The second half of Magician became increasingly dark as I approached the climactic end to the Kelewan-Midkemian Riftwar. I observed definite growth to full maturity between Pug and Tomas, and perhaps that growth from boyhood through young adult into adulthood is what I lament - the rite of passage of most normal young boys, though Pug and Tomas could never be mistaken for normal. While everything seemed wondrous and adventurous in the first half of the novel (also known as Magician: Apprentice), I felt the oppression of circumstances, the collision of events and the machinations of a magician previously thought trustworthy. Not all was dark and gloomy, yet I didn't walk away from this book thinking it ended on a resoundingly happy note. A couple of scenes stood out as a bit over-the-top and stretched the envelope of believability: Milamber's reaction to the Imperial Games and Tomas' ability to overcome a dead dreaded god-like being with his boyish mental fortitude. And I can't deny I felt gut-punched by the eleventh-hour betrayal by Macros. For a debut work, I applaud Raymond Feist for a magnificent tale and the beginning to a well-loved fantasy epic. I'm continuing the Riftwar Saga by reading Silverthorn this month.