Magician – Raymond E Feist

Release date: 1 October 1982
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★ – 9/10
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Magician (The Riftwar Saga #1-2) blurb:

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 the 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…

I first read Magician when I was about 14.  I had read it not long after I had finished reading the Belgariad and the Elenium by David and Leigh Eddings, so I was starting into my love of epic fantasy sagas.  I was recommended Magician by a boy I had a crush on, so of course I picked it up straight away.  I don’t  know why, but even though I loved it, I never picked up another Raymond E Feist novel after that, so I’ve not read the remainder of the Riftwar Saga to this day.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to make the transition from YA fantasy to fantasy fiction.  The story is a smooth read, with lots of action to keep the reader entertained.  I remember being surprised that the story was spread over a nine year period, as I wasn’t expecting it.  I think that Feist does this well, as it continues the story in a realistic way, covering the main highlights over the course of the story without boring the reader with unnecessary or unimportant detail.

The characters are strong and diverse, each with their own set of flaws and strengths.  Pug is the main character, although the story also follows the journeys of Tomas, Arutha, Carline, Martin, Lyam, Borric, Kulgan, Dolgan, Aglaranna, Macros, Laurie, Kasumi and Amos during this time.  My favourites are Arutha and Pug, with Carline and Anita not far behind.

There is travel, intrigue, politics, war, magic, love, tragedy, a touch of religion and a splash of science fiction.  The right combination for all epic fantasy sagas (in my opinion).

Despite this being books 1-2 of the Riftwar Saga, this can be read as a stand alone novel.  However, my recent re-read of this book has made me reconsider whether I should continue reading the remainder of this series.

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