Author: Raymond E. Feist
Review by: CL6 Zahra
Order from amazon.com
Magician. A simple title for a complicated story. What starts as a story of a young keep-boy's apprenticeship to the court magician quickly blossoms into a story of a war between two worlds and the impact it has on the lives of many.
Midkemia is a currently peaceful world, its' separate civilizations living in relative harmony with only a few minor skirmishes interrupting the everyday order of life. This world is home to many races; the proud and skillful dwarves, the ancient and mysterious elves, the mighty dragons of old, and the noble yet oft arrogant men. All have their part to play, but it is through the eyes of man that this story is told.
First we are introduced to the Dukedom of Crydee where the young boys Pug and Tomas eagerly await the Day of Choosing, where boys of age undertake apprenticeships with skilled tradesmen, or are released from the city in search of work. Releived when it is all over and they have been placed with masters rather than turned out, the boys soon have far greater matters to contend with when an ancient race of men, the Tsurani, swarm into Midkemia through a rift created by their powerful magicians, ready to wage war. At first it appears that they seek metal, a material not found in their world, but as the story unfolds it becomes apparent that this war is more political than commercial. Honour is everything to this warlike race and victory must come at any cost.
It is on route to Rillanon with Duke Borric to bring word of the invasion to the King that Pug and Tomas' destinies take vastly different courses. Tomas, separated from the others in the caves of Mac Mordain Cadal, inherits a legacy of savage power from an ancient civilization, once rulers of Midkemia. Pug will find himself flung to the other side of the rift, to Kelewan, homeworld of the Tsurani. Worlds apart, the two friends struggle and triumph over their powers and, with the help of many brave men, elves and dwarfs, will bring an end to the war and the beginning of a new era for Midkemia.
Raymond Feist is a thorough and imaginative writer, engaging his readers quickly and keeping their interest right up to the last word and beyond. His Midkemia bears some resemblance to Tolkien's Middle Earth, but his story seems more like a comfortable companion to Tolkien's works rather than an imitation. He skillfully begins his story in a central location, introducing all his main characters and their relationship to each other carefully before separating them and creating separate yet related storylines for the main body of the book. These will eventually converge into a climax that satisfyingly connects all the pieces.
Feist fills his story with many memorable and colorful characters, and his narrative is well paced and well crafted. Perhaps a greater admiration still is evident when "Magician" is read in conjunction with Feist's other Midkemia books for then the reader realises how extensively Feist has planned these stories. One can see how the events of "Magician" sets the stage for events that occur in the later books. However, having said this, "Magician" is a complete story in its own right and can quite comfortably be read in solitude. It is an original, complex story, so well written that the reader is able to follow the slowly interwoven threads with ease. Liable to be the cause of a few late nights as the reader struggles to put it down, it is worthy of a prominent place in the halls of Fantasy literature.
Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but you may be able to find it through Amazon.com out-of-print books, at your neighborhood used book store, or at auction.