|Magicians End marks the end of
Raymond E. Feists Riftwar cycle that began with Magician
back in 1982 and thus poses some difficulty to this reviewer as the potential to throw out
a spoiler is very high. As befits the ending to this long sequence of novels, Magicians
End is a big book weighing in at over 630 pages successfully tying in several
threads, some begun in the original trilogy, and leaving none hanging.
If one is looking
for a central character to Magicians End, then it must be
Pug. Chapters loop out to the ConDoin sons of Crydee and their involvement in a succession
struggle for the crown of the Kingdom of the Isles, but the real action is with Pug as he
(in concert with other magicians) strives to drive back an incursion of the Dread into
Around the middle of this book Mr Feist changes his style from separate chapters for
his viewpoint characters to separate sections within each chapter, later up scaling to
alternating and rotating sections for changing point of view as the action in the two
complementary storylines each come to their crux points.
Magicians End is a fitting farewell to Midkemia and a
successful conclusion to the final trilogy begun with A Kingdom Besieged.
- Simon Litten
Here am I, complaining about fantasy writers and their endless series they refuse to
bring to a proper conclusion and here is Raymond Feist, who has apparently decided
to do just that with the Riftwar series.
I can remember reading the beginning of Pugs story in Magician
when it first came out in the early 1980s, and I know I especially enjoyed the
Empire trilogy because of its resemblance to the role-playing game Empire of the Petal
Throne, which we were very much into at the time. It was no coincidence its
well known that Feists early work was based on the role-playing games he was
involved in. How else would you get a lead character named Pug?
I confess that Ive not read much of the Riftwar for years now. So, it was a bit
of a surprise to find Magicians End sitting in my
books-to-read box. It must have been a serious challenge to write this final book, to
attempt to tie up all the loose ends, to make sure that long-dead favourite characters get
to say their piece, bring everything to a proper climax, and at the same time make a
decent novel of it. Oh, and devise a fitting fate for a certain magician.
I cant say what that is, because that would spoil it for you, but it worked well
enough for me. Its a lot for one book to achieve, and although it seems a bit
contrived at times, it does mostly succeed. I will admit that he lost me a bit in a few
places, but the battle scenes were some of the best I have ever read (complete with a nod
to Tolkiens King Theoden in the fate of Prince Edward). So, nicely done, Mr
and this time we wont be asking for more.
- Jacqui Smith