Review: Magician’s End / Author: Raymond E. Feist / Publisher: Harper Voyager / Release Date: Out Now
Published way back in 1982, Raymond E. Feist's Magician told the epic story of two young heroes, Tomas and Pug, the latter of whom is the spell-weaver of the title. Roll forward to 2013 and we have the release of Magician’s End, the twenty third novel in the sequence (not counting various tie-ins and collaborations) and the last of the various Riftwar sagas.
The book is a familiar mix of battles and royal intrigue acting as a backdrop to the story of Pug as he cross between worlds trying to protect existence itself. Although the non-magical story feels at times like a side-show to the larger story, it is important and exceedingly well-written. Once again we have naval battles, valiant struggles and court intrigues; all very jolly stuff.
The centre stage is still taken by Pug (or Milamber as we should call him) though there is fierce competition from his companions, including his son Magnus. As he travels across the worlds we are treated to various cameos from his early stories and this is all in line with the fact that this will be the last story in this milieu.
At 600 pages this is a difficult book to comment on without either skimming the surface or diving down in the many twists and turns. Suffice it to say that if you are a fan of any of the previous Feist novels in this saga and haven’t yet bought this you should – it is one of the better ones, though it has left this reviewer trying to find his copy of the original Magician that still sets the benchmark for the series as a whole. Magician’s End may not be Feist’s best Riftwar novel but it is certainly top 5.
Is this really the last of Pug? There is plenty of scope for one or more sets of short stories to be written that would slot into the overall narrative, but they would be historic novels in a sense. Will there be novels set after this? The book does feel like an ending and for some characters it definitely is. Prophecies are fulfilled and although overlong it does end better than it begins. For now we should treat this thirty year journey as being at an end.