Magician’s End is the final book of the Chaoswar Saga, by the popular fantasy author Raymond E. Feist.
I have been a fan of Mr Feist’s books for a long time now, starting with his first in the series Magician. His writing ability is quite brilliant in how he weaves characters and story around his well crafted fantasy world scenario focused in the world of Midkemia, and Magician’s End continues this albeit with some different moments of focus.
The book mainly details the struggles of Pug and the Conclave as they seek to understand and battle the Dread in saving their world and more, with the usual dual-plot of the royal conDoin family in a Kingdom civil war story this time round. This sort of dual story style has been adopted by Feist for some time now; on one hand we have the adventures of the magicians and their more other-worldly battles of magic, dragons, other worlds etc, and then we have the more medieval realistic story of knights, archers, and the like, focusing on some specific story revolving around the The Kingdom of the Isles.
In some way it is a good style to have, as it keeps the story fresh when changing from one viewpoint to another, however it has become very predictable and almost boring in the setup, you know exactly what is coming, since it’s been done multiple times now in his books, maybe it’s an inevitable fact of reading so many of an author’s books, they can’t really be expected to reinvent themselves and style every book to suit keeping a reader fully in the dark of how their story will be weaved, but it’s a shame nevertheless.
One section of the book, which is quite a change for the writing style, is that the author focuses on a philosophical idea of the workings of the universe, or the universe in the book, without spoiling the story, the theory is something that has been discussed by a variety of philosophers already, and whilst interesting in the context of the book’s universe, is really a mistake in my opinion to detail it.
Myths and the unknown are what drives the best fictional world, by explaining everything as a set of logical rules/answers, you aren’t doing much by answering the big questions, for readers that haven’t considered such ideas, all you are doing is confusing/tiring them, and for readers who have considered such ideas, you aren’t doing the topic justice in a such a scenario, it is better to leave the workings of a fantasy world completely mysterious, or at least very sparse in the amount of information you reveal, even until the end.
I’m not sure what the real intent was with this book, I guess to bring a final conclusive end to all the questions of the world Feist created, with the title and what happens in the book it does point to that direction, so that maybe he can focus on something else. It seems to me, any other stories that stem from this world, would seem rather lackluster after what has happened. I mean the world he created is very lush with possibility for multiple adventures, but with this book complete, a spark of what made it interesting has gone, that drive to know more about what is going on. There could be a smaller impact novel for a another/place time, but I think it would fizzle out the progress the series has made.
In terms of enjoyment, I mentioned that the predictability of some sections makes it somewhat boring early in the book, but the likeability of the characters and the interesting scenarios brings the book back quite well during the latter half of the book, so it became more enjoyable to read, and the ending was done quite well. I rarely enjoy reading endings, as I feel they try too hard to tie up loose ends quickly or poise themselves completely against what the whole books seems to be about, but the ending is whilst predictable, still satisfying.
Overall I don’t think I need to persuade a Feist fan to read the book, as they probably will if they follow the series. For new readers of his fantasy, I definitely recommend his first book; Magician, as it is one of the best fantasy books I’ve read. Anyway I hope Mr Feist continues writing and maybe finds a new angle to proceed with, as it will bring some much needed renewal to his work since his earliest published works.
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