Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist

Magician: Apprentice

by: Raymond E. Feist

Synopsis:To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan called Pug came to study with the Master Magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at Court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of¬†wizardry. Yet Pug’s strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. For dark beings from another world had opened a rift in the fabric of space-time to begin again the age old battle between the forces of Order and Chaos.

Format: Magician: Apprentice is a fantasy novel with hints of science fiction. It is the first part of the Rift War Saga, and the story is continued in Magician: Master. It is 323 pages long, and contains all elements of a fantasy novel, from elves to dragons, with compelling characters. Magician: Apprentice was published in January, 1986, in the United States.

My Thoughts: As the first book in a series, Magician: Apprentice has a lot of introductions to make. Between introducing a new style of magic, to giving a unique viewpoint on the history of Elves and Dwarves, this novel spends a lot of time explaining things to the reader. Do not get me wrong, that is exactly what is needed! It helps to remember that Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master were to be printed as one novel, thus explaining the lengths the author takes to explain the details in this first part. In Magician: Apprentice we are introduced to an unlikely hero in the boy named Pug. Very intelligent, but very aware of his place in the world, Pug seems very real, as if he could be a little brother. This leads to the reader constantly cheering for him despite all odds, and creates a great attachment into this creative world.

Midkemia welcomes the readers almost instantly, with dark forests and treacherous seas. Although a map is posted in the front of my edition, it is almost not needed. The author goes in depth into where the characters are going, and why, and is a true master of imagery. These elements combine to make you feel as familiar with Midkemia as you do with your own backyard. This familiarity allows connections with the characters to develop much more intensely, as you feel you are journeying right beside them. This fact, combined with the authors imagery and descriptions, bring the world and characters to life, and allow you to feel as if you have lived with them your entire life.

As for the plot, this story is full of intrigue. The characters are only explained as much as is needed to form your own opinions about their motives and enemies, with enough left to the imagination for them to seem real. This characterization allows for the surprises experienced in the twists of the plot to leave even an experienced reader in awe. The characters remain very Lord of the Rings-esque, with some of the characters very strong, and others developing hidden strengths. The history of Midkemia, provided in bits and pieces, allows a tantalizing backdrop to the current issues in the characters’ lives.

Overall, I grant this book the highest honours. I warn all readers out there, if you start this book you will have to read the entire series. From different races to interstellar war, this book successfully combines classic fantasy elements with a creative semi-science fiction twist. This book will have you rooting for the characters the whole way through, with any losses felt keenly. I encourage any new readers to the fantasy genre to pick up this book, sit back, and enjoy! Experienced fantasy readers will find something to enjoy, even on the second time through! (I admit to having done this!!)

Any suggestions, opinions or comments are welcomed and appreciated!