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Magician Hardcover – Oct 1982

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday (Oct 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385175809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385175807
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 15.2 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (472 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,132,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Like a venerable patriarch, Magician stands at the head of a great tribe of fantasy writing. When Raymond Feist's enormous novel was published, critics called it "the best new fantasy concept in years", and Feist has refined and explored that concept over a dozen novels. His "concept" was to bring together two (and later, more) whole, intricately realised fantasy worlds. Midkemia is a Tolkienian realm, a European- Medieval series of kingdoms in which magic is prominent, and where men share the earth with dwarves and elves. Feist's genius was inventing another sword and sorcercy realm based more closely on eastern models, the Empire of Tsuranuanni, as vast as Ancient China, as formalised and devoted to the arts of war as a samurai Japan. A magical rift in time-space brings these two worlds clashing together, and the young boy Pug and his soldier friend Tomas are thrown into the ensuing maelstrom of invasion and epic battle, before embarking on a more fundamental magical journey towards the very roots of evil itself. Feist's two sequels to Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon complete the richly conceived Riftwar Saga, and Feist has gone on to chronicle other aspects of his invented worlds. More recently he has returned to the world of Medkemia, and to his hero Pug, with the Serpentwar saga, beginning with Shadow of a Dark Queen and continuing with Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King and Shards of a Broken Crown. Heroic Fantasy is a crowded-enough field, but Feist stands out in it for his sheer inventive power, the scope and range of his narratives, the diversity of his characters and his thundering battle sequences. Start reading here, and you may find yourself unable to stop until you have followed the saga right up to date. --Adam Roberts --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'File under guilty pleasure' Guardian

‘Totally gripping’ WASHINGTON POST

‘Epic scope…fast-moving action…vivid imagination’ WASHINGTON POST

‘Tons of intrigue and action’ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

'A fine yarn … vivid … suspenseful … and the action is non-stop' Booklist

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Fantasy Lore on 6 Oct 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantasy stories tend to rely on stock characters, as well as some pretty standard clichés. Characters such as the naïve but uniquely gifted young boy and his powerful yet mysterious instructor, and clichés such as the seemingly undefeatable foe and journeys across great distances that function as the backdrop to passages into adulthood. Depending on your point of view these can either be negative or positive aspects of the genre. But considering this is my absolute favourite genre of all- obviously these are characters and clichés I just can't get enough of, even if I must occasionally trudge through those plainly unimaginative and painfully formulaic examples.

'Magician' however, whilst containing all these characters and clichés and more common themes besides, is an exceptionally original and absolutely gripping novel. At first Pug is the uninspired hero, who aspires to the service of the Duke of Crydee and in companionship with his boyhood friend Thomas begins his unrelenting pursuit of that goal. But the twists and turns in Pug's story are unlike those in most fantasy stories- his ascendance into adulthood and the form his service to his country takes are completely different from that of his fellow apprentices and indeed his fellow heroes in fantasy.

Concepts of space and time, as well as the mastery of magic are areas terrifically brought to life by Feist and it's in the education of Pug in these arts that this book really comes into its own and where all competition is completely blown away. Clearly Feist has done a lot of research into this area, particularly in regards to some unequivocally harsh teaching techniques that seem to take their inspiration from Eastern philosophies, as do the 'undefeatable' foes and their far-off land.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jun 1999
Format: Paperback
This was my first Feist book, and what an excellent read it turned out to be. The characters were introduced at timely intervals, so they didn't overlap. The plot of the book was never lost , but in the middle you cover such a lot of ground it becomes hard to follow. It all comes together in the end with quite a bang. The characters develop realistically, and the twists and turns they go through in the cause of fate, adds a real feeling of realism. There is one charachter who is instrumental in the final chapters, and you suddenly realise that you had knowledge of him from the very first part of the book. I've read a lot of fantasy books in my time, but I cannot recall a time when I have had been wrong in guessing what would happen next. This had me on the edge of my seat more times than I can remember. If someone asked my to recommend a good book for a long journey this would be it, If you are a fantasy fan and you haven't read it already it is a must. If you have never read a fantasy book before, I couldn't think of a better one to start with.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vp Campbell on 4 Dec 2008
Format: Paperback
Where to go after Tolkien and Lord of the Rings? Here's not a bad place to start.

Epic fantast is overloaded with authors these days, each offering what could be called 'map' fiction. You know the type of book- big map in the front intended to show the epic scope and scale, and depth of the world you're about to enter.

Magician goes one better than most- it has two maps, and two fantasy worlds across which the story unfolds. A neat trick, and one handled quite well in this first book of the riftwar saga (although it stands well enough on its own).

In this, the revised edition, you get 600-odd pages of story with nearly ten years of events (compared to LotR's 1500 pages covering about a year). Loads of things happen, and mostly at a break-neck pace- no bad thing, and for those wanting a bit more action with elves and dwarves and dragons than you get in Tolkien, you get plenty of that.

This is very much an American book though. The characters we begin with are humble enough, but instead of Frodo-like epic heroism resulting in permanent scarring and having to leave the world they've saved, here Pug and Thomas go from young boys to well powerful beings rather rapidly. Nothing wrong with that per se, and here it's very good. In later books , it's a problem for Feist in where he can take the characters (just like in Dungeons and Dragons games from childhoos- if you cheat on your stats nad make yourself super powerful, it's hard to generate any real dramatic tension to what happens). So it's the American dream in fantasy form- anyone can end up the world's most powerful magician (against the melancholic realism of duty in LotR).
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By AnetteF on 28 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
'Magician' (it made the BBC best reads top 100) is the first book in a long series of books centred around inhabitants of the world of Midkemia who have just found out that there is another world out there. The Tsurani Empire from Kelewan, with its huge armies, has invaded Midkemia and its collection of independent kingdoms via a rift in the fabric of the worlds. At the same time as facing this unknown enemy, the Kingdom of Rillanon is weakened by the threat of civil war as the current King is showing more and more signs of madness.

The story begins with Pug and Thomas, two boys who live at the castle of Crydee, in a far-flung corner of the Kingdom of Rillanon. As they start their respective apprenticeships, both boys dream of the future, adventure and girls. When a mysterious ship breaks up on the rocks of the harbour, they don't realise that it marks the beginning of the rest of their lives. Both boys will be changed almost beyond recognition by the events to follow. How they are changed and the role they have to play in the war between the two worlds are at the heart of this book.

The medieval settings and customs of Midkemia and its more regular fantasy inhabitants of humans, elves, dwarves and goblins contrast well with the culture and people of Kelewan. Many strange folks and beasts share it with the Tsurani whose strict code of honour and adherence to customs and traditions show a marked Japanese influence.

'Magician' can be read on its own even though it is part of one of the greatest tales in Fantasy. Whilst the reader is supplied with many bits of information which indicate the vastness of the world building and the potential for further developments the story itself is very much completed.
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