This was a nice read – It’s very much a classical fantasy book in the better sense. The arc is generally coming-of-age of the poor underdog boy, but in a sensible (while generic) setting. It was especially refreshing that all people in the book are not generally malevolent, are able to talk about their differences, and that the rags-to-riches part happens early and isn’t dangled under the reader’s nose forever.
The pacing and writing itself felt a bit clumsy – the time jumps and POV changes never happened when I wanted them, as if Feist hadn’t quite figured out how to make do with multiple protagonists yet. Also, the book just … stops, because the original Magician was torn apart into two parts for the US-ian market (which I only found out after reading it). Despite this, the characters usually had a bit more to them than was shown at first, and I appreciated a lot that characters you might dismiss as side-kicks at first got more and more detailed over time (and sometimes even their own plotline). It’s a book that rewards attention.
In many ways, this is a weaker, more generic, but also more positive version of the similarly named Assassin’s Apprentice, which features more depth, but therefore also more people being dicks and idiots unto one another, which isn’t always fun reading.