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Magician [Hardcover]

Raymond E. Feist
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (406 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, Oct 1982 --  
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Book Description

Oct 1982

In the westernmost province of the Kingdom of the Isles, upon the world of Midkemia, an orphan kitchen boy named Pug was made apprentice to the magician Kulgan.

Here starts an adventure that will span lifetimes and worlds. Discover where the story begins.

The world had changed even before I discovered the foreign ship wrecked on the shore below Crydee Castle, but it was the harbinger of the chaos and death that was coming to our door.

War had come to the Kingdom of the Isles, and in the years that followed it would scatter my friends across the world. I longed to train as a warrior and fight alongside our duke like my foster-brother, but when the time came, I was not offered that choice. My fate would be shaped by other forces.

My name is Pug. I was once an orphaned kitchen boy, with no family and no prospects, but I am destined to become a master magician…

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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 (406 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,312,881 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 the Paperback edition.


'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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It captures your imagination 11 Jun 1999
By A Customer
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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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The benchmark for fantasy 6 Oct 2005
By Fantasy Lore TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fantasy stories tend to rely on stock characters, as well as some pretty standard clichés. Characters such as the nave 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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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant book 19 Nov 2010
This is a brilliant book as are most of the books that came after that are part of the series. I got this book many years ago when it first came out and now as a 35 yr old, i still think its one of the best I ever read. I had just finished Lord of the Rings and was delighted to get stuck into this one. I am a bookworm so I'd like to think I know a good book when I read it and I loved this, it was a page turner and I couldn't wait to get stuck into the other books in the series, highly highly recommended, would have made a great film (although it might have been a crap film, probably hard to get the whole story in). Loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classical Fantasy entertainment 19 Jun 2013
By Matt
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. And as it was written in the 70's I think it is unfair to compare it to books that have come since that use similar plots and twists.
However there is little that is revolutionary in this book. I enjoyed the plot immensely, and as always some characters were more interesting than others, but I did feel that we never really got inside any of them, or understood how they felt the way they did. Too many seem to accept massive changes with little complaint or introspection . And the device of leaping forward chunks of time in one sentence stunted their development for me.
Overall I definitely lately recommend a read if you are a fan high fantasy. But it does not top my list as an entry point for new readers to the genre in the same way as Lord f the rings or the dragonlance books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun and easy read 26 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Check your brain at the door and just enjoy the ride. A bit over dramatic at times but still worth the read if you like the genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing 22 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A real page turner and thoroughly absorbing. This is the revised edition and to be honest it isn't noticeably better or worse than the original. Still one of the most engaging novels of its type.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Throughly enthralling fantasy epic 8 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a person who has long wished enjoy fantasy genre books, I was so happy to be immersed into the Magician. The moment I finished the book I purchased the sequel. The adventures of Pug and friends are something I know will give me hours of entertainment and I believe these books do exactly what they were made to do, take the reader into a new world of danger, excitement and magical experiences. Magician (Riftwar Saga)
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun with elves and dwarves 4 Dec 2008
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Magician
This is the one book I cannot find fault with and I have read. it a number of times. And no doubt I shall read it again and again. A most fantastic book. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Lisa Gane
4.0 out of 5 stars A really great story idea.
I haven't finished reading this yet, but the idea behind the story is great. I only gave it four stars because some of the paragraphs on who, where and why it all hapens are a bit... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Barry Flavell
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite fantasy book ever.
I read Magician when I was about 15, now I'm 41 I'm reading it again, and this edition is every bit as good as I remember, but with some aded 'directors cut' extra content. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Raphowl
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Absolutely amazing book. Couldn't put it down and I can't wait to get the rest and read them as well
Published 11 days ago by Louise c
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a ripping yarn for all ages to enjoy
As always, Mr Feist lives up to his legend.

I have read all his books right from the beginning when Magician was first published. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend it to anyone
Great book would recommend it to anyone that have read Eragon or any fantasy book really. It does have a bit of slow start, but i feel this helps you understand the characters so... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Rebecca Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Fantasy Book Ever.
A friend of mine had been nagging me to read Magician since we were about 16, and now Im 44 and have finaly got round to reading it. I am a stubborn soul. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Mr. L. James
5.0 out of 5 stars Majician
Not got round to reading this one yet as I am on Game of thrones still .. this was recommended !
Published 1 month ago by Bettyboop
5.0 out of 5 stars Raymond E. Feist Is Outstanding!
I was told to purchase this book after a conversation with my Aunties husband and I can say I'm so glad that I purchased this book! Read more
Published 1 month ago by James Rober Ahern
5.0 out of 5 stars Magician
I was told by someone that this book was brilliantly written and had great detail with humour and depth to the story. They were right. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dean Powell
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