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(The Riftwar Saga #1-2)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  65,231 ratings  ·  1,606 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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Neville Ridley-smith I'm fairly sure this a US vs UK/Australia thing. In the US, it seems books are often split up into shorter chunks - I've seen it quite often. I'm in A…moreI'm fairly sure this a US vs UK/Australia thing. In the US, it seems books are often split up into shorter chunks - I've seen it quite often. I'm in Australia and I'll know about a particular book. Then I'll be looking online and see some books by the author that I've never heard of. Then after investigation I'll find out it's just the same book split up into 2-3 smaller books.(less)
D. Elliott In the UK, the three books that make up the Riftwar Saga are, Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon. (I believe that the first book has now…moreIn the UK, the three books that make up the Riftwar Saga are, Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon. (I believe that the first book has now been added to and split over two editions.)(less)

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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
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
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Recommends it for: Lovers of Epic Fantasy.
This book is rich with themes. Love, loyalty, duty, and courage, all figure strongly in this amazing tale.

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.

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 t
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it
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
TS Chan
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, favorites
Magician was my favourite epic fantasy book for over two decades, and the one I've reread the most until The Way of Kings came along.

The last time I've read this book (for the third time) was when I first got my Kindle Paperwhite and then proceeded to finish The Riftwar Cycle (except for the books non-essential to the main storyline). That was a good eight years ago, and I wondered whether it would still hold up well after I've read so much modern fantasy since. I'm pleased to discover that it
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.
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
Zitong Ren
4 stars. Look, I want to say, that I loved this book, but I didn’t love it since I had so many problems with it, yet at the same time really loved many elements of the book, so this four star rating makes me fell pretty conflicted about it.

A bit of history between me and this author was that his Serpantwar Saga was one of the first truely epic fantasies that I ever read around a little two years ago? ish? I had, ultimately read other fantasy books, but not a lot of fantasy that would be conside
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Mark Harrison
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 26, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy

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
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
4.5 stars, rounded up. RTC
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Aidan Walters
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Antonomasia by: BBC Big Read
When I read a lot of Discworld twenty-odd years ago, it was clear the series was satirising countless tropes. Yet until now, despite spending a lot of my post-school social life with SFF geeks, I'd never read the background material in book form: chunky novels in which these fantasy clichés were used with a straight face, where it became evident just how laughable they were by the time Pratchett started writing Discworld.

And as Magician (1982) was published the year before The Colour of Magic (1
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Ian Hall
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
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 appea
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Twerking To Beethoven
This was kind of a weird read in the sense that it started off as a somewhat YA novel: young magician apprentice saves princess who consequently falls in love with him and blahblahblah. Then, as the story unfolds, it takes a whole different road and it sort of becomes darker, leaving the whole YA flavor behind and switching to war and conspiracy. Overall, it's not bad; I guess "Magician" would have been a bit more enjoyable had it been, say, a couple of hundred page shorter. My two cents. ...more
Jun 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I first read this book as a teenager, sometime around 1990. 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 reread 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.

Sarah Wynker
Jul 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Basically everything you could want in a fantasy epic.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Michael Sahd
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fact that I knew nothing about this story when I first started reading this book left me with a more favorable impression of it.

This book started as a typical fantasy trope: A young boy (Pug), is stuck in a mundane life, but training as a wizard. The book features elves and dwarves and orcs and conflict and blah . . . Same story I've heard and read (and played in Dungeons and Dragons) a thousand times. However, I kept reading at a friend's behest . . . ***spoiler, but not really because it'
Glass Fairy
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, magic
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
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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: 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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