Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist

magiciancoverTitle: Magician: Apprentice
Series: The Riftwar Saga #1
Author(s): Raymond E. Feist
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Original Release Date: October 1st 1982
Pages: 485
Genre(s): Fantasy
ISBN13: 9780553564945


Raymond E. Feist is known for creating the Riftwar Cycle and with Magician: Apprentice, he sets the foundation to one of the most popular universes ever created in fantasy. It is hard to go around today not knowing what he has accomplished by writing up the story of a boy who became a magician. Having finally the opportunity to read this classic, I have to say: I am a fan.

In Magician: Apprentice, the orphan Pug is taken under the wings of the one and only master magician Kulgan during the ceremony of the Choosing. As he learns the ropes to becoming a magician, he soon begins to question his ability to cast spells in the ways he was thought throughout his apprenticeship. However, an incident unlocks his hidden potential and reveals that Pug’s methods are far different than anything Kulgan has ever heard of. With this newfound hope, Pug slowly seeks to understand the mechanics of wizardry. However, his fate coincides with the beginning of the Riftwar when strange portals open up and an age-old battle between the forces of Order and Chaos commence.

I came into this book with high expectations. I saw it as one of those classics that helped shape the genre and set the example to follow in regards to stories set in the same universe. I will say that upon finishing the first book in The Riftwar Saga, I do not think it is a series that is made for everyone. It is a special gem in fantasy that revels in its simplicity while delivering complexity. Everything it presents is authentic and succeeds in capturing the essence of a perfect fantasy story.

I was personally hooked from the moment I cracked open this book and that’s because of Raymond E. Feist’s writing style. It transported me to my childhood and that’s not even a joke. I felt like a kid being told one of those epic stories with magicians, kings, princesses, elves, dwarfs and dragons. The author marvelously unravels his story with a style that made it all feel like a prophecy, a tale you would tell in all its glory. The narration was so well-done that it had a flow that mesmerized me.

The story is also dialogue-heavy with a lot of back and forth between various characters, but everything was done impeccably. Through these interactions, we do not only get brilliant character development, but also a lot of world development. With Pug sizzling with questions and always in company with characters with knowledge, readers get a vivid, clean and colourful description of the universe that Raymond E. Feist develops. It doesn’t have a flowery prose, and succeeds in telling the story with pure clarity.

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The pacing might not suit everyone, but somehow I was incredibly immersed in the narrative that there really never was a moment that pinged me as boring or irrelevant. In all honesty, even the scenes that focus on every day problems simply added more realism to the universe that was being built. It made me connect to Pug with much more ease and it contributed to the whole nostalgic feeling. While reading, I had the whole book play as an animated movie—a very long movie—with each chapter being cleverly constructed.

The action is also limited but spread evenly throughout the story. If you expect to find action scenes with huge explosions and lots of gore, I would look elsewhere. There’s even a brilliantly developed romance in this story and it actually has a purpose to Pug’s development. But the best dynamic in this book is the bromance. As if it wasn’t enough that our protagonist is a teenager, his tight bond with his buddy Tomas is brilliant! Whether its the romance or the bromance, these relationships highlight Pug’s values for friendship, honesty and everything that is virtue in life.

The moment the story presents the new potential threat to Midkemia, I was deeply invested in this series. It added a whole layer of complexity to the universe instead of feeling far-fetched and off the mark.

The writing style, the characters, the world-building and the universe were all compelling. This isn’t the typical fantasy stories you find nowadays. It is however rare and seldom explored by authors. I think it is a challenge to be simple nowadays, but I am glad that there are plenty of stories left within this universe to explore. Magician: Apprentice is simply one story that all fans of fantasy should try out for themselves.

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

You can order your own copy now!

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Amazon (USA) – Amazon (Canada)Chapters IndigoBook Depository

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★

Have you read it yet? Do you plan to? What do you think about Magician: Apprentice?

Share your thoughts with me!

Till next time,

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46 Comments Add yours

  1. Loved this book when I first read it. I always have a fondness for the books that introduce me to a favorite genre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I swear… If it had been the first fantasy book I had read, I think I would have loved it a gazillion times more and never would have looked at any other book the same way! Glad to hear you’re a fan too. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bookstooge says:

    Really glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I enjoyed the first 4 riftwar books and honestly, that was about it. I read a bunch more but never got the same enjoyment from them. If you go beyond “A Darkness at Sethanon” I hope you enjoy your time just as much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is it just me or doesn’t that happen quite often for you with a bunch of series? You enjoy the original trilogies and find that the rest never is up to par. Totally understandable though. I doubt anything after the Riftwar trilogy (the 4 books) will be able to be just as impressive. I’m hella pumped to complete this series though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bookstooge says:

        It does happen quite often, usually when there is an original story, then the series continue per sub-series/spinoffs but not with the originality.

        And the nice thing for you is, the entire series is finished now, so you can tear away at the whole blamed thing if you so please 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep.. Spin-offs in general aren’t always so compelling indeed. I usually see them as bonus content for hardcore fans who don’t want their favourite universe to be done and gone. Hopefully in the future, when I’m at the point, the books after the 4th one aren’t as bad! I saw Raymond E. Feist is releasing a new series soon too; it’s called King of Ashes. Do you think you’ll be trying it out? Or wait to find out if it’s any good first? 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Bookstooge says:

            I’ll probably wait to be honest. He wrote so many books in the world of Midkemia that I just plain didn’t like that I have to wonder if the Riftwar Saga wasn’t a fluke for him and me 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh snap! I see, all right. Not like there isn’t already a super long queue of books to go through anyways. 😀

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Bookstooge says:

                Yeah, me and him were one time wonders. He wrote a great first series and then every time I tried to get back into that world, I ended up not liking it. But enough other people did to keep him writing there. So there’s hope for you for sure!

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Off The TBR says:

    I first read this maybe 15 years ago and loved it. Still one of my favorite fantasy series. I’ve been thinking of coming back to it to see how it holds up to my memory. Enjoyed your review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like I’m late to the party! 😛 I’m really glad to hear that it was a beloved series for you though. I am excited to check out the rest as soon as possible. You should totally try revisiting it though. I think 15 years is a nice gap for a re-read. I would be curious to know if it survives the test of time. Thank you so much for reading though. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      Like

  4. Awesome review Lashaan! Raymond Feist has been an author I’ve always wanted to try but somehow I still haven’t. This sounds like the perfect book to start with.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kim! Oh my. 😮 How is that possible?! I honestly thought you might be one of those rare friends who might have actually read the first 4 books! I do hope you’ll get the chance to try it out in 2018 though. I think you’ll appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really ashamed Lashaan. 😒 My only excuse is too many books and not enough time. I’m going to try to correct this oversight in the coming year though.😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Zezee says:

    This is one I’m interested in reading too because it’s often included in fantasy recommendation lists. Glad to see u liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. I do see it everywhere often too. A classic that is totally worth checking out. Hope you enjoy it when you get around to it, Zezee!

      Like

  6. Tammy says:

    So this must be a reprint? Great review, Lashaan😊 I have not read this and now I’m feeling guilty about it! I must try to get to some of these older fantasy classics, as they have so much to offer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed! It’s the author’s preferred edition, although he does mention that he doesn’t change much in it compared to the original edition. You have to pick it up someday, Tammy! I totally agree on that statement. It’s why I love classics. They can be quite insightful in how the genre evolved! 😀

      Like

  7. raistlin0903 says:

    See? I rest my case. Another book that now has to be added to my to read list because of this incredibly well written review 😊
    Okay, I have probably been living under a rock, but despite having heard of this writer, I have never heard of this fantasy epic. It sounds truly terrific, and I love it when a book does a great job in creating a believable world. The writing style you are describing here sounds amazing, so I really hope to eventually get to this one somewhere next year. I still have a pretty huge fantasy epic lying in wait to read as well, and that is The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (of which I completed the first three books this year ). Oh well, there is never such a thing as too many books 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahah I am terrible to a lot of people’s reading list! 😛 Thank you so much for your kind words, Michel. I am glad to have introduced you to a classic series and hope you’ll be greatly entertained by it when you get the chance to try it out, sir!
      Honestly, it really has everything you want in a fantasy series. Its a classic that brings to life everything you’d attribute to the genre (elves, dwarfs, dragons, etc.).
      Oh my, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant!!! I have actually read the last novel of that author and was curious about his Thomas Covenant series. His latest novel (The Seventh Decimate) wasn’t however as good as I hoped it was though. How were the first 3 books? 😮 I might have to push it higher on my priority list if you tell me it was beautiful and memorable! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. raistlin0903 says:

        I definitely hope to be able to read much more this year than I did last year. So hopefully I will be able to start on this one sometime later this year.
        As for your question about Thomas Covenant: I really loved it. I did a review for the omnibus last year, and I gave it a 9/10 score. It is a book that I highly recommend. It contains the main character that I have hated the most in my entire life of reading book, but at the same time wanted to see it make it out on top as well. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful review. I love how the book reminded you of your childhood and the story it told felt really magical because it shows that the author has some mad skills!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Nikola! Yep, it really did make me feel younger and super excited throughout they journey. I loved the feeling and can’t wait to read the rest of the books set in the same universe. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. todaysechoes says:

    I’ve never heard of this before! It sounds really interesting. I’m going to have to look for a copy at Value Village 😛
    Also, great review! I know what to expect if I read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. :O :O :O No wayyyyy gurl! Could’ve sworn that you would have known about this if you hadn’t read it! You totally have to try it out someday. It is really different from the fantasy stories we get nowadays and I hope you’ll enjoy it when you get the chance. 😀 Yay, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. todaysechoes says:

        I know eh? I need to read more classic fantasy.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve heard of Raymond E. Feist before, one of my friends has read and loved some of his books, but I hadn’t heard of this one and consdiering you’ve described it as a classic that helped shape the genre I feel I really need to read it myself. This may be the only classic I actually manage to read! 😀 Magician: Apprentice sounds incredible, already I love Pug’s character just from what you’ve said about him.
    Great review Lashaan! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. It is indeed the first book that kicks things off for the whole series and its universe. I honestly think you’d enjoy this, Beth. It might be a nice classic worth trying out! 😀 Pug is awesome. This kid is going to grow up to do amazing things, I can feel it! Thank you, Beth!!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Haha, bromance 😀 wouldn’t have expected that term next to a book like this 😀
    You are describing it wonderfully 🙂 although I know I’d have my fantasy allergies for something like this 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed it though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! Well-written bromance is awesome in any genre! 😀 Not all boy with boy relationships need to end up in a sexual relationship hahah It’s nice to see those where it’s just two boys, or more, who are showing what friendship is all about! 😛
      Oh no.. I had a feeling that you didn’t venture too much in fantasy. What made you allergic to them though? 😮
      Thanks for reading, Evelina. Always love to hear your thoughts on the books I read. 😉

      Like

      1. Hmm, fantasies… often have loads of politics. They put me to sleep xD also, I don’t really like the whole middle age setup. Don’t even know why 😀 I can read fantasies, but most often not the ones about princes, princesses, kings, horses etc 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  12. If you liked Magician Apprentice you are pretty much guaranteed to like Master- it really took the story up several notches!! I really liked the writing style too (and how you described it here!) And yeah the pacing was a bit off for me, but it was still lots of fun and it gets so much better! hehehe yes the bromance is brilliant!! Awesome review!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Yes! Yes! That’s what I love to hear!!! 😛 I’m so glad to know you enjoyed them too! How far did you go into the universe? Completed the main four books? Tried some of the other stories set in the same universe? Awww yes, the bromance is epic! Thank you so much for your kind words gurl!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t actually complete the series- I feel like I’d probably need a refresher- I do plan to one day though. And I haven’t read any of his other ones *yet* You’re welcome!!! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I haven’t heard of this before but love your review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No way!! If you ever have a craving for a classic in the fantasy genre, you know where to look now. 😉 Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words, Nicole!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Not sure how I have never heard of this series! But I will certainly add it. It skunds like my cup of tea. I love the storyline and the fact that it took you back! I am also a guilty fan of dialog heavy stories when done well. Everything about your reviews screams “Read me!” Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Danielle!!!!! 🤗 I am extremely surprised that you haven’t heard of this one!!! In all honesty, I really believe that it would be your cup of tea!!! I mean, if it isn’t, you can pour that steaming tea all over me!!! 😂 But, really, this one made me feel like a kid while reading it with so many parts that had me chuckling or sending chills down my spine! Hopefully this turns out to be a fantastic book for you too if you ever pick it up. 😁

      Like

      1. Bahaha you are killing me 😂😂😂 I would never pour hot tea on you 😉 I added it on Goodreads so that hopefully I will remember to look for it with my next order. Sounds wicked fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. WOW! This timing was a little weird! My Grandfather suggested this book a few days and I ended up getting it for Christmas. BTW it’s not a standalone. It is part one of two that the author separated into two books. After that, the riftwar saga continues and it’s supposed to get better and better each book! From reading your review, this makes me want to read this! Thank’s for the review! It went into detail and really helped shaped my opinion of the book and I think I’ll give it a read!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey there! Ahaha that is pretty cool. Your grandfather knows his books if you ask me. 😀 Ahh yes. I did know that the first two books is considered the 1st book of the Riftwar Saga. I usually put “yes” in “stand-alone” for all the first books of a series that doesn’t need to be read after some sort of prequel. It’s also something I usually put for books that are sequel, but I never really thought twice about its meaning. Maybe I should take that one out so there isn’t any confusion on that matter. Thanks for comment on it. And no problem at all! I’m really happy to hear such positive thoughts on my review. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. 😉 Happy reading!

      Like

  16. This is one I read when i was really young and like HP for many people is one of why I love fantasy. I even read the sequels I think up to the original 4? My brother has read many past that but got bummed when Pug was put aside for other characters. I think what I loved most about your review was how it pointed out that this is classic fantasy at its extreme best. A character to root for, with great relationships and dense plotting! 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funnily, I haven’t read any of the HP books, so Magician would technically be what HP is to others for me hahaha 😀 Oh wow! That is definitely what I hope to complete at least. I haven’t heard much good things about the other series/spin-offs after those 4 books (well.. you’re the second person actually hahah). I’d definitely try some of them out and hopefully not be as bummed as your brother was by what Raymond E. Feist does. And yes, yes, yes to that! Classic fantasy at its extreme best!!!! I can’t wait to check out its sequel. 😀 Did you like each book better as you got through the series or is the first the best one for you? Based on what you can remember anyways hhaha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a first book sort of gal… I think it’s because I’m a future person… give me a starting place and if it’s done well enough I can see the end… Feist is good at changing the circumstances though. You might not like the new circumstances but it’s also not reading the same book over and over again. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

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