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Magician: Master, page 1


Magician: Master
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Magician: Master







  “The best new fantasy in years…has a chance of putting its author firmly on the throne next to Tolkien—and keeping him there.”

  —The Dragon Magazine


  “As exciting and absorbing as Magician in every way…one of the outstanding fantasy offerings of the season.”

  —Andre Norton


  “Feist writes skillfully and his imagination is prolific.”

  —Rave Reviews



  “Has just about everything a fantasy fan could ask for.”



  “A superior, rousing adventure.”

  —Publishers Weekly


  A Bantam Spectra Book


  Doubleday hardcover edition published November 1982

  Bantam edition / April 1986

  Revised Doubleday edition / November 1992

  Revised Bantam edition / January 1994

  Bantam reissue edition / July 2004

  Published by

  Bantam Dell

  A Division of Random House, Inc.

  New York, New York

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  All rights reserved

  Copyright © 1982 by Raymond E. Feist

  Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 92-13250

  No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law. For information address: Bantam Books, New York, New York.

  Bantam Books, the rooster colophon, Spectra, and the portrayal of a boxed “s” are all registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

  ISBN 9780553564938

  Ebook ISBN 9780525480051

  Published simultaneously in Canada





  Title Page


  Foreword to the Revised Edition


  Our Story So Far…


  Chapter 1: Slave

  Chapter 2: Estate

  Chapter 3: Changeling

  Chapter 4: Training

  Chapter 5: Voyage

  Chapter 6: Krondor

  Chapter 7: Escape

  Chapter 8: Great One

  Chapter 9: Fusion

  Chapter 10: Emissary

  Chapter 11: Decision

  Chapter 12: Upheaval

  Chapter 13: Deceptions

  Chapter 14: Betrayal

  Chapter 15: Legacy

  Chapter 16: Renaissance



  Acknowledgment to the Revised Edition

  By Raymond E. Feist

  Foreword to the Revised Edition

  It is with some hesitation and a great deal of trepidation that an author approaches the task of revising an earlier edition of fiction. This is especially true if the book was his first effort, judged successful by most standards, and continuously in print for a decade.

  Magician was all this, and more. In late 1977 I decided to try my hand at writing, part-time, while I was an employee of the University of California, San Diego. It is now some fifteen years later, and I have been a full-time writer for the last fourteen years, successful in this craft beyond my wildest dreams. Magician, the first novel in what became known as The Riftwar Saga, was a book that quickly took on a life of its own. I hesitate to admit this publicly, but the truth is that part of the success of the book was my ignorance of what makes a commercially successful novel. My willingness to plunge blindly forward into a tale spanning two dissimilar worlds, covering twelve years in the lives of several major and dozens of minor characters, breaking numerous rules of plotting along the way, seemed to find kindred souls among readers the world over. After a decade in print, my best judgment is that the appeal of the book is based upon its being what was known once as a “ripping yarn.” I had little ambition beyond spinning a good story, one that satisfied my sense of wonder, adventure, and whimsy. It turned out that several million readers—many of whom read translations in languages I can’t even begin to comprehend—found it one that satisfied their tastes for such a yarn as well.

  But insofar as it was a first effort, some pressures of the marketplace did manifest themselves during the creation of the final book. Magician is by anyone’s measure a large book. When the penultimate manuscript version sat upon my editor’s desk, I was informed that some fifty thousand words would have to be cut. And cut I did. Mostly line by line, but a few scenes were either truncated or excised.

  While I could live out my life with the original manuscript as published being the only edition ever read, I have always felt that some of the material cut added a certain resonance, a counterpoint if you will, to key elements of the tale. The relationships between characters, the additional details of an alien world, the minor moments of reflection and mirth that act to balance the more frenetic activity of conflict and adventure, all these things were “close but not quite what I had in mind.”

  In any event, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the original publication of Magician, I have been permitted to return to this work, to reconstruct and change, to add and cut as I see fit, to bring forth what is known in publishing as the “Author’s Preferred Edition” of the work. So, with the old admonition, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” ringing in my ears, I return to the first work I undertook, back when I had no pretensions of craft, no stature as a bestselling author, and basically no idea of what I was doing. My desire is to restore some of those excised bits, some of the minor detail that I felt added to the heft of the narrative, as well as the weight of the book. Other material was more directly related to the books that follow, setting some of the background for the mythic underpinning of the Riftwar. The slightly lengthy discussion of lore between Tully and Kulgan in Chapter Three, as well as some of the things revealed to Pug on the Tower of Testing were clearly in this area. My editor wasn’t sold on the idea of a sequel, then, so some of this was cut. Returning it may be self-indulgent, but as this was material I felt belonged in the original book, it has been restored.

  To those readers who have already discovered Magician, who wonder if it’s in their interests to purchase this edition, I would like to reassure them that nothing profound has been changed. No characters previously dead are now alive, no battles lost are now won, and two boys still find the same destiny. I ask you to feel no compulsion to read this new volume, for your memory of the original work is as valid, perhaps more so, than mine. But if you wish to return to the world of Pug and Tomas, to rediscover old friends and forgotten adventure, then consider this edition your opportunity to see a bit more than the last time. And to the new reader, welcome. I trust you’ll find this work to your satisfaction.

  It is with profound gratitude I wish to thank you all, new readers and old acquaintances, for without your support and encouragement, ten years of “ripping yarns” could not have been possible. If I have the opportunity to provide you with a small part of
the pleasure I feel in being able to share my fanciful adventures with you, we are equally rewarded, for by your embracing my works you have allowed me to fashion more. Without you there would have been no Silverthorn, A Darkness at Sethanon, Faerie Tale, and no Empire Trilogy. The letters get read, if not answered—even if they sometimes take months to reach me—and the kind remarks, in passing at public appearances, have enriched me beyond measure. But most of all, you gave me the freedom to practice a craft that was begun to “see if I could do it,” while working at the Residence Halls of John Muir College at UCSD.

  So, thank you. I guess “I did it.” And with this work, I hope you’ll agree that this time I did it a little more elegantly, with a little more color, weight, and resonance.


  San Diego, California

  August 1991

  Detail left

  Detail right

  Our story so far…

  Upon the world of Midkemia, the mighty Kingdom of the Isles rose, beside the vast Empire of Great Kesh to the south. The Kingdom was then nearing an era of greatness; the nation spanned a continent, from the Kingdom Sea to the Endless Sea.

  In the twelfth year of the reign of Rodric IV, in the westernmost province of the Kingdom, the Duchy of Crydee, an orphan kitchen boy named Pug was made apprentice to the magician Kulgan. An indifferent student of magic, he rose to high station, for he saved the daughter of Duke Borric, Princess Carline, from a dire fate and became a squire of the Duke’s Court. Pug then found himself the object of Carline’s girlish infatuation and, as a result, rival to young Squire Roland, a member of the court. With his best friend Tomas, Pug discovered the wreckage of an alien vessel and a dying man of unknown nationality. The Duke’s priest, Father Tully, used his magic to learn the dying man was from another world, Kelewan, dominated by a mighty empire of warriors, the Tsurani. They had reached Midkemia by a magic gate, a rift in space, and might be preparing the way for invasion. Duke Borric took council with the Elf Queen, Aglaranna, who agreed some strange menace was approaching the Far Coast of the Kingdom; the elves had seen strange warriors mapping the west, men who vanished mysteriously.

  Fearing this a prelude to invasion, Lord Borric and his younger son, Arutha, led a company of men to warn the King of the possible attack, leaving Crydee to the care of his elder son, Lyam, and Swordmaster Fannon. The company numbered among it Kulgan the magician, Pug and Tomas, Sergeant Gardan and fifty soldiers of Crydee. In the forest called the Green Heart, the Duke’s party was attacked by the dreaded moredhel, the dark elves known as the Brotherhood of the Dark Path. After a long bloody fight, the Duke and the other survivors were saved by Dolgan, a dwarven chief, and his companions.

  Dolgan led them through the mines of Mac Mordain Cadal, where a wraith attacked, separating Tomas from the others in the company. Tomas fled deep into the ancient mine, while Dolgan led the others to safety.

  Dolgan returned into the mine to find Tomas, discovering the boy had been given refuge by one of the last of the mighty golden dragons, ancient and near death. The dragon, Rhuragh, told of his life, his encounter with the strange sorceror Macros the Black and of other wonders. Rhuragh vanished in a wondrous final moment of glory, due to a gift of Macros, and left Tomas with a special gift, magic golden armor.

  The Duke’s company reached the city of Bordon, where they took ship for Krondor, capital of the Western Realm of the Kingdom. They were driven by a storm to Sorcerer’s Isle, home of the legendary Macros. There Pug met a mysterious hermit, discovered later to be Macros. He warned of a time of terrible danger approaching, and promised to come when the need was greatest.

  In Krondor, Prince Erland instructed the Duke to continue on to Rillanon, capital of the Kingdom, to see the King. While there, Pug met Princess Anita, Erland’s only child, and learned she was expected to marry Prince Arutha when she grew up.

  In Rillanon, Duke Borric discovered the King to be a man of vision, also a man of doubtful sanity, given to outbursts of temper and rambling discourse. Duke Caldric of Rillanon, Borric’s uncle, warned that the burden of repelling the Tsurani would fall to the western lords should they come, for the King distrusted the Prince of Krondor, dreaming of plots against the crown, and refusing to allow the Armies of the East to leave the Eastern Realm. Then came the Tsurani invasion, and Borric was given command of the Armies of the West. He rushed westward as the Riftwar began.

  During the early part of the war, a raid into Tsurani-held territory was mounted, and Pug was captured.

  Tomas was, with Dolgan’s force of dwarves, among the first to resist the invaders. Something alien had manifested itself in Tomas’s armor, and while wearing it, he became a warrior of awesome power. Haunted by strange visions, he was slowly changing in appearance. In a frantic battle in the dwarven mines, the Tsurani forced Tomas and Dolgan’s company to flee into the forests. Having no safe haven, the dwarves struck out for Elvandar, seeking to ally themselves with the elves. Reaching the court of the Elf Queen they were made welcome. Something in Tomas’s appearance caused the old elven Spellweavers to be fearful, though they would not speak of it.

  Lyam left Crydee to join his father, and Swordmaster Fannon assumed command of the castle with Arutha his second-in-command. Carline grieved Pug’s loss and turned to Roland for comfort. The Tsurani raided Crydee using a captured ship. During the battle, Arutha rescued Amos Trask, the ship’s captain, a former pirate.

  The Tsurani besieged Crydee, and were repulsed many times. During a battle, Swordmaster Fannon was wounded and Arutha assumed command. After a terrible underground battle between Arutha’s men and Tsurani sappers, Arutha ordered the garrisons surrounding Crydee to coordinate for a final battle against the Tsurani. But before that battle could commence, the Tsurani commander, Kasumi of the Shinazawai, received orders to return home with his command.

  But even with that unexpected turn of events, leaving Arutha the victor by default, the war continues indecisively, dragging on for four more years…

  We were, fair queen,

  Two lads that thought there was no more behind

  But such a day to-morrow as to-day,

  And to be boy eternal.


  The Winter’s Tale



  The dying slave lay screaming.

  The day was unmercifully hot. The other slaves went about their work, ignoring the sound as much as possible. Life in the work camp was cheap, and it did no good to dwell on the fate that awaited so many. The dying man had been bitten by a relli, a snakelike swamp creature. Its venom was slow-acting and painful; short of magic, there was no cure.

  Suddenly there was silence. Pug looked over to see a Tsurani guard wipe off his sword. A hand fell on Pug’s shoulder. Laurie’s voice whispered in his ear, “Looks like our venerable overseer was disturbed by the sound of Toffston’s dying.”

  Pug tied a coil of rope securely around his waist. “At least it ended quickly.” He turned to the tall blond singer from the Kingdom city of Tyr-Sog and said, “Keep a sharp eye out. This one’s old and may be rotten.” Without another word Pug scampered up the bole of the ngaggi tree, a firlike swamp tree the Tsurani harvested for wood and resins. With few metals, the Tsurani had become clever in finding substitutes. The wood of this tree could be worked like paper, then dried to an incredible hardness, useful in fashioning a hundred things. The resins were used to laminate woods and cure hides. Properly cured hides could produce a suit of leather armor as tough as Midkemian chain mail, and laminated wooden weapons were nearly the match of Midkemian steel.

  Four years in the swamp camp had hardened Pug’s body. His sinewy muscles strained as he climbed the tree. His skin had been tanned deeply by the harsh sun of the Tsurani homeworld. His face was covered by a slave’s beard.

  Pug reached the first large branches and looked down at his friend. Laurie stood knee-deep in the murky water, absently swatting at the insects that plagued them while they worked. Pug li
ked Laurie. The troubadour had no business being here, but then he’d had no business tagging along with a patrol in the hope of seeing Tsurani soldiers, either. He said he had wanted material for ballads that would make him famous throughout the Kingdom. He had seen more than he had hoped for. The patrol had ridden into a major Tsurani offensive, and Laurie had been captured. He had come to this camp over four months ago, and he and Pug had quickly become friends.

  Pug continued his climb, keeping one eye always searching for the dangerous tree dwellers of Kelewan. Reaching the most likely place for a topping, Pug froze as he caught a glimpse of movement. He relaxed when he saw it was only a needler, a creature whose protection was its resemblance to a clump of ngaggi needles. It scurried away from the presence of the human and made the short jump to the branch of a neighboring tree. Pug made another survey and started tying his ropes. His job was to cut away the tops of the huge trees, making the fall less dangerous to those below.

  Pug took several cuts at the bark, then felt the edge of his wooden ax bite into the softer pulp beneath. A faint pungent odor greeted his careful sniffing. Swearing, he called down to Laurie, “This one’s rotten. Tell the overseer.”

  He waited, looking out over the tops of trees. All around, strange insects and birdlike creatures flew. In the four years he had been a slave on this world, he had not grown used to the appearance of these life-forms. They were not all that different from those on Midkemia, but it was the similarities as much as the differences that kept reminding him this was not his home. Bees should be yellow-and-black-striped, not bright red. Eagles shouldn’t have yellow bands on their wings, nor hawks purple. These creatures were not bees, eagles, or hawks, but the resemblance was striking. Pug found it easier to accept the stranger creatures of Kelewan than these. The six-legged needra, the domesticated beast of burden that looked like some sort of bovine with two extra stumpy legs, or the cho-ja, the insectoid creature who served the Tsurani and could speak their language: these he had come to find familiar. But each time he glimpsed a creature from the corner of his eye and turned, expecting it to be Midkemian only to find it was not, then the despair would strike.

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