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Magician

(The Riftwar Saga #1-2)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  54,465 ratings  ·  1,365 reviews
He held the fate of two worlds in his hands... Once he was an orphan called Pug, apprenticed to a sorcerer of the enchanted land of Midkemia.. Then he was captured and enslaved by the Tsurani, a strange, warlike race of invaders from another world.

There, in the exotic Empire of Kelewan, he earned a new name-- "Milamber." He learned to tame the unnimagined powers that lay w
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Paperback, 841 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published October 1st 1982)
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4.33  · 
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 ·  54,465 ratings  ·  1,365 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
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Joey Woolfardis
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 Magic
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Markus
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 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 stabil ...more
Graeme Rodaughan
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Epic Fantasy.
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.

The book is rich with themes. Love, loyalty, duty, courage, all figure strongly in this amazing tale.

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 ba
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Hasham Rasool
I love this book Alhamdulillah!

It is a very different kind of fantasy book not like 'Harry Potter' or other fantasy books.

I think anyone who likes fantasy books should read this book. Also I would recommend these who haven't read fantasy before to read Magician by Raymond E. Feist.
Evgeny
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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Penny
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
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Gary
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Shivesh
Dec 26, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Richard
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
5.5/10

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 b
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Mark Harrison
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Diana Stormblessed
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 wane ...more
April
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: npr-told-me-to
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
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Aidan Walters
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
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
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Anirudh
Sep 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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Kostas
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
8/10

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
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Jessamay
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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Jonathan
Jun 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.

At
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Ian Hall
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sarah (A French Girl)
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 sho
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Catie
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Basically everything you could want in a fantasy epic.
Casey
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, adult
I was prepared for what I assumed was a very white male 80s classical fantasy.

I was SO right to be.

While I really did love how cool it was: Dragons, firedrakes, elves, trolls… basically every creature you could ask for AND an alien race invading and starting a goddamn war oh and of course magic and a bunch of royal scheming and deaths I just found the characters boring. If the story was released TODAY it would be a flop because it’s lacking diversity in every aspect.

All the characters had okay
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Ben
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
It has been many years since I last read this, and the last time was not the first time. The last time was probably around twenty years ago and my feelings about what makes a good book have changed somewhat in that time and my thoughts on this classic of 80's fantasy. Originally I gave this 4 stars when I shelved it here, but actually, having read it as a teen I probably would have given it a full 5 stars. In addition, a few years ago I had generally stopped reading Feist as an author after too ...more
Ahdam Rana
Feb 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Rating: DNF

I really like this book I enjoyed reading the characters such as pug and tomas who were among the best even though I had some frustrations of pugs role in the first half of the book and I enjoyed the story even though I was given the roundabout in the first half thinking of it as a classic 80s fantasy book with its tropes and stuff and I would rate book 1 with 4/5 I was shocked with the change the second half gave because it took me by surprise how much the story changed and now your
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Rachel Heather Sangster
This is by far my favourite book, I recommend it to practically everybody I know and have yet to find somebody that didn't love it just as much as me!
It's a saga, but this book can be read stand alone
Claudia
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Claudia by: David Firmage
Shelves: read-in-2018
I really enjoyed the story, so many heartwarming moments, especially those involving Pug and the Duke.

Most characters were interesting and nicely introduced, although maybe they were all a little too good. There are no evil guys (not for long, that is, to this point at least) and I wished otherwise, I love to hate some villains, lol.

It was, overall, a lovely start and I'm happy I had the chance to start this journey. Will definitely read the following books in the near future. Thanks again Dav
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Perry Burdfield
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is epic. Would 100% recommend to any lovers of fantasy!
Lucinda
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it


I found magician to be a sensational debut, epic fantasy novel that’s a brilliant opening to a trilogy. This meaty novel certainly kept me busy at 841 pages, and I was kept in suspense throughout. The storyline is cleverly complex, deftly interwoven and blends ancient magic, with richly detailed history, philosophy and politics. Indeed, I was impressed by the author’s evident intellectual ability and how he projected that onto the page. At its heart the story follows a young apprentice magician
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Kate
Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2011
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
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Kitvaria Sarene
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kitvaria by: ilias
Overall I really liked this story.

It clearly reads like classic fantasy. Not a lot of grit, graphic violence or sex. Especially the missing "Sex sells" attitude is a reason for me too love the classics though ;)

I had quite some "Is this Tolkien?" moments, but it wasn't enough to actually annoy me. (Example: Meet some dwarfs - and the only way to get somewhere is through the abandoned mines, and whatever's in there...)

At parts it could have been slimmed down a bit, but overall the story was real
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6,077 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 1 ...more

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)
“Some loves come unbidden like winds from the sea, and others grow from the seeds of friendship.” 58 likes
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