REVIEW | Magician


Raymond E. Fiest
Riftwar Saga #1-2
Goodreads | Book Depository [Affiliate Link]
Rating: 4/5

Magician is huge. Yes, it is two books squished together – Apprentice and Master – but as daunting as that may sound, they definitely wouldn’t be as satisfying if isolated. The end of Magician: Apprentice was obviously only a segue into Master, I probably couldn’t tell you where Apprentice ended and Master started if it hadn’t been split in the book.

I’ll be real for a second here – I’m a huge sucker for thick, juicy fantasy novels. I love it when the little guy who gets beat up all the time starts training, then emerges after years all strong and sexy like Hercules (low key one of the best Disney movies ever) and then proceeds to save the world. If you’re a big ‘ol dork who agrees with me here – Magician is your next read.

In the westernmost province of the Kingdom of the Isles, upon the world of Midkemia, an orphan kitchen boy named Pug was made apprentice to the magician Kulgan. Here starts an adventure that will span lifetimes and worlds.

You’d be surprised at how hard it was to find a blurb online that didn’t give away half the damn book!

I picked this up based off a glowing recommendation by a workmate who I know has a similar taste. For the first time ever, I actually had a number of random people approach me and tell me that this was either one of their favourite books of all time, or one that they loved so much in their youth that they’ve read it over and over! I can definitely see where they’re coming from – Magician is a fantastic book.

Despite being an epic fantasy on a huge scale, it’s hard to not fall so deeply in love with the characters. And while this doesn’t sound too great a feat, there are a LOT of characters. Think like Game of Thrones, but significantly less confusing, dramatic and incest-y. Our main character Pug has a fantastic storyline, however despite being named the main character, half the book is about other people who have just as much (if not more) impact on story progression (side note: Arutha is the love of my life).

The story itself is true to epic fantasy tropes, and I did have a lot of problems with it. A lot of the primary plot drivers felt unnecessary, a lot of the fighting seemed pointless. Going against the grain a little, I actually found that the first two thirds of the book were the more interesting parts, where usually the last third is where the mind blowing plot twist comes in. Until the major political parts later in the book, I found the it to be purely enjoyable thanks to the character development – even though plot was a little slower.

If you were ever a nerdy kid like me and imagined you had magic powers and fought epic beasts and rode dragons – Magician will do it for you. I may read the next in the series to follow my beloved Arutha, but I’ve heard the books later in the Riftwar series are so much better.

Anyone have any other fantasy classics I should pick up? I bought Name of the Wind – but unfortunately it has to compete for my attention against my huge Brandon Sanderson TBR 😛

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