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Magician Hardcover – Special Edition, 2 Sep 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 602 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Special Edition, 2 Sep 2002
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager; de luxe edition edition (2 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007134118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007134113
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (602 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,188,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Review

‘Totally gripping’ WASHINGTON POST

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

‘Tons of intrigue and action’ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
Ok, I'm cheating here slightly but I think this is the best place to mention something useful for anyone like me who, after reading Magician, are tempted to continue reading Mr Feist's works until what I really hope is the last trilogy he'll ever write around the Riftwar. Just to clarify, I have read all the books essential to reading the entire story (which is contained in 20 books), plus the 3 Empire books which are optional.

Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Magician is Raymond E Feist's finest work, and almost nothing he has written since has come anywhere near as close. I imagine this is due to the fact that he developed the ideas and plot for it over several years, whereas for all the subsequent novels he has written, he has probably spent an average of 1-3 years in writing them. It is a beautifully written book with rich characters and an amazingly intriguing and captivating storyline. Its sequels, Silverthorn and Darkness at Sethanon, are lesser books, but still not bad and are definitely worth a read if you enjoyed Magician.

Taking a slight tangent with the Empire Trilogy, here is a story set in the world of Kelewan on the other side of the rift, and that too is actually worth reading.

Next up we have two stories which are fairly decent and which are sold combined as Krondor's Sons. These are books are also not bad, the first being a standalone story, the second being a sort of sequel but one which leads up to the next trilogy set in Midkemia. This is know as the Serpentwar Saga, and I'll be brutally honest about it: the first three books are about as far as I would go or recommend anyone to read. Again, they are quite interesting, quite well told in some respects, and it ends quite nicely.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pug is a young orphan who has been taken under the protection of the local Duke and has found a place for himself at the castle. On the day of Choosing, he is taken as an apprentice by the Duke's magician, Kulgan, and sets about learning the ways of magic. Shortly thereafter, an unfamiliar ship is wrecked on the shore, and pretty soon the Kingdom is being besieged by invaders from another world.

The first time I read Magician was back in the early nineties, and at the time I wasn't all that impressed. The basic premise was, at the time, overly familiar and the novel was full of what I saw to be common themes and tropes. I'd seen it all before in other books of the time and as far as I was concerned this book was just another middle-of-the road fantasy tale about an orphan boy who turns out to be the best magician in the world. *Yawn*

I decided to give this book another chance after so long because I learned that many of my original opinions were somewhat invalid. It may have been chock full of familiar themes and tropes but that was because so many other authors of the time drew their inspiration from Magician, originally published in 1982.

Once you realise this what you get is a pretty engrossing tale of a group of childhood friends and acquaintances thrust into a war they know little about against an enemy that is totally alien to their way of thinking. Feist really does capture the idea of two worlds colliding in this novel, as well as doing a remarkably good job of expressing the central characters' thoughts and feelings along the way.
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