In 1993, Sierra On-line subsidiary Dynamix released a game based on Raymond E. Feist's popular fantasy novels set in the fictional world of Midkemia. This game, the computer RPG Betrayal at Krondor, was critically hailed for its unique gameplay, large world, and most of all, its enthralling story. Though Feist himself had little hand in writing the game's story, it was later canonized in the novel Krondor: The Betrayal, while the game itself remains one of the best examples of the genre, as well as one of my all-time personal favorites.
Because of my devotion and love for Betrayal at Krondor, I purchased the first two books in Feist's Riftwar Saga, Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master in my early teens, at the height of my interest in fantasy books and Dungeons & Dragons campaigning. I must admit, I failed at grasping Magician. While Feist's Midkemia had been built as an alternative, thus was obviously somewhat inspired by, Dungeons & Dragons-based worlds, it was vastly different in style to the beloved Dragonlance books I had been weened on.
Instead of the action-packed high fantasy of Dragonlance was a more subdued work, heavily infused with politics. Despite the book's title, its main character, the young squire Pug, only used his magical abilities once during my time with Apprentice. It wasn't long before the long-winded political discussions and overall lethargic pace of the novel bored me and I put it on my shelf, thinking perhaps I'd revisit it someday.
Much like Tolkien's seminal Lord of the Rings, Feist's publisher had insisted on splitting the extremely large novel into two smaller books. After they proved financially and critically successful, Feist revisited Magician many years later, adding in some deleted text that appeared in the European editions, but was excised in the United States, and making it a singular work once more. It may have seemed a self-defeating prophecy to attempt to read an even longer version of a book I couldn't finish years earlier, but this Author's Preferred Edition sparked my interest in Feist anew and I finally decided to give Magician a second chance.