Magician: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga #1)

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Magician: Apprentice audiobook

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Review #1

Magician: Apprentice audiobook free

As thrilled as I am that the Riftwar Saga has finally come to Kindle, I loathe Feist for going back and tacking on numerous sections that were edited out in the original version. They don’t change the story much, but the additionsespecially in the beginningturn Pug from a relatively somber, quiet apprentice into a total douche.

It’s like Feist saw how George Lucas edited the original Star Wars trilogy for the DVD release and thought it was a great idea. It wasn’t.

Additionally, the e-book conversion for this and following books was done with OCR (optical character recognitionbasically scanning each page into digitized, editable text), has left it with multiple spelling errorsplace where the correct letter is “e” but the software reads it as “c,” for instance. It’s irritating.


Review #2

Magician: Apprentice audiobook in series Riftwar Riftwar Cycle

It’s been 35 years since I first met Pug, and it is a joy to go back and read again the start of it all from the perspective of one who has seen how it all turns out. “Apprentice” was obviously intended to be a beginning, but it is not an “origin story” in the sense of an author returning to a completed character; Mr. Feist had no idea that his series would grow into what it eventually became. He did, however, republish this volume with some additional material to tie things together a bit more, and it was interesting if not necessarily better to read this version.

The Riftwar books launched the beginning of a golden age of post LOTR fantasy series, to be followed by Weiss/Hickman’s Dragonlance and, of course, R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt. If a new reader set out to read those three series — others will certainly have different favorites, but those are mine — they will have several years of wonderment ahead.


Review #3

Audiobook Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist

Ok, I know this book is early 80s. But still, oh my god. The only female chars that arent complete background are the elf queen who appears in a couple scenes and the princess. Theres absolutely no strong female chars. Growing up reading stuff like Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman, Dennis L McKiernan, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffery, Mercedes Lackey etc, I found it jarring. And most of those authors are mid 80s, so its not like theres that much of a cultural time difference between the publishing of those author’s novels and this one. No main char for a female reader to identify with at all.

Other than that, the story’s great, the writing’s great, and I do recommend them to any fantasy reader. Its a classic series, and ever since “young adult” style books appear to have taken over the genre, its good to get a “real adult” series to read. Just mind the bratwurst.


Review #4

Audio Magician: Apprentice narrated by Nicholas Guy Smith

On the one hand this book was fine. It was a fine story and fine characters. It is clearly heavily influenced by Lord of the Rings, but there were some original ideas involved. The overall execution of those ideas, though, was just okay.

I went in to this book knowing that it and its squeal were originally one volume so I was expecting it to be rather slow because it’s only the first half. For most of the book I was not bothered by the pace. However, I had a problem with the slowness, specifically the four years the war has covered just in this book (so half of the original one volume), in that it makes literally no sense.

First, the time jumps are weird. You’ll think “oh it must be the next or a few days later” and Feist goes “9 months later” and it doesn’t make any sense for what has supposedly happened in that time period. It felt like every encounter between the two armies had a mandatory 6 month pause following it.

Second, the people of the Kingdom of the Isles understand ridiculously little about people they have supposedly been fighting, almost non-stop, for FOUR years. Interactions between the two peoples are like they literally just discovered each other four hours ago rather than four years.

Third, Feist has failed in the fact that I found it unbelievable, with a minimal understanding of tactics, that the war has gone on for so long already. Instead of making me feel like the two sides were evenly matched, instead I just switched back and forth between “oh this side should have won in like 10 seconds.” It was confusing just from a logic standpoint.

Last, I frankly wish female characters had been absent all together. Carline is just terrible. And it’s not her fault. She is not written to be a person. She is written to be a thing for Roland and Pug to act out their own feelings/growth on. I excused many things based on this book’s age, but I am pretty sure they had women already in 1982. Although I am less sure if Feist has ever met one.

I will read the squeal because I promised a friend to, but would make no promises about further books as I don’t expect the squeal to be much better. I would also be shocked if I remember much about this book a year from now.


Review #5

Free audio Magician: Apprentice – in the audio player below

I thought there would be magic in the book considering the title. The main character use magic twice and was absent the last 30% of the book. The title should have been called invasion. In total magic was used in 4 pages of the 500-page book. Notwithstanding the lack of magic, and knowing the book was written 30 some odd years ago, it was nevertheless a good book to read. I’ll probably finish the series.


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