Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Magician: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga, #1)” as Want to Read:
Magician: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Magician: Apprentice

(The Riftwar Saga #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  89,865 ratings  ·  2,144 reviews
An alternate cover edition of this ISBN can be found here.

To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. His courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, but he was ill at ease with normal wizardry. Yet his strange magic may save two worlds from dark beings who opened spacetime t
Mass Market Paperback, 485 pages
Published January 1st 1994 by Bantam Spectra (first published October 1st 1982)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Magician, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Davis It was a wraith.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  89,865 ratings  ·  2,144 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Magician: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga, #1)

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
May 26, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo

3.5/5 stars

Magician: Apprentice is a familiar and enjoyable start to a beloved classic fantasy series.

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Riftwar Saga and Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist; it is one of the series that I know has sparked a lot of reader’s passion for reading fantasy. And that’s always a good thing in my book. Honestly speaking, though, I don't have nostalgia goggles for this series, and the main r
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ by: Matthew
Reread because I need to get through all 29/30 books I own as paperback in this series and decide which ones I’m going to love enough to keep or switch to kindle. And why I need to mention all of that is beyond me!

********* Old review 4 stars ************


I really enjoyed this book! I love the main character, Pug. I loved his friendship with his best friend Tomas.

Pug got picked to be the magician Kulgan's apprentice while Tomas was to be trained as a soldier. But they found plenty of time to spe
Ori Fienberg
Dec 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with the Epic Fantasy aficionados at BB&B!

I can't believe I waited so long to read this series! Unfortunately, I am weird and used to start on a series only when the last book of said series was published. Then I came to the understanding that if I stuck with this trend, there would be way too many good books I might never get to enjoy in my lifetime. Too many authors, for one reason or another, take decades to finish up a story... So, instead of starting the series as I wa
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at www.nikihawkes.com

When customers approach me for a fantasy recommend, I always ask: have you read Feist? As the long-time favorite of my family, "Magician: Apprentice" is the book that first inspired my love of the genre. I've gone through hundreds of books since then, and it is still one of the best novels I've ever read. It's got all of the elements I loved about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it is written in a much more vibrant and story-driven manner.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I devoured this book and the next four back in the late eighties and SERIOUSLY desired more... and yet, I never did get around to picking up all the subsequent books... until now.

Of course, I needed to re-read an old love and see if it stands up to the test of time, and you know what I found?

Fantastical fantasy goodness! I love it! And you know what's better? The author did a bang-up job of re-editing this "author-preferred" text. An extra 50k words, side plots, characters, and more roun
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 03, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Danielle The Book Huntress
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
I. . . can't take the words in this book anymore.

Well, it's not entirely the book's fault. Everything makes me want to take a shot of hard liquor at the moment, and this book didn't do a good job of taking my mind off that.

I guess I'm just not cut out for retro high fantasy. Didn't grow up reading SFF or playing RPG and didn't start reading Tolkien until the movies came out. So I have zero memories connected to these genre classics and absolutely no appreciation for chosen farm boys with extra
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the first fantasy novels I read as a teenager. Feist remains one of my favorite authors to this day. Pug is a struggling magician's apprentice when a ship from another world washes up to shore. Most of this first book is an entryway to the world of Midkemia, building up the world and relationships between the races. I love Pug's (and Tomas's) journey through the Riftwar Saga.

I would recommend this to anyone who has read other fantasy adventure series like A Song of Ice and Fire , T
Dec 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
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 again.

On to
Jun 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the story of how Raymond Feist had a very good Dungeon Master.

I recently read this book for the first time since sixth grade. I adored it in sixth grade. I find I still have some affection for it now.

Like many young nerds, Raymond loved to play Dungeons & Dragons. His Dungeon Master who ran the game was a fan of the two preeminent world builders of his day: JRR Tolkien who had created a now familiar fantasy world of elves and dwarves that celebrated Western myth called Middle Earth, and
NAT.orious reads ☾
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 STARS ★★★★✩
This book is for you if… you ever wondered what the mash up of classic science fiction and high fantasy would birth, being heavy on the HF portion. Welcome to the Riftwar. Pro: extremely engaging, not at all like Cowboys vs. Aliens Con: high death rate.

I got really nostalgic reading this book. I first started the Riftwar Saga almost exactly two years ago, when I was on a research trip in Bolivia. There, on a tiny shelf in a tiny hostel on a beautiful isle called I
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Shobhit Sharad
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book gave me all that I look for in a good fantasy. People, races, cities, battles, and characters that I can like and appreciate. While lacking a certain level of complexity, it was at all points entertaining, with the story beginning from a point and then branching out to several story-lines, and I can't point out which one I like better than the other. Though Pug's story-line ends in a manner that makes me anxious, I liked best Arutha's development and the going-ons at Crydee. I can't se ...more
Jordan Neville
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this one. This was the perfect fantasy for me to read as a follow up to Erickson's "Gardens of the Moon". I loved the first Malazan book but it is very dark, chaotic, and harsh. "Magician: Apprentice" is more what I think you could call cozy sweater fantasy. Which I enjoy probably even more than the grimdarkish stuff. ...more
Seth T.
Feb 08, 2008 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
Lashaan Balasingam
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Raymond E. Feist is known for creating the Riftwar Cycle and with Magician: Apprentice, he sets the foundation to one of the most popular universes ever created in fantasy. It is hard to go around today not knowing what he has accomplished by writing up the story of a boy who became a magician. Having finally the opportunity to read this classic, I have to say: I am a fan.

In Magician: Apprentice, the orphan Pug is taken under the wings of the on
James Field
Apr 11, 2022 rated it it was amazing
By chance, a rift across the universe connects two worlds. Humans, elves, dwarfs, trolls, and goblins populate one planet. Fierce warmongers populate the other. Both worlds sport powerful magicians.
Magician Apprentice is a rip-roaring fantasy epic of war and politics that I thoroughly enjoyed. At well over 500 pages, it's a large book, but still only half that of Lord of the Rings.
Since I've mentioned LotR, there's a good chance that if you enjoyed that book, you will also enjoy MA. However, whe
Mikel C.
Jun 06, 2008 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.
Why hello old school fantasy! Long time no see. I see that you still have dwarves of Moria, beautiful elves living in trees, farm boys 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 and the pacing are good (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 with
Sep 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
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.
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
Mike (the Paladin)
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
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magician: Apprentice is the first book in the Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist, the first subseries in the very long Riftwar Cycle series. About 20 years ago, when I was a little over 20 years old, this book began my addiction to the fantasy genre. I had of course read some fantasy throughout my childhood, but I wasn’t really conscious of it as a genre, especially not a genre for adult readers, and I had never read anything like this book. I was immediately hooked and devoured the first 16 books ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I was going to give this 4 stars until 60-70% through. The last part of the book was pretty boring. The main character exits the book around this point, and then the 2nd main character exits shortly after and then it just feels like filler until the end. I liked many of the characters and wasn't as bothered as some reviewers by the "fantasy cliche" of it all. I am on the fence about this and I guess I need to read the next book to figure out if I want to keep going or not. ...more
Maria Dimitrova
Buddy read with the Fantasy Freaks from BB&B.

Choko did it once again! I used to avoid high fantasy because of the specifics of the genre. Mainly that it takes a hell of a long time to get to the point. But my dearest sister-wife got me to read another one and it was great. So thank you, Choko!

This was a surprisingly easy to read book. After the first chapter or two it gets it's claws into you and refuses to let go. As with most Fantasy books we get an orphan with magical potential and mysterious
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Sword and Laser: MA: has it aged well? 59 257 Jul 08, 2020 02:26PM  
The Sword and Laser: #383 - TerpTalk 58 139 Jul 04, 2020 11:49AM  
The Sword and Laser: MA: Data dump...you got the cutest little, daaaata dump... 5 61 Jun 02, 2020 07:03PM  
The Sword and Laser: MA: The "Star Wars" crawl 16 94 May 24, 2020 02:45PM  
The Sword and Laser: MA: 2 parts, 1 book 21 122 May 24, 2020 02:10PM  
The Sword and Laser: MA: The David Brin connection 4 73 May 19, 2020 08:49AM  
The Sword and Laser: MA: Chicken pot pie vs something spicy. 19 113 May 19, 2020 06:24AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Raymond E. Feist's Magician Master (Premiere)
  • Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, #1)
  • Silverthorn by Raymond E. Feist Summary & Study Guide
  • The Belgariad Boxed Set: Pawn of Prophecy / Queen of Sorcery / Magician's Gambit / Castle of Wizardry / Enchanters' End Game (The Belgariad, #1-5)
  • Belgarath the Sorcerer
  • Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)
  • Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)
  • The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy, #1)
  • The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1)
  • The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1)
  • The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game
  • The Warded Man (The Demon Cycle, #1)
  • Brandon Sanderson Sampler: The Way of Kings and Mistborn
  • Guardians of the West (The Malloreon, #1)
  • In the Shadow of the Warlock Lord (The Sword of Shannara, #1)
  • The Night Angel Trilogy (Night Angel, #1-3)
  • Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1)
  • Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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: Master (The Riftwar Saga, #2)
  • Silverthorn (The Riftwar Saga, #3)
  • A Darkness At Sethanon (The Riftwar Saga, #4)

Articles featuring this book

Dragons, demons, kings, queens, and the occasional farm boy (with a special destiny, of course): Fantasy literature has it all! To celebrate...
520 likes · 292 comments
“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.”
“Some love comes like the wind off the sea, while others grow slowly from the seeds of friendship and kindness." - Carline” 27 likes
More quotes…