Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC s Big Read Poll of 2003.I was looking forward to getting back in to fantasy Lately, it s mostly been literature classics, contemporary, genreless fiction nothing particularly fantastical This excitement was high, fantasy is my bread and butter It is not the magic, or the made up nature, nor indeed the plots It is just everything about fantasy that makes me enjoy it Usually, no matter what Of course, going in to Magician I was filled with a deep sense of anticipation But I was quickly disappointed The first 150 pages or so are pure Lord of the Rings and I could not get past that Beyond, the storyline expanded and went beyond the standard trope of fantasy that was and sometimes still is prevalant in high fantasy, but to no avail I felt nothing for any character They all seemed to have one or two traits, and nothingTheir voices were similar, their ideals and morals seemed interchangeable They were just characters, not people I cared for none of them Not relevant, and possibly petulant, but I hated the name Pug, and his other name, and couldn t seem to get past his stupid names Futher, I do not think anything particular about the plot Sometimes standard fantasy, sometimes beyond the norm, often with clich s and often unique and imaginative, but never enough to keep me interested It just seemed as if things were just happening, as opposed to the characters actually influencing or making the plot happen It just sort of stumbled along And lastly, because I dislike taking anytime than its necessary in talking about a book I have not enjoyed, the writing was vague and mediocre But standard fantasy, I think Perhaps when it was first published, at some point in the 80s, it was nice and new and fun back then But now, it just seems flat and dull.Blog Reviews Instagram Twitter I love this book Alhamdulillah It is a very different kind of fantasy book not like Harry Potter or other fantasy books.I think anyone who likes fantasy books should read this book Also I would recommend these who haven t read fantasy before to read Magician by Raymond E Feist. Peace and prosperity flourish in the strong Kingdom of the Isles on the world of Midkemia Upon the death of King Rodric the Third, his son Rodric the Fourth was elected king by the Congress of Lords after Prince Erland of Krondor and Duke Borric of Crydee, both prominent and powerful noblemen of the royal line, pulled out of the succession in favour of their nephew, thus solidifying his claim on the throne But the young king is set upon a dark path towards the depths of madness, and the stability of the kingdom is threatened both by his own reckless impulses and the machinations of the scheming eastern nobles attempting to control him.In the city of Crydee in the far west, two young boys are approaching the age of apprenticeship in a certain trade Tomas is training to one day become a warrior in the Duke s household guard, while his childhood friend Pug has a destiny greater still But both of their lives are drastically changed when a strange and alien looking ship wrecks on the shores of Crydee, carrying mysterious warriors from another world All passengers are dead before they can be interrogated, and none of the Duke s many advisors are able to identify the vessel s origins.Pug and Tomas are chosen to travel alongside Duke Borric and his son Arutha to the far east of the Kingdom, to warn the king and the nobles of the east of the imminent danger to the kingdom Their great journey takes them through abandoned dwarven mines, the isle of a black sorcerer and the grand city of Krondor, before they finally reach the capital of Rillanon and the court of the king And even then, the story has just begun For when they return to the west after speaking with the King, a rift between worlds has been torn open, and an invasion has begun The story of Magician is mostly split into three different points of view The tale of Lyam and Arutha is the tale of the princes The tale of the two sons of a powerful but relatively minor duke who rise up to become two of the most important military and political leaders of a kingdom in grave peril Lyam is the elder brother, a kindly and lighthearted man, and honourable to a fault Arutha, in contrast to Lyam, is the pragmatic, silent and calculating kind of a man who rarely shows his face with a smile, but whose actions are still based on good intentions for the future of the realm.Tomas tale is the tale of the warrior The tale of a young castle boy who finds a dark and mysterious artifact in the depths of the dwarven mines, an artifact of an evil long forgotten His life is spent training as a warrior among the dwarves and the elves, eventually becoming something of a legend in the lands of the elder races, for good or ill.And finally, there is Pug s tale The tale of the magician Pug has spent his childhood dreaming of becoming a warrior like his friend Tomas, but lacks the physical strength and the skill at arms When the young boys of Crydee line up for the ceremony in which they will be chosen for the different apprenticeships, Pug experiences the worst nightmare that has befallen him so far he is the only one not chosen by any master But as he stands alone and in shame in the middle of the great courtyard, a voice suddenly speaks his name The voice of Kulgan, the Duke s court magician And thus Pug s career in magic begins A career that will eventually take him through the rift and into the world of the strange invaders.Besides the protagonists, there are lots of interesting characters in this book One such is King Rodric, a young man of grand vision whose madness threatens to destroy all Another is Princess Carline, sister to Lyam and Arutha, whose courage and determination are almost as great as her beauty Then there is Guy du Bas Tyra, the greatest general in the kingdom, but a sworn enemy of Crydee and Krondor And last but not least there is Macros the Black, the ancient and enigmatic magician who inhabits the fabled Sorcerer s Isle.The most impressive part about Magician, is the pure scope of it It is far from the longest book I have read in number of pages, but it is the magnitude of the story that is particularly impressive The book spansthan a decade in the history of Midkemia It tells of bloody wars, journeys to far lands and shady conspiracies It tells of different cities and lands and continents and even worlds There are tons of characters with completely different personalities and motivations, and the story, while mostly predictable, is filled with twists and turns and revelations.Another remarkable thing about this book is that there is no evil At least not in the normal sense of the word There are ambitious and cruel characters, but there is no dark lord nor any demons to be found here To be honest, there is actually not even a proper antagonist Only a story of different people acting differently for different reasons.Feist s writing is pretty great I would not go so far as to call it remarkable, and this is not the kind of book I will frequently quote in the future, but the overall writing is exactly as good as it needs to be to serve the purpose of the book which is to be an entertaining and fascinating fantasy novel.It also needs to be said that there are strong similarities with Tolkien Occasionally even stronger than the same similarities found in books like The Sword of Shannara The overall plot is quite unique, but certain scenes appear to be taken straight out of The Lord of the Rings This did not bother me in any way when reading the book, but I know that a lot of people are bothered by such a thing.I truly enjoyed reading this book Had I based my rating solely on the objective quality of books, I would say that this one deserves five stars My ratings are normallyor less purely subjective, however, and there were a couple of aspects about the book I did not enjoy as much as the others The main characters, with the exception of Arutha, were rather dull and uninteresting the switches between different point of view was done rather clumsily at times though that can be excused as this was the author s first major fantasy novel , and there were also aspects of the story itself I did not really care much for Still, I would say that this book deserves a place among the greatest of the works of fantasy, and I really look forward to continuing with the series. Completed a re read of this marvelous book It was a joy to be reacquainted with all the original characters Pug, Tomas, Arutha, Amos, Jimmy the Hand, the family of the Shinzaiwai, Macros and the sacrifices he has to make.The book is rich with themes Love, loyalty, duty, courage, all figure strongly in this amazing tale.I ve recently begun reading the Book of the Fallen by Stephen Erikson SK , and this book is very similar in themes Although stylistically different, there is little of the back and forth banter that you can get with SK, the multi level conflicts between characters of matching powers is common to both Both writers have enormous and richly detailed worlds which are awesome to behold and seemless in execution I rank these two writers at the top of what I ve read, and I look forward to readingbooks from each author in the near future.From my original reviewI had the good fortune to discover and read this book in the early 80s when it first came out and I was hooked If anyone asked me who my favourite author was for the next 30 years I could be relied upon to state Raymond E Feist Whenever I saw a hard cover come out I would buy it no questions asked.The adventures of Pug and Tomas and the many assorted characters of this world have been a true fascination for me and I am pleased to say that every second I spent reading these books was time well spent and I would be willing to bet that my view will be the same on my death bed.Long live heroic, epic fantasy the truest form of story I have ever come across When Feist passes on, Tolkien will welcome him into the next world as an equal and the two of them will swap stories over a fine brew and a pipe of the finest of the Shire. I really enjoyed this book I was captivated and interested from the start which is really important for me I don t like books that are slow to start and often put them aside after a few chapters if it hasn t grabbed my attention by then I didn t notice Feist spend any time at the beginning on world building, but rather it felt like he let the world of Midkemia spring up around a diverse and interesting cast of characters I loved all of the main characters and felt them grow and change as time passed, even when months or years passes between two pages I m not a big fan of cliff hangers so I thought the end of Magician was really well executed I started the next in the series Silverthorn the same night because I wanted to know what would happen next, not because I needed to In short, there s a good reason why so many people list Raymond E Feist as one of the best fantasy writers. A young orphan boy Pug is taken as an apprentice to a master magician He shows a lot of promise, but completely fails to do any magic while at the same time his friend Tomas takes military training withsuccess While this still goes on the peaceful life of the kingdom is shattered when a mysterious alien invaders came out from nowhere The boys are swept by all the drastic events and are destined change their whole world.This book could and should be used as a checklist for fantasy cliches it has them all Sturdy miner dwarves Check The almighty dragons Check Mysterious and somewhat arrogant elves Check A mysterious invader force bringing peaceful life to the brink of complete annihilation Check A mysterious race of powerful warrior sorcerers which vanished with no explanation a long time ago, but left some artifacts behind Check An evenmysterious sorry, I seem to overuse the word magician with practically God like powers who will not reveal his intentions to mere mortals because they will not comprehend them Check A young boy better yet orphan whose destiny is to become the mover and shaker of the world with kings bowing to him Double check both Pug and Tomas fit the bill.I can go on and on, but I think I made my point Having said all this I really need to point out that this is not a bad book by any means The story is good and so are some of the characters Jimmy the Hand often ends up in different lists of the best fantasy thieves I never felt bored while reading it, but the feeling of being there, done that as well as the fact that there was nothing really outstanding about it really prevents me from giving this novelthan 3 stars.This review is a copy paste of my BookLikes one .Book ☫ Magician ♶ Raymond E Feist S Classic Fantasy Epic, Magician, Has Enchanted Readers For Over Twenty Years The Revised Edition Was Prepared To Celebrate The Tenth Anniversary Of Its Publication, And Incorporates Over , Words Of Text Omitted From Previous EditionsAt Crydee, A Frontier Outpost In The Tranquil Kingdom Of The Isles, An Orphan Boy, Pug, Is Apprenticed To A Master Magician And The Destinies Of Two Worlds Are Changed ForeverSuddenly The Peace Of The Kingdom Is Destroyed As Mysterious Alien Invaders Swarm The Land Pug Is Swept Up Into The Conflict But For Him And His Warrior Friend, Tomas, An Odyssey Into The Unknown Has Only Just BegunTomas Will Inherit A Legacy Of Savage Power From An Ancient Civilization Pug S Destiny Is To Lead Him Through A Rift In The Fabric Of Space And Time To The Mastery Of The Unimaginable Powers Of A Strange New Magic Reviews Epic Scope Fast Moving Action Vivid Imagination WASHINGTON POST Tons Of Intrigue And Action PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Magician and The Riftwar Saga are among the greatest works of fantasy science fiction ever.Yes, I believe Raymond E Feist is just as good as Tolkien It is filled with great new ideas, and while he has in his books some of the older concepts from Tolkien and Lewis eg Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, Elvandar and Mc Mordain Cadel, which bear similarities to places and peoples in the older works, he has reworked them with great creativity into something new and exciting in the some way that Shakespeare s works took concepts from older balladeers and authors.There are new concepts such as the Valheru the Dragon Lords , the Tsurani , the Rift , the Empire of Great Kesh and new types of magic What emerges is a great and engaging epic that matches up every bit to Lord of the Rings.Feist s advanced understandings on magic, warcraft, the nature of world and it s peoples, and its internal politics is astounding It is jam packed with energy and is somewhat faster moving than Tolkien.I also like Feist s gentler concept of dragons, farthan Tolkien s the pet firedrake Fantus is just great I love reading about all the Princes, Dukes, Earls, Squires, Knight Marshals etc in the Kingdom, as I similarly enjoy the stranger politics of Tsuranuanni which is based of Japan Korea as the Kingdom is on Europe North America With it s system of honor and Great Families, the Emperor, the Warlord, the Great Ones, and the different shifting alliances and parties such as the Blue Wheel Party , the War Party , the Party for Progress etc.I also think the characters are nicely developed I finished the book wantingof Thomas, Pug, Carline one of my favourites , Arutha, Anita, Amos Trask, Gardan etc, which are available in the subsequent Midkemia Kelewan books Feist explores albeit in a tasteful way love and sensualitythan does Tolkien.And Feist s worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan are also well developed, you ll really find yourself lost in these intricate lands.Certainly Magician and it s sequels are immense in scope in creating a vast world of magic,war,adventure,love,hate and political intrigue Good story, but filled with fantasy cliches Feist wrote this back in the early 80 s so he should know better Tolkien, Norton, Moorcock and others tread this ground before.Admittedly though, it is a hell of a pageturner even though the characters are badly drawn and the narrative is wacky as it speeds through years of development in a single paragraph The love and romance is painful to read, skip over them.Considering that Feist stumbled upon a unique and admirable new fantasy conceit in these novels, I am amazed that he couldn t truly extract better characterization and narrative from the two worlds of the Tsurani and Midkemia A shame, really I do wish I read this series a few years ago, I would appreciate them muchand rate them higher. An absolute joy to read It may seem too generic, orphan boy makes good, but written in 1982, this was ahead of its time Brilliant story of magic, treachery to steal the thrones, dwarves, elves, dragons, portals to a strange warlike people similar to feudal Japan, battles, love and heartbreaking loss..the list could go on Sweeping nine year story that is just a brilliant tale and totally captivating Could not have enjoyed this .