Magician: Master
Raymond E. Feist
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Get *Magician: Master* delivered to your door! Magician: Master
Raymond E. Feist
Bantam Spectra
Copyright 1992
499 pages
rated 3 of 4 possible stars

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With Magician: Master, the Riftwar series becomes a saga in more than name only. Told with a more confident voice and a sense of larger perspective, Raymond E. Feist's second novel of the Riftwar imparts a far greater sense of destiny than Magician: Apprentice even hinted at. Here is the indication that Feist was on his way to becoming one of the most recognized in modern fantasy.

Curled Up With a Good BookThe war between the Tsurani and the Midkemians has been dragging on for four years with neither side gaining ascendancy in the struggle. The orphaned magician's apprentice Pug, captured by the Tsurani and whisked with other Midkemian prisoners of war across the Rift, slaves in a swamp labor camp. Injured in a nearly fatal accident, Pug and the Midkemian troubador Laurie are taken as slaves into the household of the Tsurani Lord of the Shinzawai. There they teach one of the lord's sons their language and how to ride the horses captured from Midkemian armies. Long past pining for his childhood friend Carline, Pug falls in love with Katala, also a slave in the lord's household.

Pug has barely had time to settle into the new routine of his life when a Great One, as Tsurani magicians are called, recognizes the latent potential for magic in the young Midkemian. Pug is whisked away from Katala to begin the studies that will end either in his mastery of Tsurani magic or in his death. He loses all memories of his identity and life while under the bizarre tutelage of the Great Ones, and emerges several years later as Milamber, a magician neither wholly Tsurani nor Midkemian but possessor of the power of both worlds.

While Pug struggles with his conflicting loyalties, he discovers that the Shinzawai lord plots for peace between the two worlds joined by the Rift. Laurie and one of the Shinzawai's sons will make a daring journey to convince a mad king to negotiate peace with the otherworlders, putting their lives in great jeopardy. Tomas, Pug's old childhood friend become a supernaturally mighty warrior, struggles to maintain his humanity as the ancient Valheru Ashen-Shugar fights for control of Tomas' mind and soul. The fate of two worlds hangs in the balance, while the elves try to contain the emerging Valheru in Tomas, and as political maneuvering in the halls of power on both worlds threatens to destroy the fragile hope of an end to the Riftwar.

Magician: Master makes a deeper impression than the novel it follows. Arguably the character introductions of Magician: Apprentice were necessary to make the second Riftwar installment possible. Whatever the case, Feist proves that his level of mastery improves with practice. Don't stop at the Apprentice level; this novel exceeds by bounds the promise of the first. If Feist's storytelling improves this much with each successive book, he will have achieved perfection by the true end of the Riftwar.

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