Book – Magician

Author – Raymond E Feist
Year – 1983
Pages – 681 (Author’s Preferred Edition)
Genre – Fantasy
Series – The Riftwar Saga
Recommended by Adam Newell

For us teachers, it is the summer holidays, and that means three things can happen – catch up on television, catch up with friends and catch up on reading. This feels like a nice situation where all of them combine.

Having spent years waiting for the next in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R R Martin to be released, I finally caved and decided I’d rather not be spoiled and would watch the TV series.  These are the greatest books ever and I cannot recommend them highly enough, but also, do watch the TV series.  It is a fantastic adaptation of the books.

As I was piling through them, my housemate from university, Adam, got in touch.  I have Adam to thank for getting me into this series of books as he lent me A Game of Thrones when we first got to uni.  It got me to thinking about the only book that he held in higher esteem, and despite itching to reread (for the sixth time) Martin’s books, I thought I should revisit this classic.

And very glad I was that I did.  This book has all of the hallmarks of the greatest of high fantasy – battles, wars, dragons, elves, dwarves – and characters that transport you.  Set in the world of Midkemia, we follow the magician’s apprentice, Pug, as their world is invaded by warriors from the world of Kelewan.  With a shifting viewpoint, we discover what is happening on both worlds and the book covers years and years of the war, giving it a scale that you rarely see in just one book.

Whilst by no means the first fantasy book of this scale and influence (I think Tolkien has that wrapped up, even if there are technically earlier) it still predates many of the books that we see as classics of the genre, and I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Magician is an influence on many of them.  It is also the start of a whole new world of stories from this universe.  I read most of them about fifteen years ago, but Feist has released many more since.  I think that this warrants a series reread!

In a moment of great timing as well, I am quite hungover this morning from meeting up with Adam and his fiancee (together all the way through from university!) Alex last night, and awoke to finish the book off.  Adam deserves credit for leading me in the right direction on so many fantasy novels, and it was a genuine treat to see them again after many years.  Thank you!