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Author Topic: Magician's End discussion  (Read 7939 times)

CosmoJoe

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Magician's End discussion
« on: May 20, 2013, 05:12:50 AM »

So, just finished reading the Kindle version Magician's End.  I have been reading this series since my cousin lent me his copy of Magician: Apprentice in the late 80's.  I felt this book, overall, was a good read.  Wanted to share some of my thoughts.

** Spoilers below!! **
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Breaking this down into bulleted points for easy reading.

Spoiler: show
1.  I found myself almost rushing to get past the civil war chapters.  For me it was just hard to get excited over what was going on there compared to the real meat of the story with Pug, Magnus, etc.  I also felt the civil war story arc was a bit cliché and predictable.  By that, I mean you get all of this discussion from some of the main characters (Hal, etc) and how they are going to do X,Y and Z to outsmart the larger armies.  The storyline then played out pretty much exactly how I figured it would.  Was hoping for some sort of twist there.

2.  It was nice to see some of the older characters (Boric, Kulgan, ec) make a comeback.  I found some of those conversations touching and in the case of Magnus, helped to develop the characters a bit for me.  That said, the entire reason for those conversations - the whole idea of those old characters imparting some forgotten, critical knowledge; it felt a little clumsy.  I didn't see that it actually made a win or lose difference in the end.

3.  The explanation by Macros about who the ultimate enemy is was very confusing.  Maybe I need to go back and read it a few more times, but the statements about the city of forever being a blueprint; mathematics, etc - it all seemed a bit like nonsense and a lot of rambling.  When Macros finally got to the part about the big bang, and the stuff left behind from it; *that* made sense to me.  Getting there just felt painful.

4.  Strangely, I found the epilogue the best part of the book.  It was very touching.  I went back and read it a few times.  Part of me found the ending happy and yet also profoundly sad.  At first I felt like Pug deserved more.  I really thought they would elevate him to some sort of godhood or something but his ultimate fate of being reincarnated with a loving family felt very simple and yet so very clever and unexpected.  It also makes perfect sense as a way to reward him and wipe away all the wounds and trauma of everything that transpired.
From Magnus's perspective, it feels sad.  He reunites with someone who is for all practical intents and purposes his father, and yet is someone different now.  I would be curious how Raymond intended that to feel for the reader.

In summary, a good book.  I don't feel like I wasted my money.  I am bummed that this is apparently the end of Feist's work in the Midkemia universe and really, based on the ending I can't see that Ray intends to do anything further aside from perhaps spin off novels or something.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 07:55:14 AM by Great One »
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Alrin

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Re: Magician's End discussion
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 07:59:06 AM »

I've read it. I enjoyed it well enough, I suppose. Having not read the preceding books in the series I was pretty lost when it came to a bunch of characters and motivations (Magician's End was my first introduction to the three conDoin boys from Crydee) but that didn't really prevent me from following along. It was probably the best of the recent Feist novels I've read, but that's not really saying much (the last I read being Rides a Dread Legion, which was abysmal).

I probably found the civil war aspect the most enjoyable of the book. The magicians' arcs were pretty tedious and the ending felt recycled from Wrath of a Mad God.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 08:44:26 AM by Alrin »
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carltonec

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Re: Magician's End discussion
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 02:46:13 AM »

I just finished the book today. I thought it was a great way to finish the series.

But, I have a few thoughts...

Spoiler: show
I am not sure why there was so much emphasis put on the Dragons being the key to stopping the Dread (since they can fly in the void). They never actually did anything except fly with Ashen Shugar and destroy a couple of targets. They really did nothing to thwart the Dread, except destroy the "markers", which could have been done by any magician. They didn't even enter the void in this story. Color me confused. ;)

Why exactly was Nakor and Miranda's memories put into demons? The gods showed they could bring anyone they wish back to life to serve a purpose... wouldn't it have been easier to bring the real Miranda and Nakor back until the deed was done? And, since all the others returned to being dead after their purpose was fulfilled, why would Nakor and Miranda still be around?

How was Ashen Shugar wrestling with a being as immense as the Dread King? He was described as 10 times the size of the Dreadlord that Rhuagh battled. Ashen Shugar probably came up to his knees, if that! And I doubt that perspective comes into play when you are actually wrestling the being. ;)
Also, from the description of the Dread King's power, I DOUBT a DragonLord could cause it much of a pause. It sounded like nothing short of a god could stop it, if even THEY could. The dread was collectively one being, a being that was around before the gods... the "other side" of Mind. Could ANYTHING but Mind really hope to face it in battle? Being a piece of the original perfect bliss, I would imagine that it was more powerful than the gods, and the Valheru would have caued it little, if any pause.

And last, but not least.... what was the purpose of showing them the "devil", so to speak, and how he was cast out along with the other bad angels (sounds familiar....). He had nothing to do with the story as far as I could tell. He was not the "bad guy" that they were trying to defeat. He caused them no trouble. Unless of course I misunderstood that. I guess I should give it another read sometime. I also do not understand how the "lessons" they received made any kind of difference


Aside from my questions in the spoiler, I still very much enjoyed the story.
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ButtSlappingPirate

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Re: Magician's End discussion
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2013, 11:49:11 AM »

So is it worth buying now, or just wait until it gets really, really cheap on Amazon?
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Great One

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Re: Magician's End discussion
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 08:47:43 PM »

Go and get it from a library. It is not even worth owning. The last 20 pages or so are the only parts worth reading, really.
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CosmoJoe

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Re: Magician's End discussion
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 08:20:47 PM »

Wow.. harsh :)

It is a pity, but when I think back on the original books (Magician, Silverthorn, Sethanon) - I think these were Raymond's finest works.  I have to wonder if during the writing of those books, he was thinking ahead to how he would conclude the whole series.
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StubbornFool

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Re: Magician's End discussion
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 06:06:07 PM »

I had mixed feeling about the book. I did enjoy it. But was hoping it would be as good as the Magician and Silverthorn. I put together a book review on my site. stubbornfool.com
I started reading the books in the early 90s and after catching up, bought them as soon as they came out. I've written a few reviews but had the hardest time with this novel. I guess I expected more. Was hoping to be blown away like I was on the earlier novels.
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The Squire Of Forest Deep

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Re: Magician's End discussion
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 01:19:57 PM »

I recently listened to the last few Midkemia audiobooks and found Magician's End as disappointing as all Feist's recent efforts.

Spoiler: show
To start with, I pretty much completely agree with everything CosmoJoe said (excepting point 4, perhaps) and second all Carltonec's questions, some of which hadn't occurred to me (yeah, the dragons did end up being insignificant!) I didn't care enough about Hal or any of the others to get interested in the civil war plotline, even though they've been established for a few books now. I don't think one book gave Feist enough time or space to develop a convincingly intricate, engaging conflict. It was almost over before it started. And like CJ said, there was no twist - it was all too easy.

Like Alrin, I was also bored by the magicians' arc. I agree with CJ that, while it was nice to see old characters again, it was also somewhat saccharine and contrived. Macros' explanation of evil was esoteric and needlessly protracted (What was with all the endless interruptions from the magicians and cantankerous 'I'm getting to that' from Macros? Filler?) as was the journey to get there. Why the burbling sea monster thing? Why the guide morphng from a boy to a minstrel or whatever? And the lessons were pretty irrelevant/lame. It was all so arbitrary and meaningless, like Ray was just trying to add to his word count.

In short, I wonder why Ray ever bothered to continue the series past the Conclave of Shadows (even they were pretty crap). The answer, presumably, is money, but I wish he'd just moved straight on to whatever project he's working on now rather than ruin two perfectly good sagas with three awful ones.
Raymond E Feist's Magician's End
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 01:23:24 PM by The Squire Of Forest Deep »
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