Magician: Apprentice (Riftwar Saga Series #1)

Magician: Apprentice (Riftwar Saga Series #1)

by Raymond E. Feist

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Author's Preferred Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, June 19


A worthy pupil . . . A dangerous quest

To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of wizardry.

Yet Pug's strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. For dark beings from another world had opened a rift in the fabric of spacetime to being again the age-old battle between the forces of Order and Chaos.

Praise for Magician: Apprentice

“Totally gripping . . . A fantasy of epic scope, fast-moving action and vivid imagination.”The Washington Post Book World

“Most exciting . . . A very worthy and absorbing addition to the fantasy field.”—Andre Norton

“The best new fantasty in years . . . has a chance of putting its aughor firmly on the trone next to Tolkien—and keeping him there.”The Dragon Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553564945
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/1993
Series: Riftwar Cycle: The Riftwar Saga Series , #1
Edition description: Author's Preferred Edition
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 87,858
Product dimensions: 4.00(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Raymond E. Feist is the international bestselling author or co-author of twenty one novels, including Magician, Silverthorn, A Darkness at Sethanon, Faerie Tale, The Kings Buccaneer, Talon of the Silver Hawk, and King of Foxes. Feist is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and resides in Southern California with his family. He travels, collects wine, and lives and dies with the San Diego Chargers.

Read an Excerpt



The storm had broken.

Pug danced along the edge of the rocks, his feet finding scant purchase as he made his way among the tide pools. His dark eyes darted about as he peered into each pool under the cliff face, seeking the spiny creatures driven into the shallows by the recently passed storm. His boyish muscles bunched under his light shirt as he shifted the sack of sandcrawlers, rockclaws, and crabs plucked from this water garden.

The afternoon sun sent sparkles through the sea spray swirling around him, as the west wind blew his sun-streaked brown hair about. Pug set his sack down, checked to make sure it was securely tied, then squatted on a clear patch of sand. The sack was not quite full, but Peg relished the extra hour or so that he could relax. Megar the cook wouldn't trouble him about the time as long as the sack was almost full. Resting with his back against a large rock, Pug was soon dozing in the sun's warmth.

A cool wet spray woke him hours later. He opened his eyes with a start, knowing he had stayed much too long. Westward, over the sea, dark thunderheads were forming above the black outline of the Six Sisters, the small islands on the horizon. The roiling, surging clouds, with rain trailing below like some sooty veil, heralded another of the sudden storms common to this part of the coast in early summer. To the south, the high bluffs of Sailor's Grief reared up against the sky, as waves crashed against the base of that rocky pinnacle. Whitecaps started to form behind the breakers, a sure sign the storm would quickly strike. Pug knew he was in danger, for the storms of summer could drown anyone on the beaches, or if severe enough, on the low ground beyond.

He picked up his sack and started north, toward the castle. As he moved among the pools, he felt the coolness in the wind turn to a deeper, wetter cold. The day began to be broken by a patchwork of shadows as the first clouds passed before the sun, bright colors fading to shades of grey. Out to sea, lightning flashed against the blackness of the clouds, and the distant boom of thunder rode over the noise of the waves.

Pug picked up speed when he came to the first stretch of open beach. The storm was coming in faster than he would have thought possible, driving the rising tide before it. By the time he reached the second stretch of tide pools, there was barely ten feet of dry sand between water's edge and cliffs.

Pug hurried as fast as was safe across the rocks, twice nearly catching his foot. As he reached the next expanse of sand, he mistimed his jump from the last rock and landed poorly. He fell to the sand, grasping his ankle. As if waiting for the mishap, the tide surged forward, covering him for a moment. He reached out blindly and felt his sack carried away. Frantically grabbing at it, Pug lunged forward, only to have his ankle fail. He went under, gulping water. He raised his head, sputtering and coughing. He started to stand when a second wave, higher than the last, hit him in the chest, knocking him backward. Pug had grown up playing in the waves and was an experienced swimmer, but the pain of his ankle and the battering of the waves were bringing him to the edge of panic. He fought it off and came up for air as the wave receded. He half swam, half scrambled toward the cliff face, knowing the water would be only inches deep there.

Pug reached the cliffs and leaned against them, keeping as much weight off the injured ankle as possible. He inched along the rock wall, while each wave brought the water higher. When Pug finally reached a place where he could make his way upward, water was swirling at his waist. He had to use all his strength to pull himself up to the path. He lay panting a moment, then started to crawl up the pathway, unwilling to trust his balky ankle on this rocky footing.

The first drops of rain began to fall as he scrambled along, bruising knees and shins on the rocks, until he reached the grassy top of the bluffs. Pug fell forward exhausted, panting from the exertion of the climb. The scattered drops grew into a light but steady rain.

When he had caught his breath, Pug sat up and examined the swollen ankle. It was tender to the touch, but he was reassured when he could move it: it was not broken. He would have to limp the entire way back, but with the threat of drowning on the beach behind him, he felt relatively buoyant.

Pug would be a drenched, chilled wretch when he reached the town. He would have to find a lodging there, for the gates of the castle would be closed for the night, and with his tender ankle he would not attempt to climb the wall behind the stables. Besides, should he wait and slip into the keep the next day, only Megar would have words for him, but if he was caught coming over the wall, Swordmaster Fannon or Horsemaster Algon would surely have a lot worse in store for him than words.

While he rested, the rain took on an insistent quality and the sky darkened as the late-afternoon sun was completely engulfed in storm clouds. His momentary relief was replaced with anger at himself for losing the sack of sandcrawlers. His displeasure doubled when he considered his folly at falling asleep. Had he remained awake, he would have made the return trip unhurriedly, would not have sprained his ankle, and would have had time to explore the streambed above the bluffs for the smooth stones he prized so dearly for slinging. Now there would be no stones, and it would be at least another week before he could return. If Megar didn't send another boy instead, which was likely now that he was returning empty-handed.

Pug's attention shifted to the discomfort of sitting in the rain, and he decided it was time to move on. He stood and tested his ankle. It protested such treatment, but he could get along on it. He limped over the grass to where he had left his belongings and picked up his rucksack, staff, and sling. He swore an oath he had heard soldiers at the keep use when he found the rucksack ripped apart and his bread and cheese missing. Raccoons, or possibly sand lizards, he thought. He tossed the now useless sack aside and wondered at his misfortune.

Taking a deep breath, he leaned on his staff as he started across the low rolling hills that divided the bluffs from the road. Stands of small trees were scattered over the landscape, and Pug regretted there wasn't more substantial shelter nearby, for there was none upon the bluffs. He would be no wetter for trudging to town than for staying under a tree.

The wind picked up, and Pug felt the first cold bite against his wet back. He shivered and hurried his pace as well as he could. The small trees started to bend before the wind, and Pug felt as if a great hand were pushing at his back. Reaching the road, he turned north. He heard the eerie sound of the great forest off to the east, the wind whistling through the branches of the ancient oaks, adding to its already foreboding aspect. The dark glades of the forest were probably no more perilous than the King's road, but remembered tales of outlaws and other, less human, malefactors stirred the hairs on the boy's neck.

Cutting across the King's road, Pug gained a little shelter in the gully that ran alongside it. The wind intensified and rain stung his eyes, bringing tears to already wet cheeks. A gust caught him, and he stumbled off balance for a moment. Water was gathering in the roadside gully, and he had to step carefully to keep from losing his footing in unexpectedly deep puddles.

For nearly an hour he made his way through the ever growing storm. The road turned northwest, bringing him almost full face into the howling wind. Pug leaned into the wind, his shirt whipping out behind him. He swallowed hard, to force down the choking panic rising within him. He knew he was in danger now, for the storm was gaining in fury far beyond normal for this time of year. Great ragged bolts of lightning lit the dark landscape, briefly outlining the trees and road in harsh, brilliant white and opaque black. The dazzling afterimages, black and white reversed, stayed with him for a moment each time, confusing his senses. Enormous thunder peals sounding overhead felt like physical blows. Now his fear of the storm outweighed his fear of imagined brigands and goblins. He decided to walk among the trees near the road; the wind would be lessened somewhat by the boles of the oaks.

As Pug closed upon the forest, a crashing sound brought him to a halt. In the gloom of the storm he could barely make out the form of a black forest boar as it burst out of the undergrowth. The pig tumbled from the brush, lost its footing, then scrambled to its feet a few yards away. Pug could see it clearly as it stood there regarding him, swinging its head from side to side. Two large tusks seemed to glow in the dim light as they dripped rainwater. Fear made its eyes wide, and it pawed at the ground. The forest pigs were bad-tempered at best, but normally avoided humans. This one was panic-stricken by the storm, and Pug knew if it charged he could be badly gored, even killed.

Standing stock-still, Pug made ready to swing his staff, but hoped the pig would return to the woods. The boar's head raised, testing the boy's smell on the wind. Its pink eyes seemed to glow as it trembled with indecision. A sound made it turn toward the trees for a moment, then it dropped its head and charged.

Pug swung his staff, bringing it down in a glancing blow to the side of the pig's head, turning it. The pig slid sideways in the muddy footing, hitting Pug in the legs. He went down as the pig slipped past. Lying on the ground, Pug saw the boar skitter about as it turned to charge again. Suddenly the pig was upon him, and Pug had no time to stand. He thrust the staff before him in a vain attempt to turn the animal again. The boar dodged the staff and Pug tried to roll away, but a weight fell across his body. Pug covered his face with his hands, keeping his arms close to his chest, expecting to be gored.

After a moment he realized the pig was still. Uncovering his face, he discovered the pig lying across his lower legs, a black-feathered, cloth-yard arrow protruding from its side. Pug looked toward the forest. A man garbed in brown leather was standing near the edge of the trees, quickly wrapping a yeoman's longbow with an oilcloth cover. Once the valuable weapon was protected from further abuse by the weather, the man crossed to stand over the boy and beast.

He was cloaked and hooded, his face hidden. He knelt next to Pug and shouted over the sound of the wind, "Are you 'right, boy?" as he lifted the dead boar easily from Pug's legs. "Bones broken?"

"I don't think so," Pug yelled back, taking account of himself. His right side smarted, and his legs felt equally bruised. With his ankle still tender, he was feeling ill-used today, but nothing seemed broken or permanently damaged.

Large, meaty hands lifted him to his feet. "Here," the man commanded, handing him his staff and the bow. Pug took them while the stranger quickly gutted the boar with a large hunter's knife. He completed his work and turned to Pug. "Come with me, boy. You had best lodge with my master and me. It's not far, but we'd best hurry. This storm'll get worse afore it's over. Can you walk?"

Taking an unsteady step, Pug nodded. Without a word the man shouldered the pig and took his bow. "Come," he said, as he turned toward the forest. He set off at a brisk pace, which Pug had to scramble to match.

The forest cut the fury of the storm so little that conversation was impossible. A lightning flash lit the scene for a moment, and Pug caught a glimpse of the man's face. Pug tried to remember if he had seen the stranger before. He had the look common to the hunters and foresters that lived in the forest of Crydee: large-shouldered, tall, and solidly built. He had dark hair and beard and the raw, weather-beaten appearance of one who spends most of his time outdoors.

For a few fanciful moments the boy wondered if he might be some member of an outlaw band, hiding in the heart of the forest. He gave up the notion, for no outlaw would trouble himself with an obviously penniless keep boy.

Remembering the man had mentioned having a master, Pug suspected he was a franklin, one who lived on the estate of a landholder. He would be in the holder's service, but not bound to him as a bondsman. The franklins were freeborn, giving a share of crop or herd in exchange for the use of land. He must be freeborn. No bondsman would be allowed to carry a long-bow, for they were much too valuable--and dangerous. Still, Pug couldn't remember any landholdings in the forest. It was a mystery to the boy, but the toll of the day's abuses was quickly driving away any curiosity.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

Andre Norton

"Most exciting ... a very worthy and absorbing addition to the fantasy field."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Magician: Apprentice 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 121 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Riftwar Saga was one of the very first fantasy series that I read and was partly responsible for getting me forever hooked on the genre. That was about 15 years ago, and I still felt like I remembered the entire plot, it had such an effect on me. I decided to revisit the world of Midkemia to see how the story holds up to my slightly more mature perception and much more critical nature.
Needless to say, I was most thoroughly impressed! For this to be Feist's first novel is incredible. IMO this story surpasses some of the great fantasy work of all time, including Tolkein. Maybe not K S Michaels, but good work just the same. The first book introduces a familiar but complex world with characters that you can't help but fall in love with. The plot is so intricate and all-encompassing as to be almost mind-blowing. Watching as Feist flawlessly develops the story of a common seeming medieval town with a couple of normal seeming boys into a grand tale of war, magic, love, and tragedy is a joy. The overriding theme of this first book in the story is one of growing and maturing as a man. Watching as Pug and Tomas encounter hardships and trials, then come out stronger is the primary focus.
Remember this book from when you were young? Try it again, it will still impress!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm no novice where fantasy books are concerned. As my genre of choice I have very high standards for authors that choose to write of magic in particular. As an avid reader, I have done nothing but sing Feist's praises to anyone who will listen. What a glorious world he creates. I have been enthralled with Midkemia since I first picked up Magician when I was nine years old. Now, twenty-one years later, I am still eagerly anticipating each new story. I love the fact that I can revisit old friends in new settings. I have all of Feist's books in hardback. TWICE a year I disappear from my family, friends, and co-workers to take a vacation in The Kingdom of Isles.
Dumbledore_is_my_hero More than 1 year ago
Raymond Feist is a awesome writer.The storyline is great the way he bring the two worlds together, and the way Pug struggles to understand his powers as a great magician. This is one of many books by this author that are both great and thrilling until the end. I have read all the books in the series. All the books take you out of this worlk and into the world of Pug's two worlds that he is tring to save. Great read
Katdancin More than 1 year ago
I have read this book countless times and it never fails to entertain me. Feist has to be one of the best Sci-Fi writers of all time, in my opinion. His characters are so real and the stories keep you riveted. Once I start reading this book I can't put it down. I love the little twists and turns he puts into this book, but most of all I love the characters. You feel like you know his characters personally and are sharing the adventure with them. I highly recommend this book to anyone and of all ages. Then...get ready for the next book in the series - Magician: Master
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Raymond E. Feist novel I have read, and I was not disappointed. Being an a fantasy author myself, I know how difficult it can be to come up with an imaginative and different story line. Raymond did an excellent job here. I do wish I could have seen Carline's and Pug's relationship blossom more. I also wish the hero's name (Pug) would have been something a little better, but it definitely stands out in my memory. But that's a minor observation and the story was entertaining from beginning to end. Don't pass this one up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!
Palunboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great book set in a medieval style society. A boy caught between two worlds warring and learning magic from both. I can't recommend this book enough!
Alisbookshelf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you like fantasy you will love this book as much as I did. This is one of the first real fantasy books I read that I fell in love with and immersed myself in. I read this book in one day and couldn't put it down. The way Raymond E. Feist uses the words to create a dream like world captured me inside its depths and held me still until the last word was finished and then I had to have the next book. (The Review for the other books will come soon) It was a good thing my brother had most of the books by Raymond E. Feist. I was able to get right into the next book and the story continued. The main reason I started reading this one was that my brother was reading them and he told me pretty much that I would love them and had to read them. He let me borrow this one and that was it I was hooked. I loved following the characters in their world and getting to know more about Pug ( the main character). I love the wars and the love in this story. The way Feist writes is so vivid that every detail I could see in my head like I was sitting down and watching a movie instead of reading a book. I love with a writer can hold you and create the images in your head.The twists and turns of this amazing book will keep you on your toes, I know it did for me. The way Feist, creates his own world ( love the map of the world in the front of the book) is so detailed that you feel like you are almost there walking through the trees with Pug and Kulgan, you almost feel as if you in Krondor itself. This is a wonderful saga that I could read all over again and it would still hold that magical feeling to it! I loved the different races of characters in this book, like other fantasy books, there are plenty of elves, dwarfs, regular people, even amazing magicians. I couldn't get enough of the different characters in Feist's books!I really hope you all read this book if you haven't. I know you wont be sorry!
kimmy0ne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great introduction novel to an enthralling series of books
willowcove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The beginning of an epic classic.
s001bjw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great start to a really good fantasy series.
jgaiser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a way to get back into Fantasy.. Who could ask for more. Magicians, Elves, Dwarfs, Young love, Swords and Aliens from another world. This is not Tolkien, but Feist can put together a rollicking story. For those who complain about feeling left hanging, blame it on the American publishers. The books (Apprentice and Master) were written as single book, but the publisher thought it too long and split it in two. Already well into book 2.
Whiskey3pa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good writing and average-to-good story. Felt like it was just about to really take off and then did not. For all that I did read it all and will read the next to see if it lives up to the potential.
harpua on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fun book. I've got quite a few Feist sitting on my shelf mostly because it felt right. I always felt Raymond Feist seemed to rank up their with the greats of epic quest Fantasy with the likes of Weis and Hickman, Brooks and Jordan in terms of pure enjoyment but I since I had never read him, I didn't have any proof. Well now I do, at least from this first volume, I can say I enjoyed this as much as any of the other epics. Here we have the typical rise from obscurity and poverty to power in the kingdom mostly through circumstance and the awakening of a hidden and misunderstood power, fighting against an evil and vicious foe. This is just the beginning volume of the Riftwar saga, in fact it's the first half of the first volume as it was split for publishing in the US, but if this book is any indication of the rest of the trilogy then I have something to look forward to.On the downside; this is not deep, the twists and turns so far you can see from a mile away, and you can see some of the newness that comes with being the first work of an author (this is a strength as much as a weakness).I'm already moved on to book two (or book 1b if you will) and am looking forward to the journey.
goldnyght on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't enjoy the Kingdom books as much as I enjoy their sister books on Kelewan, but Magician Apprentice is a well-written book.
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The First Church of Tolkienism welcomes you. Today's sermon will deviate a little slightly from our current coverage over the validity of "The Hunt for Gollum" and what Tolkienologists have to say about it.Today, we're visiting the more apocryphal passages of the Legendarium, those believed to be penned not by Tolkien the Greater (or even Tolkien the Lesser), but instead by the Prophet Feist.Feist, for those of you not familiar with the lesser prophets, stands apart from the others, such as Terrance of Brooks, First and Second Eddings, and Stephen The Son of Donald, as his epistle is not, as with the others, at times easily confused with works penned by Tolkien.He is, in fact, considered the least of the tolkienoid prophets, minimally retelling the tales we all know and love from the Legendarium.In his epistle, The First Book of Magician: Apprentice, he tells a tale that crosses some controversial lines with many experts. The tales of the Legendarium do not condone cross-dimensional traveling. Such tales dwell too close to the teachings of the Moorcockadans.Nevertheless, this epistle tells the tale of a lowly boy named Pug, who is apprenticed to a magician, and who is rather indifferent to such a vocation. Shortly after the discovery of of a strange rift in the universal fabric, allowing soldiers from a strange new world to march on their land, the people of the land attempt to retaliate. However, it is not an our world versus their world, as the treachery of the dark elves waylays their plans, yet the boon of the dwarfs give succor. A nation at war with itself and with another world gives rise to many facets of drama.On the whole, scholars believe this work to be greatly inspired by Tolkien, but not to the point in which it would be considered too similar. Such writings may appeal to those who find works considered "Fantastic" to be of value, but may fall short of the expectations of devout Tolkienians and their families.May the light of the silmaril constantly light your paths.
molliewatts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pug is an ordinary kitchen boy, an orphan in the kingdom of Crydee, the western-most duchy of Midkemia. He and his best friend, Tomas, await the day they will be selected for an apprenticeship, marking their ascent into adulthood. Tomas is chosen to apprentice as a soldier, while Pug, to everyone's surprise, is chosen to apprentice the magician, Kulgan. Pug has a boyhood crush on the Princess Carline, but soon finds her to be snobbish and willful. After rescuing her one day from trolls, he finds himself awarded a title and land, eating meals with the Duc and his family, a peer of the realm and an object of fascination for the princess. When a mysterious ship crashes upon their shores, Pug and the others realize they are on the brink of invasion by an alien nation from another world, the Tsurani, a warlike people driven by powerful magicians. The Duc of Crydee sets out for the far East in the hopes of warning the king, taking both Pug and Tomas with him. Along the way the boys get separated, Pug continuing on with the duc and Tomas wintering in the mountains with the dwarves - during this time both boys begin to discover their destinies. The story ends on a cliffhanger, with Pug being captured by the Tsurani and taken to their world. Feist's style of writing is a bit different from what I am used to reading. It seems to lack a certain depth and emotion, almost as if he is just skimming the surface of description - like a man lacking imagination (not trying to sound sexist). The magic that is alluded to is mentioned only briefly and then shunted aside with no real development. It is a quick read, though, and once I got used to the writing I enjoyed the book enough to make me want to read the sequels.
nursewidener on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my most favorite books of all time. This is the ultimate young person to Savior of the world or both worlds in this case. Fiest is a god among sci-fi fantasy writers. Pug-a misfit that no one wants but becomes the ultimate magician that saves the universe.It is worth the time to find this old book and get hooked on the series. It is massive and continues to grow, it is sooo cool.
SnakeVargas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book when i was 14 and i loved it. Then. I re-read it several years later, and didn't care for it nearly as much. This book and its direct sequal, Magician: Master, are the only two of R.E. Feist's books i can stomach. Most of them read like somebody's roleplay session transcribed.
readafew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the beginning of a great epic. We meet the boy Pug growing up in the Dutchy of Crydee. Things turn strange when a very unusual foreign ship crashed into the beach during a storm. It disappeared under the waves after Pug and Tomas rummaged and found a couple little clues as to the origin and intentions of the ships crew. The intentions were not benevolent to the citizens of the Kingdom.
debs4jc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This first book in a series follows a young boy as he develops into a man--and into a powerful magician. Pug grew up in the idyllic town of Crydee, in a medieval atmosphere of dukes and kings and swords. He is apprenticed to the local magician, and in later events becomes involved in the political infighting of the time while on a trip to visit the king. Pug is also there when a "rift" is discovered--a rift that turns out to be the portal to another world. This tome is full of lots of great suspense and adventure, the political manuverings parrallel the best intrigues of history. Pug is an intriguing character as he grows and develops under trying circumstances. He seems a bit heartless at times, but when you consider the circumstances he was forced into there are reasons for his actions. This is a great series to get into for fans of swashbuckling fantasy adventures, but it is quite lengthy and occasionally I felt bogged down in the story.
ragwaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first book started off with some amazing cliches. Pipe smoking wizard, mountains too snow covered so must go through dwarven mines, a young boy with powers he doesn't understand as a main character. But overall it wasn't bad. The bad guys were just starting to get interesting when it ended and the magic armor and sword seemed like they were heading somewhere very cool. The second book was better. The characters started to grow on me a bit and the world of the Tusranni was detailed and very cool. It was not too long winded and the action was pretty steady. Writing was average, not bad enough to be distracting but not good enough for me ever to notice a beautiful line of prose. Not bad for a fantasy novel written 20 years ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a world to escape to!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my all time favourites.