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Magician by Raymond Feist (spoilers) is this the best fantasy novel ever written?


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So i reread the magician by Raymond Feist for about the hundredth time a couple of weeks ago and since then have been wondering, is there another fantasy novel that delivers so much to the fan of modern or so called high fantasy?

 

I personally dont think so, after 16 years of avidly reading the genre i can honestly not think of any other book that ticks all the boxes that a fan of the fantastic requires quite like Raymond Feist' first and finest novel. It is as epic a fantasy novel that can be written in one book, and for any other story to touch it in scope would imo need at least a trilogy. It has all the traditional fantasy trimmings with its own original twist, everything you need for your fantasy fix. It has elves, dwarves, dark elves and dragons, but not in the cheesy forgotten realms/dragonlance vein Feist' non humans are more complex and better written than the one dimensional ones of other fantasy, it has the orphan come good going to rags to riches and power, and by the end of the book the main characters are masters of their field whether warrior or wizard. But there are no mary sues in this book the main characters have to battle failure, slavery and madness before they come into their power, not to mention alien armies with powerful magic. It has a powerful and mysterious wizard pulling strings behind the scenes, it has battles, seiges, politics and sea adventures all with a back drop of a east meets west style clash of cultures, it has noble princes and mad kings, it is the most potent shot of fantasy you could inject your mind with. It is well written and solid and moves in a steady pace with tension running through it, until the end, an end that is clear and satisfactory. It is in my opinion the most complete fantasy book ever written.

 

Do you agree or disagree? Or know of any other books that ticks all the same boxes? I'd appreciate any responses.

 

Edit; tidied the post up a bit. Did it last night when really tired, couldnt sleep until i got something out. Dont think i really do the book credit.

Edited by damandred
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So i reread the magician by Raymond Feist for about the hundredth time a couple of weeks ago and since then have been wondering, is there another fantasy novel that delivers so much to the fan of modern or so called high fantasy?

 

I personally dont think so, after 16 years of avidly reading the genre i can honestly not think of any other book that ticks all the boxes that a fan of the fantastic requires quite like Raymond Feist' first and finest novel. It is as epic a fantasy novel that can be written in one book, and for any other story to touch it in scope would imo need at least a trilogy. It has all the traditional fantasy trimmings with its own original twist, everything you need for your fantasy fix. It has elves, dwarves, dark elves and dragons, but not in the cheesy forgotten realms/dragonlance vein Feist' non humans are more complex and better written than the one dimensional ones of other fantasy, it has the orphan come good going to rags to riches and power, and by the end of the book the main characters are masters of their field whether warrior or wizard. But there are no mary sues in this book the main characters have to battle failure, slavery and madness before they come into their power, not to mention alien armies with powerful magic. It has a powerful and mysterious wizard pulling strings behind the scenes, it has battles, seiges, politics and sea adventures all with a back drop of a east meets west style clash of cultures, it has noble princes and mad kings, it is the most potent shot of fantasy you could inject your mind with. It is well written and solid and moves in a steady pace with tension running through it, until the end, an end that is clear and satisfactory. It is in my opinion the most complete fantasy book ever written.

 

Do you agree or disagree? Or know of any other books that ticks all the same boxes? I'd appreciate any responses.

 

Edit; tidied the post up a bit. Did it last night when really tired, couldnt sleep until i got something out. Dont think i really do the book credit.

I really like this book, although  - I am not sure if you have read all the Riftwar titles so I do not want to give any spoilers...The author falls into a certain trap later on. But still, this is  great fantasy.

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I may have to read this book. Do you like it even more than Wheel of Time?

It's probably the best self contained book that I've read in high fantasy, emphasis on stand alone. The series, for me, goes downhill very, very quickly. So Wheel of Time as a series is better, but you couldn't read it as a stand alone book.

 

 

I also really like his Faerie Tale stand alone - a modern fantasy/horror cross over

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I may have to read this book. Do you like it even more than Wheel of Time?

As a stand a lone, it is my favorite fantasy novel. As has been said the series falls short, though there is good books in it. For example, A Darkness at Sethanon, though non hit the heights of Magician.

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So i reread the magician by Raymond Feist for about the hundredth time a couple of weeks ago and since then have been wondering, is there another fantasy novel that delivers so much to the fan of modern or so called high fantasy?

 

I personally dont think so, after 16 years of avidly reading the genre i can honestly not think of any other book that ticks all the boxes that a fan of the fantastic requires quite like Raymond Feist' first and finest novel. It is as epic a fantasy novel that can be written in one book, and for any other story to touch it in scope would imo need at least a trilogy. It has all the traditional fantasy trimmings with its own original twist, everything you need for your fantasy fix. It has elves, dwarves, dark elves and dragons, but not in the cheesy forgotten realms/dragonlance vein Feist' non humans are more complex and better written than the one dimensional ones of other fantasy, it has the orphan come good going to rags to riches and power, and by the end of the book the main characters are masters of their field whether warrior or wizard. But there are no mary sues in this book the main characters have to battle failure, slavery and madness before they come into their power, not to mention alien armies with powerful magic. It has a powerful and mysterious wizard pulling strings behind the scenes, it has battles, seiges, politics and sea adventures all with a back drop of a east meets west style clash of cultures, it has noble princes and mad kings, it is the most potent shot of fantasy you could inject your mind with. It is well written and solid and moves in a steady pace with tension running through it, until the end, an end that is clear and satisfactory. It is in my opinion the most complete fantasy book ever written.

 

Do you agree or disagree? Or know of any other books that ticks all the same boxes? I'd appreciate any responses.

 

Edit; tidied the post up a bit. Did it last night when really tired, couldnt sleep until i got something out. Dont think i really do the book credit.

I really like this book, although - I am not sure if you have read all the Riftwar titles so I do not want to give any spoilers...The author falls into a certain trap later on. But still, this is great fantasy.

Yes i have read the Riftwar series and i know what you mean. Feist ended up imo more concerned with getting books out and less on quality. Saying that though i stand by my comments on magician. It is unsurprising it was his first novel, after a bit of success he just got lazy.

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I may have to read this book. Do you like it even more than Wheel of Time?

It's probably the best self contained book that I've read in high fantasy, emphasis on stand alone. The series, for me, goes downhill very, very quickly. So Wheel of Time as a series is better, but you couldn't read it as a stand alone book.

 

 

I also really like his Faerie Tale stand alone - a modern fantasy/horror cross over

Yes i agree with this, though i still think Riftwar and Demonwar worth a read.

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I really liked this book too. The later Riftwar books became a bit rushed an samey.

 

The Empire trilogy he wrote was my favourite though.

The biggest problem with Feist is he has no problem with changing his entire mythology willy nilly, he can toss away everything you thought you knew with a "i lied".

 

The Empire Trilogy with Janny Wurts is one of my all time favorite fantasy works.

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Another interesting problem with Feist - and something in which he is almost a total opposite of RJ - is that his characters became so incredibly powerful and his magic has so little in way of rules and constraints that he soon run out of the ways to describe how immense the powers of the characters were...Later on, they were always wielding unimaginable energies, throwing universes around, becoming more or less godlike...It was kind of hard to see any structure to magic and power in the later Riftwar books, especially the last one. It was a little bit as though a hacked characters from a computer RPG found their way into literature

 

Since I mentioned RPGs, Betrayal of Krondor was one of my fauvorite games of old and a genre classic. The story took part in Feist's world, was written with his help and later even got turned into a book called "Krondor: the Betrayal", which was pretty average as far as books go.

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The magic system wasnt a big problem for me, the only trouble i had with it, is when the main characters can obviously just destroy the threat, what ever it is, but dont because of the lamest reason. But i know what you mean, i know a lot of people like clear magic systems, but i really dont mind if its not that clear as long if its consistent.

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Pug is awesome.

 

 

I really liked this book too. The later Riftwar books became a bit rushed an samey.

The Empire trilogy he wrote was my favourite though.

 

Mara of the Acoma?  Even more awesome.

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