Home > Literature, Reviews > Review of Magician by Raymond E Feist

Review of Magician by Raymond E Feist

It’s taken me the better part of two months to read this, and I only finished it off through a combination of stubbornness and frustration that I haven’t been able to move on to something better. Ray Feist seems to be one of the more important fantasy authors and I thought it a good idea that I read this relatively seminal work. As a correspondent of mine pointed out as I was about to start it, it’s tacky and derivative – elves, dwarves and goblins really have no place in fantasy outside Tolkien and gaming.

It’s also badly written. There’s a famous rule of writing that goes, show, don’t tell. Feist tells constantly – the upshot being that it reads like the work of a fifteen year old fantasy geek with far too much time on his hands. Some years ago I started reading Prince of the Blood but gave up after a few chapters. One thing I remember about it was that one chapter started with the paragraph, ‘Dust swirled.’ This is clearly something Feist thinks highly of because every chapter of Magician begins with a short, cheesy, descriptive, one-sentence paragraph.

It did seem to get a little better towards the end, but that’s not saying much. I’m not happy that it was so bad and that it took so long to read, but I’m content that I’ve actually read it now and my knowledge of the fantasy genre is that little bit broader.

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Categories: Literature, Reviews
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