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Magician: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga #1)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  60,311 Ratings  ·  1,117 Reviews
To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of wizardry. Yet Pug's strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. For dark beings from another world ...more
Paperback, 323 pages
Published January 1986 by Spectra Books (first published October 1st 1982)
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Paul Jones Mass Market Paperback, Author's Preferred Edition, 485 pages
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonMistborn by Brandon SandersonPrince of Thorns by Mark  Lawrence
Starting Strong
34th out of 112 books — 154 voters
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMagician by Raymond E. FeistThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Best Heroic Fantasy
223rd out of 526 books — 839 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Updating this review in June 2016. I was just discussing this series with a friend I recommended this to and we were both saying how shocked we are how few people have read it because it is so good. It can be hard to find Feist's books in stores or at the library - but it shouldn't be!

I am not saying that everyone will end up liking this, but I think there are a lot of people missing out. To give you a statistical analysis of how many people are missing out - I currently
Ori Fienberg
Dec 22, 2008 Ori Fienberg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oh-well
Earlier this year I got back into the fantasy genre by reading Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind. Since then I've been reading backwards; finding the authors Rothfuss was favorably compared to and reading their books.

I was very taken with the author I read next, George R. R. Martin, and would happily have continued the Song of Fire and Ice series, but apparently the next book in that series has been postponed till 2013. So I chose Raymond Feist who was next on my list.

To a total fantasy v
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Magician: Apprentice is an appealing introduction into an epic fantasy series that a newbie can enjoy. It offers a young hero who is just at the beginning of his journey to find his purpose in life. Feist offers a fantasy world on the brink of war from a threat that has the capacity to bring great change to Midkemia as they know it.

While the world has a typical medieval-type feel, the variety of races presented give the world an incredible texture. I loved the descriptions of the elves and thei
Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book shortly after it came out in the early 80's while in my 20's. It's every bit as enjoyable on the 4th read almost 30 years later. In many ways, it is a very typical fantasy, but the character's pop very well & the world has enough new elements to make it quite intriguing. The quick pace hides a complexity that becomes apparent as the story progresses & we're led deeper into the world.

Since I have a towering TBR pile, I re-read sparingly. I'm so happy I did this aga
Aug 03, 2007 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2012 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
I wanted to like this book. I really did. First, a major caveat: The Magician: Apprentice is only one part of a two-volume novel. The second volume, The Magician: Master, completes the tale. Given this, it isn’t really fair to judge the first volume on many points, so keep in mind that my review applies almost exclusively to this first volume.

The Magician: Apprentice is a story centered on — you guessed it — a magician’s apprentice named Pug who finds himself an unlikely hero when the world of M
Aug 21, 2015 Mario rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really hard book for me to rate. It went from amazing 5 stars to disappointing 2, so after giving it a thought I decided to go with solid 3 stars.

I’m still not sure how to write this review, because my feelings towards the book are mixed (to say the least), so I’m gonna go with the old way: things I liked and things I didn’t like.

Let’s start off with the things I liked:
-Amazing world Feist created. I think the world building was my favorite part of the book
-Interesting characters, es
Mikel C.
Jun 12, 2008 Mikel C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I must admit, when I was really young, I did not read that much. I was a sports kid, Soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in spring and summer. Many years straight through, and if I wasn't practicing or playing, I was playing sports with the neighborhood kids.

It was not until I was 10 or so that I started actually reading the books that the teachers told us to, rather than skimming them over or getting the notes from the dilligent kid in the neighborhood to pass a quiz or test.
Seth T.
Feb 08, 2008 Seth T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Raymond Feist is to fantasy literature what Greg Rucka is to crime/espionage literature. He presents stories in a workmanlike fashion, neither embracing literary elegance or dwelling overlong on that which does not forward the story itself, and yet he offers a rollicking good time. His characters are all interesting and his narrative twists retain reader interest. He is not a great author, but he is certainly a good author.

And sometimes, good is just what the doctor ordered.

Both halves of Magic
2.5 stars. It has been a while since I read this but I remember thinking it was decent but not great. Given the number of really positive reviews, I have put this on my list of books to re-read in case I missed something the first time around.
Mar 18, 2014 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: FBCS February 2011 Series Selection
Executive Summary: Traditional fantasy that while enjoyable for me, isn't as good as the fantasy being released today.

Full Review
Last month I was visited Borderlands and wanted to pick up something to read on the flight home. Yes I have a ton of unread ebooks, but I still prefer paper, especially when on a plane. Also, I have a book buying problem.

I've been meaning to check out Raymond Feist for awhile, so this seemed like a good time to finally do so. I read about half of the book during my t
Linda Bakker-Zwakhals
I liked this story, but I did not love it. But the not loving was not because of the story. It is a great story, original and full of action. It was the writing that I personally do not favor. It had a lot of detailed descriptions in it, and sometimes it jumped several months ahead without a clear sign that it would. It was very confusing at times (but that could have been the ebook version of this book).
With this writing style, I just can't get into the story. It just wasn't for me.
Oct 13, 2010 Thumbelina-thighs rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lubinka Dimitrova
Ah, at last I finished it! Strangely enough, I have mixed feelings about this one - it was actually a really engaging book, with likable characters and a nice plot (although not without its flaws), good writing and an interesting story, but it was soooo long! I felt as if I was wading through the pages, oppressed by the amount of the remaining pages. I'll probably read the next one, but much later, when I gather some courage to face it.
Why hello old school fantasy! Long time no see. I see that you still have dwarves of Moria, beautiful elves living in trees, farmboys turns great warriors, plucky princess and overwhelmingly likable characters. Oh and a cute dragon pet.

Not that I mind them much in this book. The writing is good, the pacing was great (I didn't yawn when reading this book) and the main characters, at least Pug and Tomas, make you want to hug them and muss their hair. Pug reminds me of Fitzchivalry Farseer, albeit
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.

It is interesting to be reading the Belgariad by David Eddings and the Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist at the same time. Published very close together in time, they have some striking similarities and I can see why they were very popular in their day. Both feature boys becoming men and also becoming sorcerers/magicians.

For me, the Riftwar Saga is much more engaging of the two. I like Feist’s writing better and I find that the plot moves along at a slightly swifter p
Feb 01, 2011 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read this I was completely enthralled, and gave it a solid five stars. My fantasy repertoire was seriously lacking back in those days, and I instantly fell in love with all that is Midkemia. The second time around I still loved it, but found I had to drop the rating to a four. It’s not that I loved it any less… I’m not sure what exactly happened. It’s just now that I have more experience with fantasy, and now that I know what else is out there, it was hard to give it a solid fiv ...more
Meh... Far from bowled over. I think I've been spoiled by the quality of modern fantasy writing. It reads like a good fantasy read of its time and the same feel to it as The wheel of time books (the couple that I've read, anyway!) I doubt I would continue with this series and maybe not with Feist either. Apparently this is one of his stronger books.
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

While I can see the origins of this story being based in the era of the D&D role playing games, it was still an engaging fantasy story on its own. I enjoyed many of the characters and ideas about the magic system and world building.

On the negative side, I thought the female characters were really weak and poorly developed but the plot kept me interested enough to overlook that. I will definitely read more in the series.
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 06, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
Haven't liked every Feist book since...but this one sucked me in and I ran the next two down as soon as I could get my hands on them.

Since I've remembered this one fondly and just recently replaced my long lost (or worn out) copy. I remember thinking what an odd name Pug was to hang on a main character. This story builds the characters, the world and the story so that I was quickly hooked and stayed that way for several volumes. While Mr. Feist can run hot and cold and at times be almost infuria
Sep 19, 2010 Paul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, but how is this plainly described, one dimensional book so well rated? I'm 200 pages in and bored rigid and utterly fed up of the random lucky events the characters go thru.

The line that sticks out is: Dragons were the hereditary enemy of dwarves.

Sorry it's just poorly written, based in a second hand middle earth and I've seen better characters in the mr men books.

I paid 95p for it from a a charity shop and I feel robbed.
Mar 14, 2011 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Readers, YA and Adult
Recommended to Kara by: Goodreads - Fantasy Book Club Series Group Read
An enjoyable easy read with incredibly likable characters. Just enough action, suspense, intrigue and magic to keep me turning the pages.

In a typical high fantasy world of humans, elves, dwarves, and dragons, there is now a rift, through which unknown people and creatures from another world begin an invasion. The book has several POV characters that we follow separately as they encounter and interact with the off-world invaders.

The start to an epic series, book 1 ends very non-climatically and
Ignacio Senao f
Oct 05, 2016 Ignacio Senao f rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Sí esperas la clásica fantasía del niño huérfano, con capacidades especiales, que tiene la suerte de que el mago poderoso lo acogerá como aprendiz y tendrá que hacer un viaje para conseguir algo. Es lo que encontrares. Es bastante típico, ¿verdad?

¡Pero llega la sorpresa! Es una novela coral, y este es tan solo un personaje, tendremos a otro chaval que obtendrá algo que le hará muy pero que muy fuerte. Y un príncipe que luchara por proteger su reino de un asedio.

¡Pero ojo! Que este
George Jankovic
Jan 04, 2016 George Jankovic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not my favorite. It can be a tad slow at times and it doesn't have a lot of action, but I liked the world and the story. I will definitely read the second book.
Jan 15, 2012 Shelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was okay but I never really found myself involved in the story or the characters. The writing was fine but nothing that made up for my lack of interest in the story. I haven't read a whole lot of traditional fantasy and maybe it just isn't as much my thing as science fiction. Oh well. Not bad, just not great.
Jan 02, 2016 ChaHibouYogi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Oh je sens qu'une grande histoire d'amour va débuter entre moi et ce cycle d'héroïc-fantasy !
On y retrouve tout ce qu'on aime dans le genre : une multitude de personnages aux personnalités variées et attachantes, des héros, des combats, des coups du destin ... On sent une vraie influence de Tolkien mais ce n'est pas une copie pour autant. Et il y a ces jeunes protagonistes qu'on voit évoluer et qui grandissent au fur et à mesure de notre lecture, qui changent irrémédiablement face aux événements
Jan 13, 2013 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O Mago O Aprendiz é um livro de Fantasia que se insere numa saga denominada O Mago, escrito por Raymond E. Feist.
A história passa-se no Reino de Midkemia, e relata a vida de Pug, Tomas e outros personagens da cidade de Crydree.
Pug, um rapaz do castelo, que não sendo escolhido por mais nenhum mestre dos vários ofícios, acabou por se tornar no aprendiz do famoso mago Kulgan. Tem algumas dificuldades na aprendizagem do seu ofício, e duvida do caminho que percorre, pois desejava ser um guerreiro ta
Jan 17, 2014 Andreas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed, owned, 2014
The original novel originally published in 1982 has been split in two volumes and you'll probably won't be able to just read the first one because there are too many cliffhangers. Given that, I'm going to review this first volume anyways.
It is the first book of the Riftwar Saga set within the world of Midkemia, a coming-of-age story of magician Pug and warrior Tomas facing otherwordly invaders.

I know that lots of people have fond memories reading this book and it was a New York Times bestseller
Michael Brookes
Sep 03, 2016 Michael Brookes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Rift War Saga is one of my favourite fantasy series. I don't read as much fantasy as I used to, and I wanted to revisit the world I'd read so much of years ago. The world grabbed me as immediately as it did before and I enjoyed re-reading it as much as the first time - perhaps more.

The book (and the series) greatest strength is the world build. It's richly portrayed and supported by detail that isn't revealed. This is in part due to the author basing the core tenets on civilisations that are
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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 1 ...more
More about Raymond E. Feist...

Other Books in the Series

The Riftwar Saga (4 books)
  • Magician: Master (The Riftwar Saga, #2)
  • Silverthorn (The Riftwar Saga, #3)
  • A Darkness At Sethanon (The Riftwar Saga, #4)

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“Dolgan: ’Tis a wise thing to know what is wanted, and wiser still to know when ‘tis achieved.
Rhuagh: True. And still wiser to know when it is unachievable, for then striving is folly.”
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