a Tsurani magician.

        On Midkemia the war against the Tsurani has been raging for nine long years and during that time many lives have been lost on both sides.
        We follow Tomas as he finds a dragon that is dying and the dragon gives Tomas a gift. The gift is a powerful artefact which once belonged to a Valheru a powerful magic race who used to live on Midkemia before the humans arrived. This Artefact slowly changes Tomas into a being that is no longer human but part Valheru with all the memories from that age. Tomas also inherits the power of the Valheru making him stronger and more powerful than any other being on Midkemia.

        The fate of two worlds rests with these two boyhood friends who have become the most powerful beings since the age of the gods.

        This is a really simplified outline of the plot as there is just so much going on in this book it would be impossible to be able to sum it up in a few paragraphs.
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        My opinion
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        This was the first fantasy book I ever read and it's an amazing book that gave me a love of fantasy and even though no other book has come close to the brilliance of this one I still read fantasy hoping to find a book this good again.

        It may be 28 years old but it's stood the test of time and still feels modern today. It's absolutely epic in its storytelling and I'm in awe of how Raymond E Feist could conceive of a world this vast. The rifts are fascinating and the book goes back and forth between complex themes involving reality and time travel.

        At its heart are the characters of Pug and Tomas who we see evolve from boys to powerful men who hole the fate of worlds between them. The characters are so enduring they still form a major part of the books Raymond E Feist writes nearly 30 years later.

        At its core the book is an old fashioned Swords and sorcery novel but the quality of the writing elevates it to so much more. I know a lot of people will disagree with me but i find magician to be superior to the lord of the rings in so many ways and i think it is the best book of its kind to be found.

        It does everything so well, the characters are well developed and you find yourself caring about them and the worlds he has created are vast but described in such detail it's easy to visualise them.
        In short it has everything you could possibly want from a fantasy novel, engaging heroes, magic, battles, elves, dwarfs, dragons and so much more besides. Highly recommended as a must read for anyone who loves to read.

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          09.01.2010 05:35
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          If You Could Go To Another World Would You Go?

          When I first started to read this book I'm not gonna lie it was hard to get into, I would probably have to say it had a little bit of a slow beginning, really took it's time to get going but I wouldn't say that was a disadvantage because once it got going i couldnt't put it down, so when I look back at the beginning it was just really laying down the ground work.

          It's about an orpan kitchen boy named Pug from a world called Midkemia and becomes an apprentice to a magician and always dreams about having this amazing life and doing somthing important, he wanted an adventure, and that is surly what he got when Pug and his good friend Tomas come across a splintered shipreck and then shortly after there are sightings of strange warriors in the forest with bright coloured armour....they soon relise that these warriors are like none they have ever seen, and soon become aware they are from another world entirely and have found a way to open a rift in space and start to mass an invasion army to Conquer Midkemia.
          while this is going on pug gets captured by the invading army (tsurani) and sent back to there home world as a slave.
          during his time there he becomes a great magician (a Great One).
          although he was taught by the tsurani when the time came and there was to be no truce due to an interfering magician pug aids macros the black in severing the connection from their homeworld to Midkemia.

          there are some really weak characters that become strong like Tomas, and there are some strong characters that (in my opinion) get weeker like Martin, I know these are 2 names i never really mentioned in my plot description but there is so much that goes on with a plot and sub plots and plots around that its hard to get across the story.

          The book was published in 1982 and it was one of his (if Not His First) Books he wrote and what a way to start, his fame grew pretty quickly with his editor telling him to add stuff here and there.

          this book you can still get in any book store and on amazon and e-bay, it's like it's only just been written.
          it has action, adventure, romance, heartache, anticipation...etc
          but you do have to be a fantasy fan and let your mind take you where it wants too.
          why not let yourself go to another place where fantasy free's you

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          22.11.2009 23:40

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          Read this if you'd like to be taken away.

          Magician is a tremendous example of the fine writing that can be found in the fantasy genre, and should be read by all those who profess to enjoy high fantasy.

          The book starts out a little bit slowly, setting up the story for the rest of the book and mainly introduces the idea of The Kingdom of the Isles and how it is ruled (classically and almost stereotypically medieval in style), but ramps up fairly quickly. Even in the extended version which I would recommend to everybody, you'll find yourself surprised as to how much time can be skipped in-book, often years in duration, yet this only enhances and highlights the essence of the struggle that the Kingdom has found itself mired in. The other intertwining plot of the books besides the war with the Tsurani is the development of Pug and Tomas as pivotal figures in the Midkemia world which are developed even further in subsequent books (24 and counting).

          Overall a great read, and one you can come back to time and time again for your quick dose of escapism to a time where chivalry and nobility are alive and well on the far coast in a town named Crydee.

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          16.05.2009 15:02
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          One of the top books I have ever read by a clear mile, must have for any fantasy lovers.

          I picked this up after reading Talon of the Silver Hawk and King of Foxes, both fairly good books and enjoyable reads. I had heard of Feist and Magician and thought this will do when i seen it in the newsagent (i was going on a 6 hour train journey at the time).

          I can safely say this is one of the top novels I have ever read. This book, unlike his later novels is VERY Tolkein influenced but there's nothing wrong with that, I dare say there isn't a fantasy writer out there who can lay claim to 100% original ideas not based on something Tolkein related.

          The characters are well developed, towns and cities fantastically described allowing you to get an exact picture of the world and its people in your mind with ease. As soon as I read this I went straight out and picked up Silverthorn and Darkness at Sethanon which are the two follow ons from this book. Another thing I love is that as you read through the books everything all ties in, you see genuine character development not just in the Riftwar saga but in the follow on novels. Personally I hate reading a long story and then thinking I wonder what happened next......well here you don't have to as it is mostly all laid out for you.

          Magician itself is a great example of character development at it's best and follows the tales of the worlds more influential figures. You follow Pug, a young orphaned keep boy and his best friend Tomas go from children in a quiet fishing town to one of the worlds greatest sorcerors and fiercest warriors. Along the way you encounter many allies which feature heavily in future volumes such as Jimmy The Hand, the youngest and most skilled theif in The Mockers, Arutha and Liam ConDoin who's destinies go beyond what many would guess and many more lovable and unforgettable characters.

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            04.02.2002 04:07
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            OK, I just finished this book about twenty minutes ago, so I thought that I should write an op on it, while still fresh in my head. So, welcome to my review on "Magician" by Raymond E.Feist. Possibly the finest fantasy novel since "Lord of the Rings", well.........you can make your own mind up. The story revolves around two worlds, connected by a giant rift in space. One world essentially peace loving, that will only fight in defense. And the other, a violent and ignorant place, where Master and Slave is the way. The book itself is divided into two sections that were originally two novels. The first deals with the idea of the coming of age of several teenagers, who are the main characters. These are: Pug. Pug is the main character in this story. He is an orphan who lives in Crydee, a small Northern outpost in the lands of Midkemia. He lives in the castle keep of Lord Borric of Crydee. He stays with his best friend Thomas, and his family of cooks of the keep. Pug is chosen by Kulgan (the keep magician) as an apprentice, on the day of choosing (when all the local boys of fourteen are chosen for their skills as an apprentice). But Pug has untapped greater powers of magic, more than anyone could have imagined. Thomas. Thomas is best friend to Pug, and has known him since pug was left on his doorstep at the keep as a baby, the same age as himself. Thomas is chosen to be a soldier, which is a role that suits Thomas, a natural warrior. Arutha. Lord Borrics second son. A boy of great courage and good humor. He is a natural born leader, and leads the army of Crydee into battle when needed. Not afraid of his own mortality. Lyam. He is the first-borne to Borric, and successor to the Duchy of crydee. He is a more reserved person than Arutha, but not any less capable of leadership, he fast a good and fair heart, and a great deal of honor. Carline. She is th
            e Dukes daughter, the apple of his eye. She gets everything she wants and more. Every man within a mile of her feels the attraction of her beauty. But she has a moody persona. The adults in the first story have as much importance, but are already honed and learned as men of the world, and the most important of these are: Lord Borric. He is the Duke of Crydee, loved by all under his rule, as a fair and just ruler. Kulgan. He is one of Borric's two personal aides, and much trust is placed upon him as a wise man. He is a good and caring master for Pug. Tully. He is the Dukes second aide. He is the family priest, and has known Borric since childhood. Gardan, & Fannon. They are the sword master and warrior chief of Crydee. Martin. Hunt master of Crydee. A mysterious man, who knows the Elven people and their ways well. Macros the black. The greatest and most ancient soucerer on Midkemia. The races: Humans. Tsurrani. Elves. Dwarves. The Broherhood of the Dark Path. Trolls. Vallheru. Dragon. Cho-ja. Thun. Thuril. Basically the story starts with a mysterious ship crashing into the rocks on the coast of Crydee. From an unknown land, only one survivor, who was dying. Tully discovers from him that he is a member of the Tsuranni people, a warlike people from another world. Pug and Thomas were the first to find the boat, and the only ones to board before it sunk beneath the waves, just as the Duke and his men arrived. Invasion could not be ruled out, so Lord Borric sets across the continent to see his king, and organize preparations incase of attack. Pug and Thomas were to travel with them, as the only witness of the boat. The journey to Rillannon, where the king abides marked the start of an adventure that would last ten years. Thomas disappears into the mines of Mac Mordel followed by a wraith,
            to be changed forever. Pug is taken by the Tsurrani during a raid Pug was involved in once the war between the two worlds started. The king is mad, and will not help, for he thinks everything is a plot to overthrow him. Once the second story comes into play Pug is on Tsurranuanui, the homeland of the Tsuranni. This is when his journey to be a magician of greatness and massive power starts. He learns how to tap into those reservoirs of magic inside him. He becomes a Great One who are outside of the law, and practices geat and powerful magic. Can the Tsurrani be overthrown? Will the war ever end? How will Pug achieve his fate? And what did happen to Thomas in the mines of the Mac-Mordel? Buy the book if you want to find out, as I don't think I could ever fully review a book that goes into such depths, a book that stretched over ten years contains a lot of information. The story gets hotter, faster paced as the book goes on. I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book before I read it. I thought it just sci-fi/fantasy tack, but its much more than that. This book is one of the greatest books I've had the pleasure of reading, it tackles everything, from family and relationships to magic and arts, to war and death, from Religion to slavery and gladiators. This book is not what I thought it would be, it’s worth a read even if you aren't a fantasy fan. Full marks. Cheers for reading my op, bumb1e.

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              29.11.2001 17:44
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              My only experience of Feist's work prior to reading "Magician" was "Faerie tale" and I don't read a great deal of high fantasy, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I had some initial reservations, but soon found I couldn't put the book down. Pug and Tomas are boys who work for the Duke of Crydee. Tomas trains as a soldier, while Pug is apprenticed to Kulgan, the local wizard. When Pug rescues the Duke's daughter Carline from trolls, she falls for him and romance starts to blossom. A strange foe appear, and war is declared. Soon the two lads are caught up in the fighting. Lo and behold, there's a ranger, and some dwarves, there are elves in the woods, magical ancient armour found in an ancient mine and I am starting to think "hmm, bit of a Tolkien thing going on here then.' I've read enough books and backs of books to know that a great deal of fantasy literature is dedicated to rewriting the Tolkien books, usually very badly. However, the fighters come to Midkemia are aliens who have harnessed a rift in the fabric of the universe. Pug is drawn through into their land, where he is first a slave, and then trained as a magician under their system (hence the title.) Tomas finds that his magical armour is not entirely benevolent, and both young men must grapple with ancient forces for the good of their worlds. There is no battle between good and evil, only men and women caught up in war and politics. At first, the invading army seems like the evil bad guy cliche, but as the plot evolves, you start to see them as people, as flawed as anyone else, but not inherrently bad. Even the villanous creatures have odd moments of redemption. This book has a massive pace - in 680 pages, Feist covers nine years of war, politics, love, training, magic and two civilizations. The writing is amazingly dense, containing huge amounts of detail, vast swathes of action and still managing to get in some ch
              aracterisation for all of the major and a good few of the minor characters. The attention to detail is what really makes the book work - the number of fantasy books I've encountered that offer you unpronouncable-the hero off on his quest for some thing, fighting the ultimate evil and falling in love with some beautiful woman whose name seems to be a random collection of consonants doesn't ebar thinking about. Feist fills his work with details of life, some familiar, someno, details of existence that bring a reality and substance to the work. The writing has a depth often lacking in the fantasy books I've read. Having canvassed the opinions of friends, I gather that Feist has a very good reputation as a fantasy writer. Readers who share my fear of genre cliches and Tolkien rip -offs would do well to give these books a look. They have a great deal of merit and are remarkably well written. Fantasy tends to have a reputation for being a touch low brow, and even in my limited reading experience, this often seems justified. This book however has a lot to say about human qualities, about love, death, honnour and warfare, and I would wholeheartedly recomend it as a fine read.

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                19.10.2001 08:53
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                I read a lot, always have and probably always will. Ever since I can remember I've been captured by the writing of Authors such as Dean Koontz and Richard Laymon. Fantasy for some reason had just never appealed to me. Maybe for the simple fact that I want to be able to relate to the characters and I suppose I thought that would be pretty hard to do when all the charcters are on a different world, I mean how are you supposed to relate to a Hobbit, or an elf, or anything that isn't even the same species as you? With this in mind I have plundered through life not reading any fantasy, until one day a friend of mine thrust the Magician in to my hand and told me I must read it. Afetr about three weeks of it being sat on the side in my bedroom I finally picked it up and read the first few pages. I had read it in 2 days. Now I'm not a particularly fast reader so for me this was a first, I have to say I have never been so enthralled by a book. The story begins by depicting the trials and tribulations of a young boy named Pug. Pug is an orphan who has been taken in by his best friends parents on a world not dissimilar to our own world in medieval times. His best friend is named Thomas and is widely renowned as the best young fighter in the province whilst Pug is only small and not really known for anything. One night whilst trying to catch fish for his surrogate parents, Pug gets himself in to a spot of bother and nearly drowns. After dragging himself out of the sea he starts the long walk home. Realising it is going to get too dark to travel he decides to try and find shelter, and whilst doing so he stumbles across the house of the local magician. The story then progresses on to Pug becoming the magicians apprentice and Thomas being the Guardmasters apprentice. Whilst both are in training strange sightings are being repoted all over Midkemia (the world they are on). These sightings ae of people alien to them and as the story unfolds you f
                ind out they are actually scouts from another world preparing to attack. There are so many sub plots in this book that I couldnt begin to tell you about them all, and to be honest, probably wouldnt be able to do them justice anyway. The main plot of the story does center around Pug but unlike a lot of books, you dont mind when the story flips on to the next character as all are equally exciting. If I was on a desert island and had to choose one book to go with me it would be this one. Without doubt the finest book I have ever read and would reccomend it to all ages.

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                  16.08.2001 05:21
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                  Having attempted one book review and received some good feedback I shall now try another. Hopefully this will be even better. This book is probably my favourite book of this genre but has been out now for quite some time. First published way back in 1983 in UK it was the first successful attempt by Raymond Feist at Fantasy writing. I am I glad he did. Now before I go any further this review is based on his revised edition published in 1992 as this was when I first read it. The revised version is somewhat larger than the original and in the authors own words includes more detail and background info than he was able to include in the original. To quote ‘Some 15000 words of text omitted from the previous editions so that in his own words, ‘ it is essentially the book I would have written had I the skills I possess today’ This material directly relates to the later novels in the ‘Riftwar Saga’ to provide a greater understanding of events that occur later and what lead to them. This book is about 680 pages long of small text in the paperback version I have and will take an average reader about 3-4 days to read completely. When I started to read this I found I couldn’t put it down and was finished in 2 days. I don’t really want to give too much of the story away for those that haven’t already read it so below is an overview of the characters and general theme and flow of the book. Style - Along the lines of most fantasy novels but spanning 2 worlds and with an unusually large cast of characters that expand as the story progresses into its sequels. The emphasis on particular characters also changes which serves to keep you interested and provide a real sense of involvement with what is happening to the people of the ‘Kingdom of the Isles’. Characters - Pug - starts with Pug who at the
                  start is young scullion of about 12-13 years. Without giving too much away, the main centre of the story is about Pug and his eventual rise out of the kitchen on the way to become the most powerful sorcerer the world has seen. Tomas - Pugs childhood friend and equally destined for greater things. Arutha - A young prince of an outback duchy who’s life along with everyone else’s is thrown into turmoil with the outbreak of war. These are the main 3 characters however there is vast array of others, including: Amos Trask, a pirate. Lyam - Aruthas older brother and future king. Borric - Lyam and Arutha’s Father and Duke of Crydee. Dolgan - Leader of the dwarves Algarana - Elf Queen Macros - Eternal all powerful magician Laurie - Pugs future friend Carline - Sister to Arutha and Lyam, one time paramour of Pug. Anita - Arutha and Lyams Cousin. and many more besides. The background information provided on the characters is vast and is in part what serves to make this book so long. This does not however detract from the story and at no time did I get bored or disinterested as the information provided is fed gradually at appropriate stages of the story and much is implied during conversations that leads you to obvious conclusions from previous events that the characters in the story are obviously unaware of. Theme - Set in a fictitious world that is created solely form Feists imagination, a map is provided at the beginning to give you some idea of the geography and helps to add perspective to the story. A war breaks out between the Kingdom and a foreign race of people from the distant planet of Kelewan who have travelled via a rift, hence the name ‘Riftwar saga’. The story revolves around the maturing of Pug and his friend Tomas set amongst the turmoil of the war. There are elements of romance
                  and fighting but most importantly from my point of magic. The main purpose of the story is after all to tell the story of Pug’s rise to that exalted position of magician. The story starts as I have already mentioned with Pug at the age of about 13 and progresses through to about 12 years later. Along the way you will discover Tomas and Arutha and how they also mature and grow over this period of time. Be prepared for all the usual fantasy offerings of magic and dragons as well as feudal style governments with an all powerful monarchy and constant disputes with other often more powerful neighbours. There are numerous twists and deviations that constantly leave you hanging and dying to find out what happens next. What ever happens do not skip a section because it has left the character you were reading about, otherwise later on when the story lines converge again you will be missing vital information and of course missing at least 2 other very involving story lines. Summary- This is a masterful piece of work that is by far and away the best of the 3 books in this series, Later books by Feist have also struggled to meet the same standard although the trilogy written with Janny Wurts is definitely worth a visit but that I think is another op. The finale is suitably dramatic but does not close out the possibility of future additions making the sequels more believable, if Fantasy writing can be said to be believable at all. For anyone who has not read this and likes the genre of Fantasy I would strongly recommend you do, for any one just starting out then this is an ideal book to start with. It is at least on a par with Authors like Gemmel, Brooks, Wurts, Jordan et al. In fact it is probably easier to read than these with a smooth flowing style. Oh I forgot its better than Eddings too. PS - If you like pictures in your books don’t read this, there aren’t any.

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                    24.06.2001 01:02
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                    (Firstly it should be noted that you can't buy this book in one volume very easily any more, it has been split into three! However, even if you get the three books they are still a thrilling read - I have written this opinion assuming that you can buy the one volume Magician) Magician is the first book in a trilogy based predominately in the land of Midkemia. Darkness at Sethanon, the second in the series, is more like a separate interlude, while Darkness at Sethanon, culminates the story started in Magician but leaves a few loose ends for the next series (or two or three!) The writing style and content is similar to the classic Lord of the Rings with it's rich land, dangerous enemies and adventure. The lands and inhabitants. -------------------------- MIdkemia is a land similar to Tolkien’s Middle Earth, with sprawling hills, dangerous caves, abandoned fortresses and an abundance of towns and villages. Magic is very prevalent in Krondor as many men have the abilities to cast spells. There are many different races on Krondor, ranging from dwarves, elves to the dangerous and mysterious dragons. There are also alien races that travel to the land through a rift. There are many different Kingdoms across the world, some good, some evil and some mysterious. As in most Fantasy worlds, we seem to be in a thirteenth century setting with Kingdoms constantly at war, armies always on the move with Knights in Armour constantly charging their opponents. The book could be written in Wales or Scotland! The Plot We follow the tale of Pug and Tomas, who both aspire to become soldiers. However, Pug is a little too small for this and eventually gets apprenticed as a wizard to Kulgan, more out of pity than out of any particular talent he possesses. Pug is initially saddened by his failure to become a soldier and becomes frustrated as his early attempts at magic end in failure. The
                    childhood friends become involved in mystery and intrigue that will take them far beyond their humble beginnings in the village of Crydee and lead to many dangerous encounters with frightening creatures. As they progress through their training and begin to find their destinies it becomes obvious that they are very powerful and talented. They are destined for greater things as they find themselves in the company of Lords and Kings and help shape the destiny of multiple worlds. Tomas, his destiny linked to a long dead Dragon Lord, slowly grows into a great warrior. Pug, initially struggling with magic, discovers an other-world magic, or greater magic which he excels in. The book winds towards a fairly predictable ending in a very slow but enjoyable way. The plot spends much time in Crydee as Pug and Tomas begin to adapt and change to their new lifestyles. We find the characters facing dangers such as dragons and winding caverns as they travel through the world. Conclusion Although the plot is fairly predictable and very similar to many other books (i.e. orphan boy makes good and saves the world,) the writing style and rich world enhance the read making it one of the better Tolkien clones out there. Feist has created two detailed worlds in which the story unfolds and there are many twists and turns in the plot making it more than your usual fantasy novel. Feist has also created some new magical creatures that inhabit a different world but manage to travel through a rift between the two worlds. Feist has also created some very complicated characters that we soon learn to love, somehow immersing us in the plot even deeper. Many of the characters are similar in style to many of Tolkien’s greatest characters, but there are a few original characters that are both funny and intriguing. Although I still believe ‘Lord of the Rings’ to be the greatest Fantasy series ever written, Magicia
                    n and the subsequent books come a close second (or third or fourth!!).

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                      18.05.2001 01:41
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                      If you're new to fantasy novels, or haven't tried on before and want to, then Magician may just be what you're looking for. The book covers the events that occur on a planet called Midkemia and the war that occurs when a magical rift opens up to another planet. It's a perfect introduction to elves, dwarves, warriors, magicians, sorcerors, kings and princes. The action never stops throughout the book and keeps you going, always wanting to know what happens next. I'm not a fast reader, but I finished this one in a week because I couldn't stop. The great thing about the book is that it causes the reader to relate to the different characters and feel their emotions!! Sounds a bit soppy, but not all the emotions are about love!! If you finish the book and find that you haven't got enough information, the series carries on to tell of later events. There are about 11 books that I can count off the top of my head, with a couple of spin offs. If you don't like the Magician, then don't read the rest!!

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                        21.04.2001 21:30
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                        The Magician is the first book is Feist's Fantasy Riftwar saga. There are now 11 books in this series and 2 computer games. I think the popularity of the series can be traced back to this first book. It is definitely Feist's best book and if you have enjoyed any other books then he has written then you should buy this. Magician tells the story of a boy called Pug who lives on the far coast in Midkemia. Midkemia is invaded form another realm by the Tsunami. The story follows the cast of many characters as they fight the war with the tsunami and adventure around Midkemia. Over the course of the book Pug evolves into a powerful mage and he ultimately brings the rift war to an end. His boyhood friend Thomas finds a suit of armour that transforms grants him the soul of an ancient warrior, a blessing but also a curse. The beauty of the story is that it manages to follow and develop the characters through an epic confrontation. The book doesn't simply describe the passage of armies and the direction of battles but combines this with compelling characterisations and brilliant descriptions. The story is never lost in the fog of battle or caught up with tedious accounts of inconsequential happenings. Since Magician I think his books have generally gone down hill. The epic scope of the first book has been replaced by a rather laboured attempt to keep the reader buying the books. Since the Magician the magic has been absent from Feist's saga. You tend to get the feeling he is simply churning yet another book. The stories are all based in the same world but very different characters inhabit them. The characters in Feist's later novels are rather un-engaging and unbelievable. The author seems to be more interested in promoting them in whatever army is fighting at the time, than developing their characters. This is a shame. Magician is a great book and one that is well worth reading. If Feist rest of the saga a li
                        ttle bit more thought it would have been a classic series.

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                          21.04.2001 20:57
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                          The first book of the Riftwar saga and probably Feist's best book. Despite being a first novel it doesn't read as such and the plot develops with an unexpected maturity. Pug a young orphan from a castle in a medieval fantasy world, Midkemia, becomes a magicians apprentice and then gets pulled into a war between his world and another when a rift in space opens connecting the two worlds. He develops throughout the book and becomes the magician of the title. There is a patch in the middle of teh book where Pug, the hero, is changed as a character and Feist obviously wanted to deal with the 'undeveloped' character and wants to continue the story with a fully changed Pug and unfortunately the change is not dealt with satisfactorily. The sotry has original elements but in general uses ideas that have occured in other fantasy books; the magic system is not pinned down and is based on will. This does not damage the book but if you're looking for ground breaking originality then this isn't it. As other reviews said this first book is really good but eh saga as a whole gradually drifts.

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                            16.01.2001 16:28
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                            The book that started a set of novels that shaped fantasy writing to the same effect that Tolkien had done 30 years before- 'Magician'. When I first began reading fantasy I spied this book in my dads collection and began to read it feeling nothing could shape up to the world of Middle-earth that Tolkein had so vividly potrayed. I was in to be suprised!! From the outset the reader is whisked off to a different world where the realism makes you beleive it exsists (and in your head it does). Feist's use of descriptive language is to thank for this and even though the styles of Tolkien and himself are very different they both have the same effect on the reader. The main character, namely Pug, is the centre of attention for this first book has he starts life as a teenager. The book follows his life as he grows to learn of his fate in the world and the role he plays to stop the destruction of the worl of Midkemia. What the difference between good and epic fantasy books is the characterisations of the people in the book. In Magician this is taken to a new level which only few authors can achieve- the multiple characters all leading their own story lines gives the reader a sense of anticipation when the character is next mentioned in the book. I have frequently wanted to skip a few chapters to see what has come of someone in the book. The book is a true great, as are the 11 books that come after it- read everyone because as soon as you pick up 'Magician' you'll want- no- need to read the others. Expect to spend alot of money on the series but enjoy every penny. I think Feist is awesome if you haven't already got the gist from what I've said. Open up and lose yourself.

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                              08.12.2000 21:40
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                              Until I found this book, well it was actually recommended to me, I had only read science fiction and had never realised that there was so much more to the authors of this world. Magician is set on two planets at war with one another and chronicles the life and times of two characters. The star of the book, Pug, starts off as what is described as asimple keep boy, who has been taken care of by the family of one of his friends, Tomas. The story starts in the sleepy little town of Crydee which is an outpost at the far west of Midkemia (where the war takes place). Within the first couple of chapters I was gripped to the point where I had to take days out of my social life, and turn into a hermit so that I could just sit and read. The time of the choosing, an event in all boys lives where they are apprenticed to a craftmaster and will then learn the craft from their master. Tomas is apprenticed to the swordmaster, and Pug is left standing in the middle of the courtyard, on his own, while all his friends have been chosen by the various masters. Seeing Pug's expression, the Dukes magician, Kulgan, takes the young lad under his arm. From there on, Pug saves the life of various characters and then rises in rank. Soon the young boy is captured by the Tsuranuanni who are at war with Midkemia. I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of reading tastes as Raymond E Feist has one of the best expressive abilities I have ever come into contact with and although their subjects differ vastly, I would rate his ability above the of the likes of Arthur C Clarke

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