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Magician: Apprentice

(The Riftwar Saga #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  75,508 ratings  ·  1,605 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
Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Spectra (first published October 1st 1982)
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4.17  · 
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 ·  75,508 ratings  ·  1,605 reviews

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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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ by: Matthew
Shelves: own, fantasy-all
Buddy read with some wonderful peeps over at BB&B


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 spend together and get into this, that and the other. One day there was a wrecked ship and it turns out they were people from another time. A rift in the world and Pug and the people called them aliens. I
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dragons, fantasy
*** 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
Ori Fienberg
Dec 22, 2008 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
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-shelf, fantasy

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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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
Dec 19, 2007 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
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 , The K
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
Jun 30, 2015 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
Jordan Neville
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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
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.
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.
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
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
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.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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 myster
Luke Taylor
Uneven but still promising enough to continue. Wonderful first third, forgettable climax.

Buddy read with my dear friend Svetlana.
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
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
Oct 13, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was challenged/coerced into reading this by my Goodreads friend Matthew! (In his defense, it has been on my TBR list for months.)
* * * * *
What a great book! I finished it last night and plan to start the next one in the series today. Got to find out what happened after the cliffhanger ending.
The story reminds me of _The Hobbit_, without the poetry and flowery language. I am too pragmatic to enjoy poetical writing and I was never fond of Tolkien's _Silmarillion_, even if I am a great fan of the
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lena by: Choko
Shelves: fantasy

Feel Good Fantasy!

My first Feist and certainly not my last. I’m in for the long haul. Bring on the thirty sequels, you don’t scare me!

This is a considered world of honor, magic, mystery, passion, and adventure.

If you’ve never picked up this book you should.
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.
Sep 19, 2010 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.
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Magician: Apprentice [Sept 1, 2018] 82 43 Sep 26, 2018 12:53PM  
Grimdark Fantasy: Magician: Apprentice [Spoilers] 44 49 May 20, 2016 05:58PM  
Around the Year i...: Magician, by Raymond E. Feist 4 29 May 03, 2016 05:53PM  
Grimdark Fantasy: Magician: Apprentice [NO spoilers] 17 42 Apr 06, 2016 09:57AM  
Change description 1 23 Nov 27, 2015 06:57AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Change description 2 184 Oct 27, 2015 04:55PM  

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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

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)
“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” 25 likes
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