Monday, April 15, 2013

Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist

Magician: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga, #1)Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Magician: Apprentice is an appealing introduction into an epic fantasy series that a newbie can enjoy.  It offers a young hero who is just at the beginning of his journey to find his purpose in life.  Feist offers a fantasy world on the brink of war from a threat that has the capacity to bring great change to Midkemia as they know it.

While the world has a typical medieval-type feel, the variety of races presented give the world an incredible texture. I loved the descriptions of the elves and their way of life, how they are similar and different from the Dark Brotherhood, Elves who have fallen into a darker way of life.  I have to say that the dwarves really caught my attention.  Their beliefs, values and their skill at fighting and navigating the mines of the Stone Mountains.  Of course, loved the dragon!

I wasn't sure about the Tsurani storyline initially, but it takes this story in a different direction from what I initially expected. It sets up an incredible culture clash takes this novel to a wider focus as the Midkemians have to work together to stave off the invasion of forces from another world.

Initially, it seems that Pug, our young magician apprentice, is the center of this story.  But it becomes clear that various characters gain the focus of Feist.  Starting out like a coming of age story, and I suppose it continues to be one in some way, this story becomes one about people dealing with their world being invaded by a formidable group of people whose values are completely alien to their own, and who seem invincible.

One detractor I'd have for this story is that it's not a standalone.  The story doesn't end on an obvious cliffhanger, but you definitely have to keep reading to find out what happens to all the pivotal characters.  With a massively overflowing to read list, I am not eager for too many series to add, but the strength of the story and the good writing here, guarantees I will be back for more.

Fantasy Beginner Rating (explanation: Scale is based on whether this is a good book for beginner fantasy readers or it is better for one who has read a lot of fantasy.  High-Good starter book.  Medium-Okay for a beginner.  Low-May be confusing for a novice fantasy-reader.):  High.

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