Magician: Master

Raymond E. Feist
Magician: Master Cover

Magician: Master


I decided to reread the Riftwar novels after originally having read them about 25 years ogo to see how my perception of them has changed as an adult reader with a broader understanding of the fantasy genre. I read Magician: Master immediately after having finished Magician: Apprentice. I found the world building of the first novel to be extremely derivative of Tolkien, but still enjoyed the novel a great deal due to its wonderful characterization, quick pacing, and engaging plot. The version of Magician: Master that I read was the author's preferred edition that included some extra material to flesh out the novel that was absent in the version I had 25ish years ago.

Magician: Master flows directly out of the first novel and they could be viewed as one large novel relative to the plot. I would definitely not recommend reading this second novel without first reading Magician: Apprentice. This novel really brings Feist into his own as a writer. Midkemia remains the primary world of the protagonists, but Kelewan, the world on the other side of the magical rift is explored much further in this novel and helps move the series away from the problems of being derivative of Tolkien. Kelewan has a great deal in common with feudal Japanese culture, but with enough variation and the addition of magic to make it feel interesting and be a good counterpoint to Midkemia. It also helps facilitate our main protagonist, Pug, in learning how to develop his raw skills as a magician and become a powerful master.

As in the first novel the pacing remains fairly quick and storyline develop rapidly. Characterization remains a strong point for Feist and the novel is a pleasurable romp through two world's where magic is a fundamental part of medieval society. There is nothing spectacularly original here, but the story is well written and keeps you engaged. There are epic battles, daring escapes, and fantastical feats of magic. What more could you ask for? If you have never read this series which is a fantasy genre staple do yourself a favor and give it a try. This novel could serve as a decent end spot in the series if you decided not to read the final two novels in the series. Four stars.