Magician’s End by Raymond E. Feist

After 29 books and 30 years, the Riftwar Cycle finally comes to an end. Finishing the last book in a series, particularly a long series is always so incredibly bittersweet, especially for a cherished series that I grew up on. Obvious statement: Magician’s End is the last book in a pretty long series. If you have not read the previous novels, it probably isn’t going to be all that great of a read. Another obvious statement: If this is a series that you have read and enjoyed, this book is an absolute must read as it does wrap the series up nicely. Here are a couple of thoughts and shortcomings, mostly because raving about how much I love something doesn’t seem like it would make for an interesting read (minor spoilers):

Many of the newer characters are obviously rehashed (the many Jimmies for example). I am sure that it is to provide continuity and to show the reader the the strength of the ConDoin line continues to carry on through the generations, especially when you take Pug’s experiences and lifespan into consideration; And this book is very much about reflecting on the past. End result though is that Hal, Martin, and Jimmy feel shallow and rehashed. I didn’t find either of them very interesting or developed characters.

Magician’s End effectively follows two separate story lines that don’t really interact all that much: Pug saving the universe and the kingdom falling into civil war. Though I did enjoy Hal, Martin, and company’s aspect of the story and ┬árecognize that it is an important part of the story, there were stretches of it that weren’t all that interesting. For example, the civil war. First off, it wasn’t all that compelling. Second, it never reaches a point where anything all that important happens given the scope of the story, which arguably could be the point but reading it felt like it was written as an obligation to break up the Pug chapters. I feel as if the two story lines should have been either intertwined more or split into two separate books instead of effectively dividing the Chaoswar Saga in half. I almost feel as if that aspect of the book detracted from Pug’s storyline.

That said and all that considered, I would rank Magician’s End on the upper end of more recent titles in the series. It’s an enjoyable read, the last couple of chapters being especially satisfying even if they are a bit heavy on nostalgia. Most loose ends are nicely tied up. Quite a satisfying end to a long series.

On Books and Such

So I have been in the mood lately to participate in activities other than gaming and sitting in front of the computer; Thus the lower than average WoW and gaming activity (other than my short Witcher binge). I don’t know if it’s because of the lack of AAA titles, the return of longer days, or just being a grown-up :P. Probably a combination of all three. I haven’t actually raided in several months. I suspect that I will get the ‘itch’ sooner or later but for the time being, I’m enjoying doing other things on certain evenings.

Anyway, Game of Thrones is an exceptional television program and you should all watch it if you don’t already. TV series and books based off of fantasy novels usually trigger my cheese-radar, but I really am quite pleased with the way this series has turned out. It follows the book closely and the casting, production value, etc are so far above anything else from that genre. The downside though is that, every single other fantasy television series looks like absolute junk in comparison. There’s only one episode left, what the hell am I going to fix on next?

It’s fantasy for people who are not normally into fantasy in a similar-ish way to how Battlestar Galactica is science-fiction for people who are not normally into science-fiction. The overall story focuses on social and political intrigue rather than the fantasy elements (dragons and magic). It’s not quite hard fantasy, but it’s pretty  fantastic. The book and show compliment each other rather well; if you haven’t seen/read one, I highly recommend doing so. It’s an excellent novel. I’ve actually only read the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. I think I will start on A Clash of Kings since I just finished the series that I have been reading.

Speaking of which, I have greatly enjoyed both the Farseer and the Tawny Man trilogies by Robin Hobb. I recommend her books if you enjoy epic fantasy and that sort of thing. Oh and, eReaders are pretty great. They solve every single problem that I have had with traditional printed media.