* Prices may differ from that shown
Trudi Canavan is one of my favourite authors; I read absolutely everything she has published, and this is the book that first introduced me to her. While not specifically a young adult book, I first read it as a teenager, and I think it acts as a perfect introduction to adult fantasy. The book is set in Imardin, the capital of Kyralia, and home to the Magician's Guild, of which all practicing magicians must be a member. Imardin is a city deeply divided by class. Only the noble houses are allowed to join the Magician's Guild, and the one of the services they perform for the city is the annual Purge, in which the homeless are driven off Imardin's streets. Sonea and Cery, two young orphans are on the streets on the day of the Purge. Furious at the injustice of their treatment, Sonea throws a stone at the magicians who are gathering, and to her surprise, it passes through the barrier and strikes one of them, knocking them unconscious. It is very rare for someone to be able to unlock their innate magical ability without training, but that is what Sonea has managed to do. In a panic, she and Cery flee. They must now hide from the magicians who may be seeking revenge, so flee into the hands of the Thieves. The Thieves will hide Sonea; but only if she can learn to control her magic and use it for them. Meanwhile, in the Magician's Guild, Sonea's actions have sparked a fierce debate. There are those who think she should be admitted to the Guild and taught; heading this faction are Lord Rothen and Lord Dannyl. Others wouldn't dream of admitting a slum girl into the Guild, and think she should be punished; this faction is headed by Lord Fergun, the magician she struck. However both sides are in agreement. She must be found, because if she isn't taught to control her magic, it will explode out of her, killing her and destroying a good section of the city. This book is gripping from start to finish. I'll admit that not an awful lot happens in terms of events; the beauty of Trudi Canavan's work is in her carefully constructed characters and the way they relate to each other. The emphasis is on what happens when two worlds collide, and so it is the interactions between those who inhabit the different spheres meet, and are forced to reconsider their prejudices. Sonea's emotions are perfectly described, as she struggles with fear of the magic within her, and the fear of the magicians who are trying to help her. The resolution of these internal struggles, as she gradually comes to trust the magicians, is beautifully portrayed. Cery is her perfect sidekick; he is resourceful and plucky, determined to help his friend, despite not understanding the world into which they have both been thrust. My favourite characters however are the magicians, Lord Rothen and Lord Dannyl, an unlikely pair. Rothen is the far older, a steady and sensible alchemist, who forms a fatherly bond with Sonea. Their relationship is perfectly judged, and while their closeness could be creepy, a fact that many others in the Guild pick up on, Trudi Canavan makes it perfectly clear that their relationship is more like father and daughter than that of lovers. Lord Dannyl, meanwhile is a quiet and studious young alchemist, who has few friends in his own age group, due to problems in his days as a novice. Rothen acted as his guardian then, and so he has much in common with Sonea, and forms a close bond of friendship with her. He is one of the few magicians who seems to care about the slum dwellers The world of Kyralia is portrayed in stunning detail. I really like books that have a lot of minor characters, as it makes the world seem realistic. Trudi Canavan uses a lot of her own invented names for animals and plants, which can be a little confusing, but there is a glossary and 'Lord Dannyl's Guide to Slum Slang' if you get lost. A major theme of the book is social inequality, and the differences between the opulence of the Magician's Guild, and the squalor of the slums is made evident throughout, and described in vivid detail. I've read this book many times over, along with its two sequels. It is possible to read the first one as a stand-alone book, but there is a big cliff-hanger at the end that will not be resolved until later in the series. I would highly recommend this book, both for fantasy lovers, and those who are new to the genre.
The Magician's Guild. Note: I am trying not to give away too much of the storyline at the start, if it becomes too confusing or vague then please let me know and I'll edit as necessary. This a story of two separate cultures intertwining after the accidental discovery of young girl possessing the gift of magic. Once a year the King "cleans out" the city, where the lower classes are forced from their temporary homes of that year back into the slums. This is known as The Purge, and as a ritual, those who live in the Slums tend to throw things such as rocks and rotten fruit/veg at the Magicians who are there to make sure nobody gets hurt, whilst protecting themselves with a magically enforced shield. It is during The Purge that somebody with magical potential is discovered. The young person who discovers their magic is so scared and shocked at finding themselves in possession of the powers of the "enemy" that they run. The start of the book follows the young magician from the perpectives of both the Magicians, who are trying to get the young magician into their Guild, or at least catch up with the youngster so that they don't cause harm to themselves or to others, and from the perspective of the said youngster. The plot of The Magician's Guild has been said to be predictable. However, in my personal opinion I don't think it is overly so. There are places where it needs to be predictable or there would be no continuation of the story. Therefore I would say the predictability of the book is a good point. I found that, although The Magician's Guild is part of a trilogy, it has the potential of itself being 2 books. There is so much that happens, and so much excitement and tension that you are surprised, when, looking back, how much material the book actually covers. The two main characters I would consider to be Sonea and Rothen. These two characters are explored very well, and you feel for them both at different times, and you understand their reasoning for their polar-opposite opinions. Canavan writes the first instalment of her Black Magician Trilogy with perfect clarity and precision. Being set in a completely fictional world, it is necessary to make sure that she describes the setting sin perfect detail. I believe this is done, and sitting here now writing this I can picture the Guild grounds, the Slums and other areas with perfect clarity thanks to the in-depth descriptions of Canavan. Whilst being serious in some parts, the book is balanced by the amusing anecdotes of other characters, especially those of Dannyl and Cery. These too are big characters, and it's not until later in the series that you see just how big. It is from this that I say my next point: although found in the young teens section often, this book is suitable for adults too. In fact I have owned this trilogy for 5 years, I have read it 8 times in that time, and am currently rereading it for a second time in this actual year. Being a completely fictional piece of writing, you would expect unfamiliar words, such as names of animals. Luckily, I found that Canavan used these words in such a precise context that it didn't matter you had never heard them before, you knew roughly what it was on about. However, it wasn't until after I had read the book that I noticed it contained the glossary, so it didn't affect me, but it could be helpful for those who may get a bit stressed over the unfamiliar words. It has the potential of being compared to, inevitably, Harry Potter. However, I couldn't compare these two books. Even though they were both written by women, and they are suitable and enjoyable to both adults and children alike, I find that the two books are separates, where the only noticeable comparisons are Harry and Sonea being orphans (although Sonea being an orphan is not drawn out in the slightest, which makes it a positive over H.P although I do understand that Harry's being an orphan is a major factor to Harry Potter series.) and that both stories contain magic. The magic portrayed in this book is portrayed in almost a poetic way, which I much prefer than the thoughts of chanting random words that happen to cause certain effets. Overall, I would highly recommend this book and if you enjoy it, then carry on with the trilogy, no doubt you'd feel you'd HAVE to. And upon finishing them, read further into Canavan's works. They are truly brilliant. One negative point I would make it that you're not completely sure of how to picture Sonea in terms of age, sometimes it seems as though she is very mature and others it seems as though she i very young. However, i have put this down to her background.
The nice security lady at Gatwick airport decided to throw my newspaper on the floor because I hadn't put it in a tray and because I'd "thrown" it back as per the instructions of the security man at the gate who said, "You can just toss it back on the tray there, sir." Anyway I refused to pick it up the paper that had played everywhere much to her annoyment and left myself without anything to read during my two hour wait for my easyjet flight. I had a notion for something a bit plain to rid coupled with another notion for something Fantasy-esque. I picked up the Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan in the airport's Waterstones for £7.99 which is frankly a little steep for any book in my estimation as I think they're all overpriced. I chose this novel as I saw another book by her that was a Sunday Times Bestseller. Now I'd recently read 1812 by Adam Zamosyki which was also a Sunday Times Bestseller and amazing so I'd thought I'd try another of their recommendations. I decided to start at the beginning of Canavan's work so either her later books get a whole lot better or any old crap can be a Sunday Times Bestseller. I was looking for something simple and simple this book indeed is. It tells a very basic story, set out in a very plain standard fantasy world. It centres around Sonea, a young street girl whose age is never discernable. At times she's treated like she's about ten, at others we're led to believe she's in late adolescence, the author doesn't seem to think it an important detail. The cover shows a woman who could be in her twenties in a black robe, I don't know if this is meant to be Sonea but it certainly represents nothing from within the book. Anyway the most interesting aspect of the story happens at the beginning. Sonea is one of the poorer people in the city and once a year every year the city is purged of the vagrants and the lower classes and their all driven into the slums outside the city walls by the city guards and more importantly by the city's magicians. The people are deeply resentful of being treated like this by the wealthy classes and the magicians so the young ones usually get together and make a bit of a fuss and put up a small showing of opposition by throwing things at the guards and the magicians however there is very little point to this as the magicians are protected by a magic wall and probably stand behind it giving the finger to the powerless people on the other side. Sonea gets whipped up in this show of rebellion and throws a stone at the magicians wall only to have it go straight through the force field and crack a magician up the side of the head. An act which reveals that Sonia in fact as potentially very strong natural magic powers. She runs away from the magicians who come after her and kill a young boy standing near her in the process and later finds herself in the slums with her old friends. The magicians start to search the city for her but she is assisted by her quasi-Thief friend Cery in hiding from them as she believes that the magicians are going to kill her. However we are treated to the other side's story and the magicians are being led in the search by Lord Rothen who is more concerned to find the girl in order to teach her how to control her powers which will grow out of control as she is left untrained and will eventually kill her and those around her in a big mushroom cloud...probably. Added to this is also Lord Fergon who also wants to find Sonea but for apparently more sinister reasons...I don't think he was a pedophile but it's possible. The problem with this novel is a distinct lack in imagination, Canavan seems to be a newbie to the fantasy genre whose snatched a clichés from here and there and put them together without really trying to carve out a significantly unique world of her own. The title itself is lacklustre. Why has she chosen to call her magic men magicians? To me, at least, a magician is someone who goes to children's birthday parties and asses about with colourful handkerchiefs whilst wizards and sages sound a little more arcane. The magicians are split into three kinds, the warriors, the alchemists and the healers and all live in the magicians' guild under oath to the King. They seldom use any magic through out the novel except for telepathic communication. Outside of the guild and the city live the thieves who have banded together in secret underground tunnels under the slums. Yet again this is hardly anything new there are piles of fantasy novels and computer games with thieves' guilds etc but Canavan brings nothing new. She doesn't provide any back story to the thieves in fact they never actually do any thievery really. Her whole approach lacks imagination. She has a habit of giving mundane things a different name, for instance bol is beer and raka is coffee, but that seems to be the height of her craft. There's an embarrassing little glossary at the back that gives you the meaning of all her little made up retard words for things. A successful fantasy novel relies on a richly imaginative world, Tolkein spent his life creating Middle-Earth and designing it's languages and history. Canavan I think created her land Kryalia in a few seconds. As I've already said I found the purge and the class division within the novel to be the most interesting aspect of the story. It doesn't harm a novel to have a theme or two and Canavan makes a fair scratch at one here. Sonea doesn't want anything to do with the magicians and the guild because to her they are the wealthy oppressors who look down on her and her kind and she's conflicted about abandoning her people. The problem with this is that it's never really paid a lot of attention to and it comes to a unsatisfactory conclusion. Sonea does not become a magical Watt Tyler - that would have been a much better novel. Canavan's only other attempt at approaching any sort of social issue lies in her small show of feminism. Sonea wonders whether female magicians are accorded the same respect as others and the street children discuss how some of the woman are driven into prostitution by the men. However, Canavan seems to then undermine this diminutive blow for women. The Healers are largely women as women are more caring which is fair enough but whenever we're given a tour of the Healer's building it appears that all the healing is really done by men whilst the female healers assist. So only men can be doctors whilst the women are nurses...very feminist. There's very little to say about the characters as they're all rather basic. Sonea is conflicted about her magic blah blah blah. Lord Rothen is oh so good blah blah blah. There seems to be a lot of insinuation (maybe unintentional) that his friend Lord Dannyl is gay but otherwise blah blah blah. Then there's Lord Fergon who is the exact same character as your man Malfoy form Harry Potter but a little more two dimensional. The most interesting character is Cery, Sonea's friend, whose provided with a whole lot more personality than the rest. He's always wanted to be a thief and he knows all the theives' secrets which he uses to help Sonea who he's madly in love with ....blah, blah, blah. He's only relatively more interesting. To be fair the book fitted my criteria. I just wanted something I could read quickly as I waited on my plane. Whilst not a whole lot happens in the book and the first half of the novel is basically Sonea hiding from the magicians it does manage to hold your attention without you getting bored somehow. Canavan is not one for descriptions and her writing is very plain so it can be finished and discarded in no time. In all I would not really recommend it. It's very basic and it's more for children around ten or eleven, despite the fact that it has references to prostitution which may not be appropriate. It is basically a children's book. ***Stupidest bit*** "It wasn't right, Cery fumed. Villains were supposed to reveal their plans, either by mistake or during a bout of gloating." As much as that's true how the hell would Cery know that? Is he an especially avid fan of James Bond films or something? ***Shelve, Burn, Charitise*** I reckon I'll probably charitise The Magician's Guild (i.e. give it to a charity shop). It's the type of crap that has an "edgy" enough cover to sell quickly but it'll probably only garner the hungry Africans a mighty 50p after sitting around for years until some half-reared eejit buys it on a whim. ***Some other nonsense*** If my review isn't rambling and inarticulate enough for you, put yourself through this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTRrpgjkUao ***Written by Phelim McC. Review thieves will be magiced to death***
Fantasy authors must live in a world were no editors exist. They sit down in January and by December have written a 2000 page epic on the journey of a Noble Knight who travels across the sacred lands of Orian to aid the fair Elfin Princess who has been captured by Evil Lord Mirrodor. It's pretty all much nonsense, pretty much all the same and pretty much always too long. When they do write far too much do their publishers send them away with a guide of how to use the Windows Recycle Bin? No, they say lets make it a trilogy! So many fantasy novels come in the form of a triumvirate that it is the defacto way in which a reader expects their swords and magic. However, this format leads to many structural issues as Books 1 and 2 often feel like little more than filler leading up to Book 3. Can Trudi Canavan's 'Black Magician' trilogy avoid this in its first book; 'The Magicians' Guild'? Every year the King of Imardin requires the Magicians' Guild to purge the city of the homeless and unwanted. Too powerless to resist the weak are forced out and must wait to sneak back in another day. The citizens of the Dwells don't take their forced reoccupation well and a yearly fight breaks out. However, each year the sea of stones crashes down harmlessly on the Magician's shield, until Sonea wills her stone through and it strikes a Magician on the head. Never before has someone from the Dwells developed magical powers and the Magicians want her badly. Can Sonea hide from her powerful foes with the aid of her thief allies, or will the Magicians get her? If they do are they going to imprison her or will they instead teach her the ways of their ancient art? Trudi Canavan wrote this trilogy during the 00s and it has taken me a while to get around to reading this well received fantasy series. As a book it is an interesting novel that plays safely within the confines of the genre's clichés, whilst still being an entertaining read. In terms of feel the book has a level of naivety that makes it more like teen fiction than an adult novel. This is not helped by the lead being a teenage girl and having the usual angst. The elements that really compound the juvenile feel of the book are the way that not many people are killed and there is little sense of dread. Even the more stressful parts of the book are written in a light hearted way. In this sense the book takes a lot from the Harry Potter series, a stigma that any book about Wizards and teaching is going to have. However, this is a far more traditional period fantasy that feels like the medieval worlds of someone like David Eddings, whose influence is felt as much as J K Rowling. Canavan has not set out to recreate the genre in any way, but provide a book that will be instantly recognisable to fans of the fantasy genre. In writing with a more simplified style she has also managed to create a great introduction to anyone to the genre and in particular girls as they will find a protagonist that they can relate to. In terms of character Canavan manages to balance cliché characters with likability. Sonea as the lead is feisty enough to be interesting, but is never given any real edge. The numerous thieves and magicians that scatter the book are either friend or foe to Sonea, but at no point are they bad enough that you feel any worry for her fate. Here the book falls into one of the traps of the trilogy as it ends on a series of tantalising glimpses into possible futures for the characters. Luckily, Canavan was able to create an enclosed story within this book, but the end does suggest that things will get more exciting in Books 2 and 3. To dismiss 'The Magicians' Guild' because of its light nature would be a disservice. There are plenty of good ideas and Canavan seamlessly creates a city that feels both fantastic and real. The world of nobles, wizards and the poor feels very feasible. I also like the journey that Sonea goes on even if it was pretty obvious what was going to happen by a third of the way through the book. The pace is a little slow at times, but I found the gentle structure a nice change and slowness is as much to blame on the reader wanting to get to the section they know is going to come up at some point. For me 'The Magicians' Guild' was above average fantasy fiction that would be perfect for first time readers of the genre of younger girls looking for a book with a role model they can relate to. Author: Trudi Canavan Year: 2001 Price: amazon uk - £5.99 play.com - £5.99
Fantasy novels have a tendency to be set in a world always locked in the early middle ages in Europe, usually they are placed at an age where there is a bridge developing between the ancient technology of hand and arm and an age with an age where the human mind has developed more powerful agents such as gunpowder. These stories tend to have at the centre a young child with whom we can view the world through new eyes, the child tends to develop early on in the novel a power which is either encouraged and placed under a tutor or discouraged and the power has to be hidden. All these concepts have been well explored by such writers as Raymond Feist, David Gemmell and David Eddings, they in turn lean on the great masters of fantasy Tolkein, CS Lewis and TH White. This book very firmly follows these prinicples, the main character is a young girl called Sonea, who lives in the slums of a city called Imardin. Imardin is annually purged of the homeless by the cities magicians, but this year Sonea angered by the arrognace of the mages throws a rock at the magicians defensive wall and penetrates the magicians defences hitting one of the magicians and causing the wall to collapse. Sonea then flees and the rest of the book is a tale of her hiding from the magicians in the city underworld, these underworlds are the home of the dispossed for which Sonea is one off so they help to protect her against the magicians who are viewed as highbrow and arrrogant. As with standard fantasy, Sonea soon develops her powers and after a few mistakes starts to become more powerful, the magicians are the ones who are seeking her because they know that an untutored magic user is a danger to themselves and those around them. In reality, this book can be looked as a battle between the rich and power manifested by the magicians and the town guild and the inhabitants of the Slum, this is prevalent in many cultures and in many books but here the simmering tensions are well crafted and only the fear of the magicians and their powers stop the inhabitants of the Slum from rebelling. What if they were able to get a magician of their own, then they could rise up against their oppressors? So the leaders of the Slum who are called the Thieves are also after Sonea but they have their own agendas and wishes. Sonea soon develops her inner circle, those she trusts and those she can use to hide from the magicians and the thieves, her powers and understanding of the magic grows and she stars to shape her world and those in it. Previous to her only children from wealthy families were allowed to become magicians even if their powers were in truth fairly limited but with the advent of a untapped power some of the magicians realise that there is more power in the Slums than they would care to admit. The magicians themselves start to change and we start to see a split into factions of those who want closer contacts with the inhabitants of the Slums who previously they viewed as little more than animals and those who want to ruthless eliminate any possible challenge to their power. One the more interesting angles for this book is the fact that in this the first book in the series there isn't a central bad guy, there are a few dodgy characters and a few with their own agendas but the book doesn't have the usual big ending. This cataclysmic ending is a staple in fantasy writing and tends to allow the story to have a fixed point giving the hero a chance to flex his or her powers before sterner tests come along in subsequent books. I havent read the next book so maybe it comes in that one but this book was an enjoyable read and whilst not making me burn around to the nearest bookstore to buy the next it will make me pick it up the next time I'm browsing or at the library.
I picked this up off my to~be~read pile recently because I had heard good things about the series and this author in general. Unfortunately, I was less than impressed and only managed to find the first few pages in any way engaging. Sonea and her aunt and uncle have just been made homeless and have been cast out on the street. Which is paticulary bad timing because in the city of Imardin it is that time of year again when The Magician's Guild begin their purge through the streets; forcing the beggars, ne'er~do~wells and homeless out of the c ity and into the slums in an attempt to cleanse the streets of filth. Hanging out with some of her young friends who intend to cause hassle for the Magicians this year, Sonea throws a stone at one of the magic-users and is shocked when it passes through his magical shield and hits him in the head! Unbeknownst to her, she has natrural magic ability which is just about to come into frutition and before long, she is being hunted by The Guild who are afraid that an untrained magic-user is running amok. With the aid of some common allies, Sonea goes into hiding but how long can she escape the grasp of her destiny? And what do the Magicians intend to do with her? The initial few chapters that set the scene actually show a lot of promise, but once the basic premise has been established the book begins to go downhill! Sonea is not a very engaging character and comes across as very two-dimensional and none of the wizards are a paticulary warming bunch either! There is also the fact that the whole novel basically encompasses a game of hide and seek conducted between Sonea and the wizards and this makes it feel pretty much like just a prelude before the story begins proper. There is obviously much more going on here than at first appears on the surface but all we are treated to are hints and suggestion at which direction this series intends to follow...as a first novel, too much attention is spent setting up the plot for the later books but the problem for me was that I ended up getting sooo bored that I won't be sticking around for the next novel in the trilogy as I really don't think I can be bothered. There is nothing new or amazing about the style of writing here and nothing whatsoever that might tempt me to return... It is a shame as, like I said, I had heard good things from this author but she is no Robin Hobb and, though it might seem wrong to compare, unfortunately I find the quality of her fantasy writing so superb that Hobb sets the bar high for others to follow. And that inevitably means that anything below par is doomed to failure! If I was younger, I might have enjoyed this more as I get the impression that it is possibly intended for a slightly younger audience but this does nothing for me now!! You can pick this up rather cheaply on Amazon- my advice though would be probably not to bother....
I know I devour books at a rate of knots personally but it is fairly rare that I find a book that I read once, am utterly spellbound, and then want to read again and again...as well as immediately going out to buy the rest of the series...and this was one of them. I started reading it and I just couldn't put it down. I'd never heard of Trudi Canavan before to be honest...but now if I see one of her books I'd buy it immediately. I was shocked to find that it's been in print for a good 2 years as I'd never heard of it before, it was flukey luck that I saw it on Waterstone's bookshelves...there appears to have been little or no advertising and very few people know of the books which again I thought was strange considering the quality...but that's life. Boring Details Title: The Magicians Guild Author: Trudi Canavan Illustration: Steve Stone Publisher: Orbit Paperback Price: £7.99 (although the price was exactly the same for hardback if anyone's interested - it's just I find that they take up too much room in my already bulging bookshelves.) Pages: 480 ISBN: 1-84149-313-9 Category: Fantasy Series: A trilogy; other two books - 'The Novice' and 'The High Lord' General book synopsis The land it is set in is called Kyraelia in the city of Imardin. The book is based on a social hierarchy, you have the wizards, the high houses, the normal houses and the slums. The wizard guild only accepts novices from the high houses and the whole thing is a political nightmare. Anyway onto the story. Sonea is the main character whroughout the whole book, she lives in the slums with her aunt and uncle. Every year the magicians take part in the 'purge' which is when they go around clearing the streets of the slum people...needless to say the slum people aren't amazinly happy with this arrangement and fight back. On a useual occassion fighting would be useless as magicians can shield...but on this occassion something wierd happens...a stone goes straight through the magicians shield...and one guess who threw it - our main character Sonea. The magicians then go on a full scale head hunt to find this girl and to work out what to do with her. There's not a lot more dangerous than an untrained magician on the streets...big trouble....Trouble with a capital T. I'm not about to go into any deatil of what hapens if/when they find her as that will ruin the whole book...but if she's not found she could destroy herself and her beloved city. My opinion Well, I've already given a certain amount of my own opinion but never mind. Personally I thought this was an amazing book, the story itself is enough to keep anyone hooked, with it's twists and turns...but her writing style is clever, witty, and full of suprises. Her skills at character building are above the norm, each of the characters appears real enough to jump out of the book. I felt as if I knew them personally and from me there's not much higher praise than that. I know I've hit a good book when I want to laugh and cry with the characters through their joys and sorrows and that is what this book made me do. She writes very senistively - a female hand I've heard one person put it - getting across emotions and feelings very well. I think that is probably one of the reasons that it is so easy to get hooked in this book - you become the characters, and you are living the book. I read it all in a day - although considering my rate of reading that may not be saying much...it got put over my homework and deadlines purely because I HAD to know what happened...I just couldn't concentrate until I found out. Critics I thought for a fair view of the book I should put in some critics views - before I get done for plagerism I will point out that these are NOT my views and I will do my best to give names etc. - 'It's incredibly over-hyped and boring. I had to struggle through it. The cliches are beyond count - a Magicians Guild, an evil and powerful villian, a "magic being controlled by emotion" theory (very old)' Personally this book does use a few of the cliches but don't all books? I heard it said once that there are actually only 8 different plots and all others are just variations. Cliches are fine as long as you use them wisely...if you write in a boring way with them then you are done. But her writing is fabulous. And the last thing I had to do was struggle through it... - 'The book is weak, predictable, stereotypical' Again I couldn't disagree less...I couldn't see what was coming until near the end, and stereotypical is a ridiculous word for it...it was anything but. If anything it challenges typical stereotypes, the political references in particular are rather cutting on occassions and can easily be generalised to our own, non-magic world. Recommend? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and YES. The only thing to rival it in the genre is Harry Potter in my opinion. SO, go out and buy it...buy it now.
Sonea is a slum girl, nothing special! She lives and works for her aunt and uncle and they are lucky enough to live in the North Quarter of the slums in a stayhouse. However, no longer are they lucky, the King has ordered the packed stay houses to be emptied as they are 'unsafe'! Now Sonea and her Aunt and Uncle have to find somewhere else to live! After being sent by her aunt to find a place sonea overhears a plan to trap a gang, the gang she used to belong to, the gang who try to move against the purge! The purge happens once a year when all so called thiefs get forced out of the city by the magicians. However Sonea knows that the purge only forces the poor out of the city! Sonea heads to help her friends and warn them of the trap. Little does she know that she will end up becoming involved in the fight against the purge! After bumping into her friends Cery and Harrin from the gang she is pulled into the fight. She becomes angry at the guild for causing her family to be forced out and picks up a stone. What can a slum girl do though other than throw a stone at the magicians barrier that cannot be broken? Little does she realise that her life is about to change forever as her stone passes through the barrier and knocks a magician unconscious. Now the magicians are hunting all the city for her. How can she possibly escape the hands of those she most fears and hates? The magicians worst fear has been met, an untrained magician is loose on the streets! They must find her before her power destroys both her and the city! When this book was recommended to me by a friend i thought why not, i was at a loss for what to read having read all my books many times! I went out and brought the book not expecting much from it as i had been reading the likes of harry potter and sabriel, how wrong i was! I started reading the book and at first the first chapter or two were a bit slow going and i thought i was gonna get bored soon, however i thought i would struggle on and see how it got on! Soon i couldn't put the book down, i was drawn into the story and fell in love with the characters! Sonea was a girl whos life seemed to not be doing much and many can relate to that. All the horrors and fears Sonea has you feel you have! The book seems real as you are reading it and i was very sad when it ended! This book took me two nights to read as i could not put it down, the very next day i went out and brought the sequel: The Novice! I would recommend this book to any fantasy lover and as an 18 year old student this book has now become my favorite along with the sequels! I have re-read this book several times now and each time it has me hooked!!! It is well worth the money as can be found in the shops for around £8 for the hardback and can be found on ebay for around £3!
Every year a purge takes place to filter out all of the thieves and murderers in the town of Imardin, by the Magicians Guild. An impenetrable shield is in place to rid the miscreants -or so they think-. A young girl captures her rage and hate towards the Magicians, for throwing her from her home and forcing her to live back in the slums, and hurls a stone at them, with a surprise to find that it flies straight through the invisible shield and knocks a magician unconscious. The Magicians hold a meet, and feel their worst fear is true. There is a natural amongst the Slum Dwellers. Someone who has unleashed their magical powers without help, which could be dangerous for both possessor and the Guild. A search begins for the girl, who is accompanied by her old friends from the slums. A cat-and-mouse chase begins to find the girl, which begins from house to house searches, to a bounty for the girls discovery. They must find her for the future of the city will be determined from her actions. The book begins with little dialect between characters, which creates a mystical feeling to the town as it is described in detail using words like: soul grieved whistled screamed ragged whimper, all in the first small paragraph. This style of writing is consistent throughout, whereas aimed at a higher audience than such as Harry Potter, has a more complex structure to the righting. The story is the first in the trilogy of The Black Magician Trilogy, also there is word from the author there may be a prequel, and a sequel-trilogy. Just like the Lord of the Rings, this story is stretched out over three books and takes you to an imaginary place with a totally different culture. Different speech, and morals are implemented in this world. There are those who think themselves higher than others, which is a great catalyst for rebellion. In all this is a great Fantasy read. With three volumes and room for more, its a great world to get into. The book cost around £7.99, though i bought it for £2.99 from ebay!
Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe. Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconscious. The guild's worst fear has been realised ...There is an untrained magician loose on the streets. She must be found before her uncontrolled powers unleash forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.