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Magician: 1 (Riftwar Saga) Paperback – 1 Sep 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 606 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586217835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586217832
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (606 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,236 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


'Epic scope… fast moving action…vivid imagination'

'tons of intrigue and action'

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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
I first read this book many years ago when I was first introduced to the fantasy genre. I was hooked immediately and immediately devoured the rest of the series. Lately, I've been going back to some of my old favourites. Some have stood the test of time, others haven't. Magician is one of those that is just as intriguing now as it was then. I love Pug and Kulgan, and I love the way Feist has mixed and twisted traditional fantasy. I was less interested in Tomas's story and, then as now, I tended to skim those sections. However, the story is strong and I was keen to get to the end, having long since forgotten the many intricate details.
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