Book – The Magician’s Guild
Author – Trudi Canavan
Year – 2001
Pages – 469
Genre – Fantasy
Series – The Black Magician Trilogy
So having taken a pause from reading books to read mainly pages about the history of musical theatre, I thought it was about time to get back on the horse and do some write ups. My pace has slowed somewhat in the past month or so – it is an unusual time and sticking to a particular activity for too long has proven often too difficult – but I have managed three books so shall endeavour to write them up.
I first read Trudi Canavan’s series of The Black Magician books a little over ten years ago – probably just before the first challenge, and when my sister Jeni asked me to recommend her some light fantasy, this was what jumped out on my bookshelf to suggest. I knew that this was something I had previously enjoyed and could whip through, and that is what I fancied.
Just as the title is about as young adult fantasy as it can get, so too is the story, being, as it is, written during the middle of the first decade of the 2000s. Sonea has grown up in the slums, constantly hassled by the crown and the Magician’s Guild that serve him. During a protest, she hurls a rock at the barrier protecting the magicians and it miraculously goes through. She has the magical gift. What ensues is a race for the magicians to find her before her powers envelop her and take out everyone around her.
There is next to nothing in this book that I would call groundbreaking. A thieves guild, a faithful male friend, secret passages and spell tomes, pacts and betrayals, it has all the hallmarks of fantasy. I am positive that I have written this before though – this is excellent! I am not always reading to find things that are different and challenge my way of understanding a genre. I am not always reading to discover hundreds of layers of character and twisting complexities to unravel. I am not always reading to be surprised at the form. Sometimes in my fantasy I want the basics to be done perfectly, and Trudi Canavan has a damn good go. The characters are well rounded, the plot interesting and well paced, the world fully formed and with an obvious understanding as to the history of the place, and the limits of the magic. This is what I want to read, and as such I would recommend it to you as heartily as I did to my little sister.
What I would also recommend though is checking your bookshelf carefully. It would seem that somewhere along the way the second book has been lost to either the shed along with half of my reading material, or possibly a charity shop. This leaves me with the unfortunate decision to make about whether to rebuy the next one to keep the series going.