Here starts an adventure that will span lifetimes and worlds. Discover where the story begins. Raymond E. Feist is an internationally best-selling author. My name is Pug. I was once an orphaned kitchen boy, with no family and no prospects, but I am destined to become a master magician....
War is coming to the Kingdom of the Isles from another world, bringing with it chaos and destruction. Pug yearns to train as a warrior and fight for his kingdom alongside his foster-brother, Tomas, but instead he is forced to follow a different path: a path that will lead him right into the heart of the enemy. And one that will change the course of the war - and two worlds - forever. So begins the most epic series in fantasy fiction, a tale that will cross worlds and generations. Magician is the first book in the Riftwar Saga. The trilogy continues with book two, Silverthorn.
©1982 Raymond E. Feist (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"Totally gripping" (Washington Post)
"Epic scope...fast-moving action...vivid imagination" (Washington Post)
"Tons of intrigue and action" (Publishers Weekly)
Mr Joyce makes incredibly strange choices in his reading. As another reviewer mentioned, I see no reason for his decision to pronounce "Arutha" as "Aruta". Nothing in the text or elsewhere suggests it.
Then he seems to have decided not to distinguish between the various characters, just their races - most of the Midkemia men get more or less the same voices, as do the elves, the invaders from Kelewan etc. The only times he deviates from this, he chooses inappropriate voices (particularly Martin and Father Tully). And why did the voice he chose for the men have to be a rasping growl? How many people speak like that? It just sounds like somebody putting on a strange voice rather than the way someone would actually talk. I can see that he's attempting a kind of sing song quality for the elves, but... well... epic fail there.
A good reader should distinguish between voices in a natural way. If a narrator is unable to think of a suitable accent, then it is better that he or she does nothing than something inappropriate. You only have to listen to Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter novels for an example of how it should be done. Each character has their own 'voice', (a great achievement considering the number of characters), yet each one sounds completely natural. Masterly. Stephen Briggs is also brilliant in his readings of Terry Pratchett novels.
What began to drive me mad though after a while (once I'd noticed it) was his habit of a long pause after saying "[someone] said". Why this huge pause? Continually during the course of ordinary dialogue, it was held up by an extra beat while we waited for what each character was going to say next.
Having said all that, he did at least manage to sound relatively enthused by the whole thing, and Pug's and Tomas' voices were fine, so overall it remained an okay listen. It was just a shame that I had to struggle to screen out certain elements in order to enjoy it.
Generally speaking, yes.
Due to the somewhat stilted narration, I'd head towards the kindle rather than audio version.
A man with a child in his ears
This was a thoroughly enjoyable return to my younger days and a genuine classic of the fantasy genre. It's the first of a three part series but reads very well as a book in its own right. That might be useful for anyone thinking 36 hours is commitment enough!
The characters are well portrayed in not one but two richly detailed worlds as fate brings two very different civilizations into conflict.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in the genre and Feist is more accessible that some of the authors that followed him.
This is possibly the best book I have ever read. Brilliant characterisation, superb plot and paced in a way that leaves you desperate to keep turning the pages. I was so looking forward to the audiobook but I had my reservations as I has come across the narrator Peter Joyce before.Now don't get me wrong the story is still brilliant and Joyce's reading is enough to keep you engaged, however his performance is average at best. His accents are virtually non existent and some of the pronunciations leave you perplexed - Arutha being pronounce as Aruta being the most obvious (and annoying)! Some of it might be because the narration doesn't match up to what I already had in my head. If you are approaching Magician for the first time It will leave you spellbound, otherwise be prepared for some frustrations but an otherwise okay re-telling of a fantastic story.Oh by the way another annoying thing was that it downloaded in one big chunk of 36 hours rather than being split into four or five pieces. Very frustrating if you accidentally skip forward on your iPod!!!
There are so many but the one outstanding moment I would pick is Thomas striding into the clearing in Elvendar with madness in his eyes - the Valheru come again.
His ability to define distinct characters is woefully lacking. Please think about a change of narrators.
Borrics dying scene is well written - finally acknowledging Martin!
I'll say it again. Please change narrators.
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges
Well worth the credit. It is in fact book 1 and 2 of the series and is incredibly good value, at over 36 hours long. I would rate the story as five stars, have already purchased the available sequels and will come back and listen to one this again and again.
Without giving away more than in the synopsis, the initial story follows Pug a potential magician from the initial obscurity of being his keeps kitchen boy, to a journey spanning two beautifully realized and very different fantasy worlds.
While there is quite a bit of action at the start of the story, I personally found it a little slow going at first, after the first dramatic sequence of events. It is well worth having some patience with this story however, as you are gradually introduced to fascinating characters and varying cultures and races in this complex plot. At first I thought the story was only going focus on Pug but as the novel goes on the story becomes even more interesting because it splits also following his companions on their own epic journeys.
The only difficulty I had with the book was the narrator who to me was both a blessing and a curse. Peter Joyce has a pleasant if somewhat dry narrating voice and makes the story interesting by voicing the characters. He also disrupts the flow of the story by announcing he said in a dead pan voice then pausing, which is incredibly annoying and, in my opinion, gets the tone of voice wrong for many of the characters, like the elves.
Great in paper back, always has been a favourite, read many times but the pronunciation of some of the names was just more than a little off putting for me.
Have read of all of his books in paperback, now listening to them is another experience... makes plane journeys and long drives enjoyable to point of slowing down which improves the fuel economy.... have even got my very sceptical SFF kids hooked...
Peter Joyce reads well and gets the intonation just right, although some of the accents are not as I had them in my head when reading... but excellent
24 year Old Brit with a Passion for Fantasy, historical fiction and Sci-fi.. and dragons . I like Dragons. Also Dyslexic so apolagise
Epic, Grand, Masterpiece
To Goodkind's and Jordans great epics
Pugs Great magic battle
The Dragons rebirth
Please listen to this great first book in one of the greatest series you'll ever read or listen to.
This is a really good rendition of the book I read many years ago, it is very long so you need to be sure you have the time but there are many threads and it is well worth it.
I was a bit put off with all the people complaining about the Narrator. As I haven't read the text I can't get up in arms about the pronunciation of any of the Characters. All seem to be fine to me. Really enjoyed the narrators performance and love the book overall. Really quick to get into and really good writing of the characters means you know who everbody is very fast and find yourself warming to all of them.
Moving straight on to the next book in the series.
Read this first when I was about 14 and enjoyed it then even better as an adult and to have it read to me was a dream highly recommended to all
"One of the best books of all time"
This audio book is fantastic, the narrator more than does the story and the characters justice. I've read the book more than 20 times and am enjoying the audio version more than I could imagine, it is such a pleasure to be able to share my favourite book with my husband,
Arutha has always been my favourite, The dark and wry sense of humor.
Everything, particularly his portrayal of Kulgan
"Be transported to a fabulous place"
Amazing to hear the characters I fell in love with 3 decades ago. I am thrilled to have this story enriched with voices that capture the individuals and spin their stories onto the rich and complex tapestry that is Magician . Wow. Play that again please.
"Better than reading it myself"
Engaging and immersive reading, with an excellent and fitting voice. Giving the characters more life than I could on my first read through many years ago.
this was an amazing book. great narrator, and pug is just the best. totally recommend
"Hesitant at first"
This was the first fantasy novel I read and fell in love with not only the book but the genre. I was very hesitant to listen as some other books I have read and then listened to have been terrible. This however did not disappoint. A lovey listen beginning to end. Really happy I gave this to go and will follow series after series
"Excellent start to an addictive series of books."
Yes, I would highly recommend to some one who likes to escape into fantasy.If you like Game of Thrones you will love this.
This fantasy isn't completely Alien, it has the feel of Earth and Medieval Europe.
It took a while to get used to the narrator, as I have been listening to Stephen Pacey and he is excellent at narrating.Once I got used to Peter Joyce's style, I was hooked.
"Peter Joyce is fantastic"
Although the story has become somewhat a cliche over the years, Peter Joyce alone makes the listening worthwhile.
Highly recommend as it is one of the most classic books in the fantasy genre
This is a great book that I read once before nearly 20 years ago. I had forgotten enough that it was almost like reading it for the first time.
Now, I have seen many reviews here that seem to be written by people who are far more familiar with the work than I. They seem to be disappointed in the narration of the book, mostly due to name pronunciations. fair enough, I'm sorry that this spoiled the book for them. however, if you are not familiar enough with the book to notice something like that, then it is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it.
I have also seen some reviews complaining about the narrator's style. Things like the accents, and...the emphasized words. personally I really enjoyed his style. All I can say is play the preview and decide for yourself.
Finally, if you check my history, you will see that I rarely take the time to post a review, and only when I feel strongly about something. In this case, it is that I thought most of the reviews did a disservice, because they were obviously coming from a too personal perspective, and not thinking of the many people who don't know how the Magician's childhood friend's name is spelt.
My advise, if you aren't bothered by the narration in the sample, then get the book, it's very good.
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