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Magician by Raymond E. Feist
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This is the first book in Raymond Feist's huge, mega volume saga set on the worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan. As a games designer, Feist is familiar with a fantasy setting and this book, detailing the invasion of Midkemia by the Tsurani of Kelewan is set in a world that would be almost familiar to the average inhabitant of mediaeval Europe, though some of the tactics and weaponry presented here would seem to be more at home a few centuries later - that's Midkemia. Kelewan, The home world of the Tsurani seems more happily based on an idea of Japan of a similar time period, though Kelewan is more of a cypher than Midkemia in this particular book.

Like a lot of fantasy books of this era, we have a young boy who dreams of better things - first a rather improbable (though not improper!) friendship with his lord's daughter then a magician's apprentice, though he's not very good at putting his master's lessons into practice. When an alien ship arrives off the coast of Crydee - Pug's home town, the Duke decides that news of this possible invasion has to get to the King in the far off east. He takes Pug and his friend Tomas along as witnesses but there are aliens in the forests between Crydee and the rest of the Kingdom who decimate the duke's party, chasing them into the deep mines of the dwarves. There, Tomas gets separated from the rest of the party. In this edition we get the full story of what the participants think of as the Rift War - later editions split the story into two sections.

Although not quite as obvious in this book as in others in the series, the fact of Feist's game design background can sometimes have the sound of dice rattling around in the background, and the 'powering up' of the various characters can be seen as the series continues. This reread actually went quite well ( )
  JohnFair | May 29, 2017 |
For my Year of Nostalgic Rereads, this is another "must". I owned a complete set of Raymond Feist's novels, all but four being first editions, losing them, unfortunately, to smoke damage from a fire. The edition of this book came from Feist's own author's stock, and the inscription reads: For Jim!
Sorry your collection was lost. Hope this helps in getting another one going!
...and signed.

I read this when it was first published and was enthralled from page one. That Feist sustained this start through 29 subsequent books is not surprising. He crafts great stories and tells them well, weaving intrigue and pagentry, breadth and depth, in an epic encounter with superb fiction. I look forward to enjoying the rest of Midkemia again at a leisurely pace, and I look forward to his new series. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Despite trying to enjoy this book more, I just couldn't. I liked aspects, but found myself more enthralled by the Tsurani storyline and people than the major characters.

I first read Feist's Empire Trilogy, which inspired me to read more of his work. I have been unable to enjoy others as much, though.

I understand this is one of his earlier works, but even reading the revised edition didn't do it for me.

There were enjoyable aspects and I find his characters endearing and spark emotion in me, but for me there was simply too much battle and not much of anything else.

I'll still read the next two with hope I'll find them more enjoyable. ( )
  ashooles | Apr 23, 2017 |
I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to any fantasy readers ( )
  sundowneruk | Feb 2, 2016 |
This is a British edition of a work apparently originally published in the ‘80’s as two books. The division into two books seems fairly arbitrary since it’s all one story without an intermediate resolution. It is an early work by this author and is a fantasy tale that traces events across ten years of time. The story seems a bit ungainly. It tries to focus mainly on one character, Pug, and to lesser extent on his friend Tomas, but both of these characters are left for long periods (years) while other events or characters are being followed. By the end of the story when they are reunited, I had almost forgotten what the original friendship of Pug and Tomas was like.

The central conflict involves a protracted war fought between two worlds across a magically created rift. The novelty of that set-up goes some way towards making up for the strong Tolkien influence on one of the worlds, Midkemia. The other world, Kelewan, is more original and more interesting. I appreciated the fact that the trans-rift invaders turned out to be very human, with good and bad individuals. This raised the prospect of a diplomatic solution to the conflict and I was disappointed by the intervention of the powerful magician Macros who was apparently possessed of foreknowledge and was manipulating events to satisfy what was fated to occur. I would have rather seen the other characters solve their own problems to a larger extent.

There were some interesting and likable characters. The villains were a bit disappointing, however, being spoken of, but not appearing (Black Guy, the “Enemy”), or appearing only briefly (the Warlord and his magicians). One doesn’t actually exist (Ashen-Shugar) except as an influence that Tomas must struggle against. That struggle was well-done, but had too little impact on the resolution of the story. Though it’s a minor point, I was bothered by the name Pug, which made me think of a dog. Pug’s apparent brainwashing (which we didn’t see happen) that made him loyal to the Tsurani Empire also bothered me. He was both too aware of it and too little disturbed by it for it to feel very convincing. It seemed more a plot device. Scenes involving Pug’s mastery of his powers were impressive, but ultimately he was upstaged by Macros in terms of his impact on events. The powers that Macros exhibited suggested to me that he could have intervened much sooner and saved a great deal of bloodshed. Apparently it wasn’t fated to be that way. I never care for such arbitrary interference by god-like beings. It robs the characters of control and makes the plot less satisfying.

The writing was impressive in places, though more so in the latter parts than at the beginning. There were many things that were told rather than shown. Showing them would have strengthened the book, but also lengthened it. Possibly the story should have been spread out over more volumes. Overall the book held my interest but left me unsatisfied in too many respects. ( )
  Carol_W | Aug 17, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Raymond E. Feistprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gatti, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guarnieri, AnnaritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maitz, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A boy's will is the wind's will.
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.
—Longfellow, My Lost Youth

We were, fair queen,
Two lads that thought there was no more behind
But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
And to be boy eternal.
The Winter's Tale,
Act 1, Scene 2
Dit boek is opgedragen aan de herinnering aan mijn vader Felix E. Feist, in alle opzichten een magiër.

This book is dedicated to the memory of my father, Felix E. Feist, in all ways, a magician.
First words
The storm had broken.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work contains both "Magician: Apprentice" and "Magician: Master".
The original UK editions in one volume (this work) were split into two volumes for the US market.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0586217835, Paperback)

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 magician -- and the destinies of two worlds are changed forever. Suddenly the peace of the Kingdom is destroyed as mysterious alien invaders swarm the land. Pug is swept up into the conflict but for him and his warrior friend, Tomas, an odyssey into the unknown has only just begun. Tomas will inherit a legacy of savage power from an ancient civilization. Pug's destiny is to lead him through a rift in the fabric of space and time to the mastery of the unimaginable powers of a strange new magic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:19 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

At Crydee, a frontier outpost in the tranquil Kingdom of the Isles, an orphan boy, Pug, is apprenticed to a master magician and the destinies of two worlds are changed forever.

» see all 3 descriptions

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