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MAGICIAN: THE AUTHOR'S PREFERRED EDITION (Riftwar Saga) Hardcover – October 18, 1992
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Then, there was the 10th Anniversary edition of Magician which put everything together and restored some 50,000 words originally cut, according to the author. As the edition reviewed seems to be the author's preferred edition, go with this one, I guess. One way or another, the complete Magician is the 1st book of the Riftwar Saga Trilogy (the others are Silverthorn and Darkness at Sethanon).
We're not done yet. The Riftwar Saga is itself part of a greater whole. It is the initial series arc of a cycle which comprises several extended series arcs that stand on their own, like Legends of the Riftwar, Riftwar Legacy, Krondor's Sons, etc.
As for the book itself (finally)... First, restoring cuts to this overlong book--mostly a bad idea. An Editor can be an author's best friend. The book is already too long, and it needed a firm editing hand, not indulgence of the author's ego.
Second, this book shows grand scope and great ideas. It is easy and fun to read, page turning prose. That said, however, it also shows some limitations in Feist's early writing abilities and craft. He is simply not that good a writer in a technical sense. The prose is often awkward, almost as if written for young teens; the dialog often stilted and cartoonish. His concepts and plots have their issues, but they far outstrip his ability to execute them all gracefully.
Given those limitations, this tale of a war between two worlds linked by a mysterious portal is still a ripping good yarn--as the saying goes--and a great idea. You can excuse some limitations in the author's writings, because it is a fine fantasy creation with an enormous scope that entertains greatly. Its inept prose and awkward recounting of events does grate at times, though.
From the very begining there is thrilling adventure. The characters are creative and interesting. A very adictive series.