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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's really good. The best Feist since the original trilogy.
Whew! That was a goodie.

After all the lazy, 180-page, phoned-in Riftwar novels we've had over the years, all the editorial mistakes, all the various, contradictory Big Bads we've had, "Magician's End" really pulls things together at the... well, at the *end*.

And it is an end. The final pages leave you in no doubt that although Midkemia may keep on...
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so much out with a bang.....
Oh, well. It's very hard to consider the merits of this book without also thinking about the epic series as a whole. Unfortunately, this means that a very harsh light is cast upon Magician's End.

As others have quite rightly stated the original Riftwar series was great, building up a to a satisfying climax and the defeat of a clearly defined enemy in the...
Published 25 days ago by john fortune


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's really good. The best Feist since the original trilogy., 11 May 2013
Whew! That was a goodie.

After all the lazy, 180-page, phoned-in Riftwar novels we've had over the years, all the editorial mistakes, all the various, contradictory Big Bads we've had, "Magician's End" really pulls things together at the... well, at the *end*.

And it is an end. The final pages leave you in no doubt that although Midkemia may keep on spinning on its axis, the characters that we've grown to love over the decades have completed their stories. I *so* hope that Feist doesn't decide to reboot the whole thing for a final cash-in, because this is as good a finale as any fan of "Magician", "Silverthorn" and "Sethanon" could have wished for.

It's a long book -- more than 600 pages. You get the universe-scale drama -- Pug trying to figure out how to stop everything in existence from not going up in a puff of smoke -- and the human-scale story, too -- the conDoin brothers and their part in the civil war of the Kingdom of the Isles. You can't help but admire Ray's enthusiasm for this stuff; how many more ways can there possibly be to describe sieges or massed battles?

"Magician's End" is the first Riftwar book in a very long time that makes me really think that Feist has actually gone back and read his first books ("Magician", in particular). You get a few cameos from characters you didn't think you'd see again and namechecks of, well, pretty much every major character that's ever appeared over the years, from Princess Carline to Roo Avery. And FANTUS! It's nice to have them remembered.

I remember looking at the paperback of "Magician" back in 1984, flicking through it and gradually deciding to buy it as I mentally reapportioned my available cash reserves away from tubes of Refeshers and bars of Caramac. I was a Fantasy virgin, you see; the genre had never interested me before then. I can still see the book on the shelf of the local newsagent, chunkily taking up twice as much space as everything around it. It became my favourite book and I was thrilled to get it autographed by the great man when he did a signing session at Forbidden Planet when "Magician's End" debuted on May 5. Truthfully, he looked a teeny bit grumpy, didn't make much eye contact with the people buying his book and didn't look at me or hear a word I said when I muttered "Well done -- you did it!" to him. But that's okay. This book and the way he was able to bring the series around makes everything all right again.

Not perfect -- some of the dialogue, especially when it comes out of the mouths of kids, sounds stilted and a bit weird -- but what the hell. It's flipping great. Probably his best book since "Magician". Five stars and two thumbs up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so much out with a bang....., 6 Aug 2014
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Oh, well. It's very hard to consider the merits of this book without also thinking about the epic series as a whole. Unfortunately, this means that a very harsh light is cast upon Magician's End.

As others have quite rightly stated the original Riftwar series was great, building up a to a satisfying climax and the defeat of a clearly defined enemy in the Valheru. It even set up continuing antagonists in the Pantathians. Krondors Sons (Princes of the Blood and the Kings Buccaneer) were also enjoyable. While many I now did not like the Serpentwar Saga, I quite enjoyed the new characters and a fresher perspective on the dealings around Midkemia. I was, and I think many will agree, completely ignore the Riftwar Legacy books as a complete waste of time, with Jimmy and the Crawler being the worst example of "posting it in" ever committed to print.

After this things began to go astray. With the Conclave of Shadows the series dive-bombed. The characters just became carbon copies of each other, just changed the names. The story became convoluted and as a reader very unsatisfying. There was a new enemy every book who was easily defeated but the turned out to be under the influence of an even more malicious entity, How handy. This is none more evident than in this final volume, pages and pages of expostition about the Ultimate, angels and demons and Bliss and the Dread and time and............whatever. I enjoy a challenging book as much as the next person. I enjoy working through the different constructs and rules of a fantasy world. This was laughable though, poorly thought-out and poorly described. While by the end I understood who or what the Big Bad was supposed to be, it was very hard to muster and feeling for it, and as for the dragon/angel analogue..........

But it wasn't just the worldbuilding and plot structure that let the series down by the end. Let us leave the gramatical errors that began to appear in the later books and concentrate on some of the more inexplicable errors, the many, many contradictions. One huge bug bear I had was the naming of Sorcerer's Isle, or was it Island, nope it's Isle on the next page, oh wait it's Island again. PICK ONE!!!!!!!!!!! Why did Erik Von Darkmoor say he was never married when he married Kat in the third book of the Serpentwar? Why (in Exile's Return I believe) does Kasper say he was an only child when his sister, Natalia, was pretty major character in the previous book? In fact (I admit I may be remembering the book the scenes were in wrongly) there was a section in the books where Kasper and Natalia met for dinner after he returned from Novindus. It is clear that the scheduled release dates of one book per year meant that Feist did not or was unable to hone the books before release, and also that his editors did a very poor job of ensuring consistancy across the whole series, all of which led to a very hollow feeling when finally concluding the series.

The newer characters built up over the preceeding two books were already thinly veiled clones of previous creating and had barely any development from there, established characters were thrown around to keep them in view but with no other reason to be there, a half hearted attempt to get us to care about the political turmoil in the Kingdom (again mirroring the end of Magician) but with non-established characters that the readers are not invested in. The plot was inconsistant with new races being introduced for, well, no reason whatsoever that could be established, a painful amount of exposition trying to explain cosmic concepts that Feist himself clearly had but a tenous grasp of onderstanding. Add to all this a conclusion that could be summed up as little more than "is that it?" rather that the clearly signposted "oooohhhhhh, Pug's back" ending that they wanted.

After finishing the book I felt saddened, not that such an epic series had come to an end, but that something that began which such bright promise could end with such a pathetic whimper.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, predictable, maudlin, entertaining, 27 Jun 2013
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A. David (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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You'll be sad when you read this book - sad because the saga has ended (we think, unless there are more Jimmy the Hand prequels), sad because you say goodbye to some much-loved characters, sad because Raymond Feist gives them - in most cases - a fitting finale and its worthy of emotion. You'll also be slightly sad that bits of it are needlessly reflective and maudlin, and an opportunity for Mr Feist to say goodbye to his favourite characters.

Still - I got through it in a few short hours and welled up a little. You definitely need to be a Feist / Midkemia fan, though. Tomas throws down some awesome moves in this book - after too long a break from the action!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fantasy, 26 Jun 2013
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Bought as a present, recipient has read many of the books written by this author and thought this was well up to previous standards.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magician's End, 8 May 2013
This is the final book of the series, in which the Kingdom of the Isles has been plunged into civil war by the death of King Gregory and the reluctance of the Congress of Lords to appoint his successor. Hal, Duke of Crydee, and his brothers Martin and Brendan, along with Jim Dasher Jamison and his grandfather Lord James are trying to prevent hostilities breaking out. At the same time Pug, Marcus, Nakor, as reincarnated by Belog, and Miranda, as reincarnated by Child, have been caught in a trap by the Adversary, and have been transported to a higher realm, and may not be able to return to save Midkemia.

Magicians End is a fitting finale to this epic fantasy series, which has spanned 30 years and 30 books consisting of series, collaborations and even a game tie-in series. The epilogue will be appreciated by those who have read and enjoyed the first book Magician. Magician's End is a very hard going book and feels much longer than it actually is; however, if you are a fan of the series DO NOT miss this book, as it ties up all the loose threads from throughout the rest of the series, whilst leaving the ability for a sequel series if Raymond E. Feist decides to.

My favourite characters are Pug and Thomas, as we have seen them grow and develop throughout the whole series, from youth's entering into apprenticeship, to the Greater Path magician Milamber and Ashen-Shugar, to the Duke of Stardock and consort of the Elven Queen, to what they are today.

I would only recommend Magician's End to those who have read and enjoyed the rest of the series, but would recommend this series to those who enjoyed King's Blades by Dave Duncan, and the Belgariad by David Eddings.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic end to an Awesome series, 10 May 2013
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Eleven years ago on a flight back from Florida I opened a book that I bought in a store on the way to the airport. By the time that 9 hour flight finished I had read that book in its entirety and I had discovered the beginning of a passion for all things fantasy. That book was called Magician.

Since that flight I have read every book written by Raymond E Feist that is set in the Midkemia universe and I have thoroughly enjoyed the ride. More than once I have reread the series and a couple of months ago I started again so that I would be ready for this final book.

I was both eager and nervous about this final outing for in his more recent novels I have seen the quality of Mr Feists work take a noticeable dip and nothing would pain more more than to say goodbye to Pug and Tomas in a way that was anything less than epic. I need not have worried.

This novel was a perfect example of the series as a whole. There was a great deal about it that was not special and at times a little dull. The civil war in the kingdom acted as distracting noise to me when going through this book and I sped through those pages trying to get to the meat of the story and the characters that I have come to love over the past decade of my life. I realised as I was reading this how apt this was as Raymond E Feist's series has always contained works that were less than special and bordering on mundane. But interspersed amongst those books were an equal number of moments that were so epic that they out shone the low points.

I found the same to be true with this book. The path that Pug and Tomas travelled was by far the more epic and grandiose path in this story. The tale that led to the end of this magnificent series was every bit as fitting as they deserved. Raymond E Feist has a wonderful take on existence and the philosophy behind life and he did a brilliant job in this book of summing up just how big a role these two men have played in this story.

At times when reading this book I remembered moments in Magician, the very first novel of this series, that seemed to have seamlessly lead to the final battle. Whether by accident or design it felt like fate and made the skin tingle as everything finally fell into place and the story reached an eventual conclusion.

I do not count what I consider to be the lesser story (the civil war and the battle for the crown of the kingdom) to be a major flaw in this book as without such lows the highs would not seem so great. Contrasted with that lesser story, the greater story shone all the brighter and it is by far the best ending I have ever read for a long running series (that includes both the Wheel of Time and Sword of Truth Series that were great in their own right).

The one flaw that will niggle at me with the book was the slight vagueness to the fate of Pug and the open ended epilogue of this novel. It left me with a question in mind which robbed the book of the finality it was so powerfully driving towards. But that is small flaw in an otherwise great novel.

So many times a great series is ruined by a poor ending, but not here. So if you are a fan of Feist's work you won't be disappointed. But if you haven't ever read any of his novels then I urge you to pick up Magician today. It will be a long ride until this final instalment but when you close the back cover on Magician's End, you won't be disappointed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overly long, undercooked and, sadly, time to go, 25 July 2013
I have really loved this series, like many others I bought Magician and was hooked. Unfortunately, things lost their way and never quite got back on track. Magician's End is admittedly a no-win scenario; the end is either too final or too vague depending on your take, I get that, it's just that, for me, the journey was not what I expected. The Jimmy the Hand Mark4 routine, hokey old friend reunions, 'surprise' coronation, and way too much pseudo-scientific mathematical nonsense didn't work for me. I found myself skipping huge swathes of sections, which incidentally, often repeated themselves, and left me thinking why am I running through this book - not in a 3am must finish way but in a I've got to get over the finish line.

I think it's very hard to maintain the balance between old stagers/ traditions and new characters. The Magician was a fantastic work, and the extended edition is double the length of some of the later books. A lot of later characters were recuts of previous incarnations and, well, just not as good. I think it's time for the spin off as I don't think there's much in the tank.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feist's End, 8 July 2013
By 
Mr. Bennett J. Dunn "Flaze" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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I'm going to structure my review as follows: good points; bad points, and my summary.

Good points:

1. The punctuation, spelling and grammar were much improved.
2. The story had more pace to it than other books in the series.
3. Tomas finally does something, although it's not QUITE as exciting as in previous books.
4. Feist tied up quite a few questions, albeit in a rather extenuated process which occasionally left me as baffled as Miranda as to the point of the 'lessons'.
5. There is a grand and fitting finale with all sorts of powerful entities in motion and quite a cute sub-ending to top it all off.

Bad Points.

1. The military scenes felt pointless throughout, without you ever really caring about what happens and I found myself impatiently scanning them over to get to the 'good parts'.
2. Feist insists on a complex battle schematic which had me repeatedly checking the map to see who was attacking from where, and why/how it was important. Ultimately it was confusing and didn't push the story along.
3. The taredhel didn't get to do that much, which was rather disappointing as I would have liked to see them more 'in action', as it were.
4. There were still some unanswered questions, e.g. what happened to the angel warrior in the last book? You could speculate on it from the information Feist provides, but it seems there wasn't really any need for her to appear, nor were there any negative consequences as a result of her death.
5. Some of the scenes feel a bit contrived retrospectively, and were just there to 'say goodbye to Midkemia'. I mean this is understandable considering it's the last ever book, so it's just a small complaint.

Summary.

Feist has been writing longer than I've been alive, and I've eagerly lapped up his offerings as a cat laps up milk. He's written some fantastic stories over time, and arguably redefined fantasy after Tolkien. This particular instalment was mixed: the 'good bits' had me ripping through pages like a hurricane, but on the other hand, as I've said, the semi-relevant bits were more of a chore, and didn't really connect up to the grand picture. It felt at times like two separate stories. I felt that the book had been more carefully edited and put together than some previous volumes though, and there was a quaint moment where Nakor apologises for mentioning the name of a dead person in front of elves, stating 'I forgot', which rather seemed like the author's explanation for his own previous misdemeanour.

It was nice to see all characters of note appear in this final volume, as well as many who don't really matter. Unfortunately, when you have magicians who live for aeons longer than non-magical mortals, the turn-around of humans will be a problem, and it's difficult to emotionally connect with all the new mortal characters that Feist has perforce pop up all over the place, especially when they are so similar to characters we've seen before.

I've decided to rate the book 4 stars after some consideration because I did like the book, and Feist made an admirable effort to tie up narrative threads, even if with different degrees of success. All my favourites were there and present, and the last 'confrontation' was as good as you could hope for. My real complaint, and the reason I wavered over my rating, was the side story of the civil war between the humans, which had no bearing at all on what the magicians were doing (saving the world), and appeared to my eyes to be an excuse to include a traditional battle using some non magical people. If those battles had been cut out, or at least connected in some way with the fate of the world, the book would have been better.

Ultimately, if you are a Feist fanatic, there is no way you cannot read this book, and if you are a fan, no review will convince you otherwise - we can only prepare you for what you'll see. In any case it is with some sadness that I finished Magician's End, but Feist had to finish somewhere, and this time the author of many worlds has bowed out with aplomb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magician' s End, 26 Jun 2013
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I have read the full series of books and it has been an incredible tale from start to finish. And very enjoyable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad., 24 Jun 2013
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Sam (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
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Having read all his books since they first came out I have found last few have not been up to standard. I only bought this book because having read so many I wanted to complete the set. It is not bad and it finishes off the story however it is nowhere near the quality of his earlier books.
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Magician's End (The Chaoswar Saga, Book 3)
Magician's End (The Chaoswar Saga, Book 3) by Raymond E. Feist (Paperback - 29 Aug 2013)
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