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Magician (The Riftwar Saga #1-2)

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  39,446 ratings  ·  891 reviews
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 ma
Paperback, Revised edition, 681 pages
Published 2009 by HarperCollins (first published October 1st 1982)
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The Final Empire by Brandon SandersonThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonThe Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Most Interesting Magic System
60th out of 1,609 books — 5,840 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. FeistLegend by David Gemmell
Best Heroic Fantasy
4th out of 515 books — 788 voters

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Community Reviews

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Emma Sea
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
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 stabil ...more
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 tim
A young orphan boy Pug is taken as an apprentice to a master magician. He shows a lot of promise, but completely fails to do any magic while at the same time his friend Tomas takes military training with more success. While this still goes on the peaceful life of the kingdom is shattered when a mysterious alien invaders came out from nowhere. The boys are swept by all the drastic events and are destined change their whole world.

This book could and should be used as a checklist for fantasy cliche
Dec 26, 2007 Shivesh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy readers
Shelves: fantastical
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 thes
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 dra
Aidan Walters
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
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 a
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
Ben Richardson
Raymond Feist brings together a world so alive, so compelling, and with such depth that the reader feels that they are there joining the well developed characters. In "Magician", the first novel written of the world of Midkemia, Feist first introduces the reader to Pug of Crydee, then follows him through his journey (spanning two worlds) of becoming a great magician. Then to Tomas of Crydee, the keep cooks son who rises to become a great warrior posessed by the spirit of the long since dead Drag ...more
Love it! I've been waiting a long time to revisit Midkemia and Kelewan because there are just so many books in this series, and once you start, you just have to read them all.

Magician really is sweeping in its scope, both in years and distance as well as sheer inventiveness. The characters are not deeply drawn and the dialogue can sometimes be a bit cheesy, but the story is always gripping, there are no bits where you skip or go "bored now".

I first read the Riftwar Saga in 1987 as a 16 year old
I first read this book as a teenager, about 20 years ago. 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 re-read 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.

There is not much that can be said about Magician. It is, in all fairness, a masterpiece, a work of high-standing literature that casts a new light on fantasy novels in general. If there was ever a worthy successor of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, than it is without a doubt Feist’s Riftwar Series. Magician was the very first adult fantasy novel I ever bought, approximately eight years ago, and I was hooked right away. No matter how many times I reread this amazing adventure, it can still keep me ...more
Magician is one of those rare books that you stumble upon by accident, but end up loving for the rest of your life. I forget exactly how I came by it, either a gift or a purchase by me, but either way I'm distinctly grateful to have had the chance to read this book.

The story is of an orphaned keep boy, Pug, discovered to have limited talents with magic. But more than this, it's also a story of being a boy, of growing up and finding a place in the world. The Kingdom of the Isles is well realised
Newton Nitro
Magician (que foi publicado no Brasil em dois volumes, Mago:Aprendiz e Mago: Mestre)é um livro de fantasia do período entre Tolkien e a popularização do "grimdark" (fantasia brutal sombria) da Companhia Negra do Glen Cook , os Drenai do David Gemmel, entre outros e mais posteriormente, os livros do George R.R. Martin. É uma fantasia mais clássica, que começa bem tradicional, com um jovem sendo tomado como aprendiz de mago, mas que, aos poucos, vai se desdobrando em diferentes pontos de vista, e ...more
This was one of the first fantasy books i read after LOTR. It's not anything new, but it was a great read and i was at the time really impressed. If you want a classic fantasy tale with swords and magic, this is one of the best ones out there. Unfortunately Feist loses the "magic" after this book.
James 'Eagle'
This review was previously published on Fantasy Faction:

Now, I must say that I am approaching this review with a certain amount of trepidation. For one thing, FF has reviewed it once before. For another, Magician by Raymond E. Feist is, without a doubt, one of the core foundational novels of the fantasy genre. In the BBC’s 2003 list of the top 100 books to read, this was one of the few fantasies included. From this list alone one can garner the amount of
This is the author's edition of this classic work of Sci-Fi. But I should say up front that I have not read the edited version of this work, and that it may actually lack some of the indulgence that this one does contain from time to time. That said, this is an amazing work, a real epic saga covering two worlds and countless characters, and, for me, maintaining my interest with a sense of awe at the ambition of it all as I read. I wonder if I would have been so gob-smacked by the scope of this n ...more
Hmmmmm..... What shall I say. I read it like I was recommended to. And the Only thing I liked about this book was the first 100 pages or so of love story. Then the rest of the story I found to be unoriginal and just traditional for what you'd expect a fantasy story to be.

It seemed like someone was a little jealous of Tolkien but couldn't quite match his talents and so tried to copy what Tolkien started. Or I dunno if this is true as this is my first real fantasy book. but that's what I was thin
Magician is the first book in the Riftwar Cycle. First published in the United States in 1982, it has since been republished numerous times and published in over 25 countries. It's also been published in two parts, Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master, in a revised, author's preferred and a special 20th anniversary leather-bound edition, one of which resides in my bookcase. The fact that I went and bought the anniversary edition, despite being a perpetually short-on-cash university student, ...more
David Sarkies
An epic quest across two worlds
13 May 2012

This was one of those must read fantasy books from my youth and there was a really good reason for this: it was a rollicking good adventure story that was self contained. It was also the first book in the Riftwar Saga, a trilogy that went on to spawn a lot more books set in the same multiverse. Now, it has been a very long time since I read this book so the exact details are still quite vague, and despite the fact that it was a must read book it is stil
Joaquin Garza
Wow, llegué a este libro por recomendación de la lista de lecturas de 'El Libro Peligroso para los Chicos' de Conn Iggulden. Aquí el autor calificaba a Magician como 'una de las mejores novelas de fantasía que se han escrito'.

Es increíblemente fácil decir eso de cualquier novela del género que nos guste. Y decir 'una de las mejores' es una afirmación que para mí, es insostenible, pero eso no quita al final que nos estemos enfrentando a una novela bastante por arriba del promedio. De hecho, mi ca
Quite possibly the best fantasy book I have ever read to date. The world that Feist creates is absolutely perfect for this story (and the countless following). I was easily able to feel that Pug and Thomas were real characters and found myself anticipating each new plot turn as I was reading.
Characters aside, Magician sets up the fantasy world of Midkemia, a land of magic, warriors, peasants and kingdoms. Its been a few years since I have actually read this book so a few details a fuzzy, but I
Totally loved the friendly fantasy setting, such a pleasure compared to the mostly dark worlds in this genre nowadays. Very classical feeling with a young boy learning magic, consisting adventures... elves, dwarfs, kings and rangers. But with a nice twist on the bad side, very interesting and I'm curious how this will be developed in the next parts of the series. The characters are very likeable and we have a lot of POV, which works fine (+ a cute dragon pet <3). Only the leaps in time and so ...more
Great characters, great world and a great story. Timeline jumped a bit too much in the middle but aside from that I really enjoyed the book.
Possibly could have stretched this book out a bit more but in saying that it was never boring and was a very interesting twist on a fantasy theme.
This book was an unexpected treasure. It contains everything that you would want from a fantasy book, battles, romance, kings, magic, dwarfs, sea battles, magical creatures and an amazing plot. It mainly follows the life of an orphan boy called Pug whose life takes him places he could never have imagined and this is only the first book. I would recommend this to all fantasy lover who love epic fantasy but get fed up of books that follow Lord of the Rings a little to closely. This is a brilliant ...more
Filip Oprisan
Magician was one of those books that I picked up just because I always kept hearing people talking about it. It turned out to be an amazing fantasy read, one i'd recommend without hesitation to anyone.

The narrative is well done and while in other books sometimes you feel like much of the action is acting up as a filler while you're waiting for the juice of the book. It wasn't the case here and the action kept building up fast switching interests all thr time and keeping me on my toes for the nex
It's weird, because I kind of felt like the story was a bit generic in terms of high fantasies, and things wrapped up so neatly in the end for basically every character, but that didn't bother me in the slightest! Loved this book, and will definitely be continuing with the series.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
I’ll admit this right off the bat – I doubt I will ever be able to review this book without some sort of bias. Also, it’s important to note that my copy of this book has both parts in one. But you might find Apprentice, and Master separately.

Magician has been one of my absolute favourites for YEARS now. It wasn’t the first Feist book that I read, not even one of the first actually, but it stands out as a work of greatness. It’s high fantasy at it’s most epic, it’s most grand. It’s traditional fa
Jay Babington
From the title, you would probably think there is a lot of magic in this one. Well, there is but there is also a lot of political intrigue and romance as well. Some people might call this a Tolkien imitator, but I think it actually plays by a different set of rules from The Lord of the Rings. The multi universe concept of the story and the ability to move in between worlds makes it much different from The Lord of the Rings. This is not to say that the quality of this book was much different from ...more
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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: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga, #1)
  • Magician: Master (The Riftwar Saga, #2)
  • Silverthorn (The Riftwar Saga, #3)
  • A Darkness At Sethanon (The Riftwar Saga, #4)

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