Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Magician: Apprentice and Master by Raymond E. Feist

Once again I dive into a fantasy world on audio, this was the author revised edition including the first two volumes of The Magician: Apprentice and Master by Raymond E. Feist, aka The Riftwar Saga. In the audio edition, they were treated as one volume, so I didn't actually know when I went from one book to the other, thanks husband for helping me out with that. I have not read Feist before, so I come to the revamped version ignorant of the original published work. I can't imagine many objections to the changes as they were initiated and made by the author, but I'm sure there are some nonetheless. 

Our story is set in the land of Crydee, a small rural Duchy in The Kingdom on the world of  Midkimea. Our protagonists are Pug, an orphaned kitchen boy (whom lends the book its title), and Tomas, the cook's son and Pug's best friend. We begin right before The Day of Choosing, an important rite of passage for the young men of Crydee in which they learn if they will be apprenticed to any of the tradesmen in the Duchy. Pug and Tomas both would like to be soldiers or foresters. On the auspicious day, Pug is left standing alone after all the other boys have been picked, the Duke's magician, Kulgan.

Just as Pug is becoming serious about his studies, there is a shipwreck. This is no ordinary shipwreck, but one of an alien warship from another world, heralding the coming of an invasion. The Duke and his men seek aid from the Prince and King, but all does not go as planned. (Wouldn't be much story to tell if it did, now would there?) War ensues throwing the kingdom and the boys' lives into chaos and interrupting their studies in the arts of fighting and magic.

Over the course of the story, we get to watch the boys grow into men and come to know more about the Kingdom's enemies, the Tsurani. I cannot describe the plot of the second book without giving away the ending of the first, so I will refrain from sharing any details.

The story was well-told and action packed, as well as funny and occasionally touching. The reader did an excellent job, though I could not find his name. If you are looking for high-adventure fantasy, you'll enjoy this. I'll be listening to the next book in the series, Silverthorn next.