By Raymond E. Feist,

Book cover of Magician: Apprentice

Book description

In the westernmost province of the Kingdom of the Isles, upon the world of Midkemia, an orphan kitchen boy named Pug was made apprentice to the magician Kulgan.

Here starts an adventure that will span lifetimes and worlds. Discover where the story begins.

The world had changed even before I…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

7 authors picked Magician as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is the first book in a series that goes on and on, following the life of a couple of characters as the world changes around them. Spanning two different worlds, this first book builds up a number of characters you want to keep reading about. As the series continues through time, new threats to the two worlds introduce new characters. What I like most about this series is it keeps moving the worlds forward instead of stagnating.

From Trudie's list on fantasy to read again and again.

I find that I usually am drawn to women writers of fantasy. The exception is Raymond Feist. He is sword and sorcery but his character development, as well as his world-building, are for me at least, exceptional. The feel of his Midkemia is medieval and his Kelewan has the feel of feudal Japan – both worlds I completely love to read about over in the non-fiction side of the library! As I write these reviews I see a pattern emerging – world-building and character development. Even though the Fantasy genre requires you to suspend your knowledge of what you know…

From Suzanne's list on fantasy binge reads.

Magician: Apprentice is the gateway to Feist’s fantastic Midkemia, a world of heroes, magic, monsters, and political intrigue. In a remote corner of the Kingdom, orphan Pug struggles to learn magic. After saving the duke’s daughter, Pug joins the court, which is where the story takes an unexpected twist. The Kingdom comes under attack by invaders from another world. Pug and his friend Tomas become embroiled in the struggle, which pushes each to become more than they ever dreamed possible. The arc of the story continues through three more surprise-filled books. Impressively, Feist continues to spin out new tales exploring…

While I grew up on Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, and His Dark Materials, I still credit Feist’s Riftwar Saga for sparking my true love of fantasy. This epic spans a total of 31 books, crafting a multigenerational tale of a world of magic, cataclysm, monsters, and continuously rising stakes that never feel trite.

Through all my years reading, nothing has topped it. It’s high time I start a re-read.

Magician takes place at the same time as my first pick. It shows the world of Midkemia and the almost Arthurian tale that is woven into it. The rift between the two worlds is open and the invading armies must be kept at bay. It has epic battles and heartbreaking moments. It follows the character of Pug, who is growing up in a keep a long way from the court. But life is not meant to be commonplace for this boy. He is plunged into matters he cannot hope to understand, just yet, and we follow his story as he…

Look. It’s not derivative if you read it *first*. And I read Magician almost a full decade before I read The Lord of the Rings! Two awesome forests to be found in Midkemia are Elvandar, ruled by the elf queen, and the Green Heart, hideout of the moredhel. Some of Tolkien’s bias carries over, here, since the bloodthirsty Brotherhood of the Dark Path has dark hair and eyes, while the eledhel are “fair”. Still, Feist’s worldbuilding allowed enough room at the margins for my brunette self to imagine being one of the Returned – a dark brother who turns…

From Thoraiya's list on fantasy novels about forests.

Raymond E. Feist managed to get it right by making you grow with Pug in this fantastic novel of bravery and sacrifice. Pug will crawl into your heart and you will wish to defend him on his trials. A great novel to start the series and take you even further into a magical world filled with endless possibilities.

From Marius' list on taking you away from reality.

Want books like Magician?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 95 books like Magician.

Browse books like Magician

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in forests, magic, and worldbuilding?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about forests, magic, and worldbuilding.

Forests Explore 52 books about forests
Magic Explore 28 books about magic
Worldbuilding Explore 145 books about worldbuilding