Trudi Canavan biography

Trudi Canavan portrait image to appear alongside the Trudi Canavan biography.

Trudi Canavan was born on the 23rd October 1969 in Melbourne, Australia. She won the Aurealis Award for her fantasy short story Whispers of the Mist Children in 1999 and has never looked back. In 2001 she further established herself as a fantasy writer of rare talent with The Magician's Guild, the first book in a trilogy which included The Novice and The High Lord.

“I did a lot of research before I was published, and I looked at all the authors that had been published and whether they had a degree and what the degree was in. And I found that only about half the authors had a degree, and only half of those had anything to do with writing. The other ones had degrees in other subjects like geology and biology and things like that. So I think you always need to have a great enthusiasm for other things as well."
Read more our interview with Trudi Canavan in August 2009

The inspiration behind The Black Magician Trilogy came when Trudi Canavan read of the homeless people of Barcelona being rounded up and moved out of the city shortly before the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

She believes that the major factors that can help an author to become successful lie in reading and writing a lot. A love for writing is also important as many writer will not earn much from their chosen career. She also believes that learning how the book industry works is extremely important as the industry itself will help an author more if they show understanding of the difficulties that other sectors of the book industry face.

Everyone hopes their work will sell well, but few expect it. It surprised me that it sold at all, and then the degree of surprise I felt kept getting greater. I was surprised by the success in Australia, then astonished by how well it did in the UK.
Trudi Canavan being interviewed by scifi.uk.com

As Canavan began writing a new trilogy called the Age of Five she decided to enlarge the fantasy world and feature more characters. She found that doubling the characters meant double the work but also found the process to be a lot of fun.

Trudi Canavan is not a religious person and as such the Black Magician Trilogy was set in a nonreligious world. However, the Age of Five did feature a pantheon of gods.

Tolkien’s work inspired me to write, Raymond Feist’s Magician showed me fantasy didn’t have to be all European-based, Tanith Lee’s books showed me fantasy could be rich, exotic and come in different moods and styles, Guy Gavriel Kay’s writing style blew me away, Jennifer Fallon’s dialogue and humour is something to aspire to, Glenda Larke’s characters encourage me to break the mold, and Russell Kirkpatrick’s work reminds me that landscape can be a character, too.
Trudi Canavan interviewed by Orbit Books

Trudi Canavan bibliography

The Black Magician Trilogy

  • The Magician's Apprentice (Prequel, 2009)
    In the remote village of Mandryn, Tessia serves as assistant to her father, the village Healer - much to the frustration of her mother, who would rather she found a husband. But her life is about to take a very unexpected turn. When treating a patient at the residence of the local magician, Lord Dakon, Tessia is forced to fight off the advances of a visiting Sachakan mage - and instinctively uses magic. She now finds herself facing an entirely different future as Lord Dakon's apprentice. But along with the excitement and privilege, Tessia is about to discover that her magical gifts bring with them a great deal of responsibility. Events are brewing that will lead nations into war, rival magicians into conflict, and spark an act of sorcery so brutal that its effects will be felt for centuries.
  • The Magicians' Guild (2004)
  • The Novice (2004)
    Sonea knows the other novices in the Magicians' Guild all come from powerful families, but she also knows she can turn to Rothen and Dannyl for help when she needs it. That is, until somone starts spreading malicious rumors about her - and Akkarin, The High Lord, steps in. Promoted to Guild Ambassador, Lord Dannyl leaves for the Elyne court. His first order from Administrator Lorlen is to resume, in secret, High Lord Akkarin's long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge. Not knowing the true reason for his journey, Dannyl is soon facing unexpected dangers. Meanwhile, Sonea has almost forgotten the High Lord's dark secret, but keeping the truth hidden may be a grave mistake.
  • The High Lord (2004)
    In the city of Imardin, where those who wield magic wield power, a young street-girl, adopted by the Magician's Guild, finds herself at the centre of a terrible plot that may destroy the entire world... Sonea has learned much at the magicians' guild and the other novices now treat her with a grudging respect. But she cannot forget what she witnessed in the High Lord's underground room - or his warning that the realm's ancient enemy is growing in power once more. As Sonea learns more, she begins to doubt her guildmaster's word. Could the truth really be as terrifying as Akkarin claims, or is he trying to trick her into assisting in some unspeakably dark scheme?

The Age of Five Trilogy

  • Priestess of the White (2006)
  • Last of the Wilds (2006)
  • Voice of the Gods (2007)

The Traitor Spy Trilogy

  • The Ambassador's Mission (2010)
    As the son of the late High Lord Akkarin, saviour of the city, and Sonea, the former street urchin turned Black Magician, Lorkin has a legacy of heroism and adventure to live up to. So when Lord Dannyl takes the position of Guild Ambassador to Sachaka, Lorkin volunteers to be his assistant in the hopes of making his mark on the world. When news comes that Lorkin is in danger, the law that forbids Black Magicians leaving the city forces Sonea to trust that Dannyl will save him. Besides, her old friend Cery needs her as never before: someone has been assassinating Thieves, and when his family is targeted he finds evidence that this Thief Hunter uses magic. Either a member of the Guild is hunting down the Thieves one by one, or there is - once again - a rogue magician on the streets of Imardin. And this one has full control of their powers - and is willing to kill with them.
  • The Rogue (2011)
    Kyralia is facing threats at home and abroad, as a rogue killer stalks its capital's streets, while the neighbouring kingdom of Sachaka is breeding a rebellion that could destabilise the entire region. High Lord Akkarin and Sonea's son Lorkin has a legacy of heroism to live up to, but despite his good intentions, his incarceration in Sachaka's rebel traitor stronghold could destroy the tenuous peace between the two countries. Angered by Lorkin's seeming defection the Sachakans blame the Kyralian ambassador, Danny--and they are a savage people when roused. And back home, in the University, two young novices are about to remind the Guild that sometimes their greatest enemy comes from within...
  • The Traitor Queen (2012)

Trudi Canavan book reviews

Critical acclaim