Reading: Magician

So I finally got around to it.

The best part of reading it was seeing Kelewan from a different POV. Milamber does all this stuff like blow up the arena but he doesn't actually realise what it means for each family. I loved how I realised his actions ended up having huge consequences for Mara but it was all kind of behind-the-scenes.

Even that comment about land reform being introduced in council made me laugh because in SoE Mara comments how no nobles would take the topic seriously, it was just an excuse for another stage of the Game.

It also shed alot of light on what Hokanu was doing in the start of SoE when Mara saw him at the slave markets.

I really liked the bit where Milamber is on the tower and sees the history of the land. The fact that it was a illusion, later pointed out, kind of dissappointed me but at the time it was still pretty cool.

However it reads as a first work and you can tell.

The female characters are immensely flat and BORING. They are all copies of one another and all shallow copies at that. It was just one big yawnfest after another and I found myself despising all the females. That elven queen was one big let down. Geez, you'd think she'd have more brains to act as a solo ruler of 30 years rather than some dumb horny girl.

And the guy always gets the girl. It's just...

Yuck. Pair em all off and they always get the one they want.

I recall Feist mentioned in the start of DoE that he wanted a strong female but didn't know how so he got Janny to co-author it. You can see her hand in the creation of Mara who became one of the best female characters in fantasy. She is strong of will, as is right, but not so far as to become unbelieveable. She is not shallow, not tacky, not cliche. In short, Mara reads as a real woman, not some cheap facade.

I keep wondering when is Silverthorn and Darkness written, because I really hope his females got better.

Some non-girl-related parts of the novel also came off as being rather... stupid. Example: where Tomas and Pug (and Roland, anyone remember him) declare their undying lovefriendship over a pint or two. Seriously... boys don't do that. Atleast, they don't that so earnestly. (And was anyone seriously fooled by Martin at all, we all knew who would be king.)

Still, I rather enjoyed it as a novel on the whole. The dialogue banter of Laurie was very fun and a pleasure to read. Pug is one of the better thought out characters. But in general, I find I enjoyed the scenes where it talks about the history and culture of the lands far more than I actually enjoyed the characters.