Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: "The Magicians Guild" by Trudi Canavan

Title: The Magicians Guild
Series: The Black Magicians Trilogy
Author: Trudi Canavan
Publisher: Orbit
Year: 2004

"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."

Old but gold. I have read this time more times than I could ever remember. It was the first story of magic I read after Harry Potter and it has stuck with me for almost 8 years. I have always loved it but this was the first time I read it in English. To all Estonians who might read this review I can promise that it has one of the best translations out there. For once the original book has been done justice.

Trudi Canavan is a woman with an amazing imagination. I believe that high fantasy is harder to write. I am not sure why but even though you have so much that you can bend to your will, it must be so hard to strike the exactly right balance between logical enough but still out of this world. I salute the author for the most wonderful job well done. Trudi Canavan does fantastic descriptions, such heartfelt characters and getting the story from multiple point of views was great.

The story itself is actually quite a simple underdog story. I mean we have all heard of the poor girl who discovers that she has magical powers. Sure, a lot of other things follow but compared to others stories, this book will not have her defeat an evil overlord and establish herself as the best of all magicians. But I think that the fair simplicity of the story really helps to establish the high fantasy world. There are so many rules that have to be put in place for the imaginary world of Imardin. A very elaborate story might have made the book too complicated. I got exactly enough from it that I started saving up for the next instalment as soon as I finished with “The Magicians Guild”. I don’t want you to think that nothing happens in this book, it is actually full of interesting events but I do not want to spoil too much.

I really liked the heroin: Sonea. The way she was written made her seem like someone who has a good head on her shoulders. She has disliked the Guild her entire life so she flees from it after discovering her powers. I liked that she was very believable and intelligent. She had heart but still thought logically and could be quite witty at times. I loved her.
Usually Rothen would be more of a side character but due to a big part of the book being introduced through his eyes, then I think of him sort of as the second main character. When I was young I always thought of him as someone younger, I am not sure why. This time I was aware that he was actually older, probably in his late forties, even in fifties. Rothen is your all-on good character. Sometimes I can’t help but think that he is too perfect. But somehow he still seemed human, like someone we should strive to be. He was very likeable and seeing as his goals were most probably the same as the readers then you can’t help but cheer him on.
There is a LOT of characters in this book. Sonea’s friend from the slums, called Cery, will be a prominent part of the next books. Lord Dannyl was Rothens long-time friend and former student. Again he will have a lot bigger part in books to come. But I was a little sad that there were quite a few characters from the slums that were introduced but would almost never again surface across the next two books of the trilogy.

This book is a wonderful story that would be a great read for all ages. I definitely loved it and give it five childhood filled stars.

This review has been brought to you by your Book Mistress for the day.


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