The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan (The Black Magician Trilogy: Book 1)

(8.0/10) A fun quick book to read. A definite winner.

The Magician’s Guild is a fantastic first book to begin The Black Magician Trilogy. I found it to be simply written, yet original, unpredictable, fast-paced and throbbing with intensity.

It was easy to be transported into the world described, and quite often I felt present on the journey with the likeable lead character. I did, however, feel a slightly stronger connection to the characters, and particularly their emotions, than the environment.

There was a tendency to flit between storylines mid-chapter and this may disrupt the flow for some readers, while others may find it adds to the intensity. I found it initially a bit disruptive, but grew to enjoy it as I progressed.

A rewarding feature of this book is that certain information is deduced by the reader, not masses, but enough to be satisfying.

I would strongly recommend this book as a light introduction to fantasy writing, and the sub-genre of magicians. It may also appeal to more experienced readers who are looking for a light read.
Mark Perfect, 8.4/10

When I reviewed Trudi Canavan’s ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ a few weeks back, I mentioned that in reading it, I had acquired a deep longing to read the series to which it prequels. I had never encountered this before, as most of the prequel books I had ever read were for series I had already been well entrenched in. This was a first for me, to have a prequel book do just what it was intended; inspire the reader to read more.

And so I dove headfirst into the original trilogy, published in 2001, starting with The Magicians’ Guild.

And it was everything I had hoped it would be.

Trudi Canavan writes with a beatific simplicity that lulls the reader into a state of susceptible enjoyment. She does not write with the fervour that Janny Wurts does, or with the mind-numbing complexity of Steven Erikson. In her own way though, she is just as captivating and compelling a writer.

The story is set several hundred years after the events of the Magician’s Apprentice, and as such is almost an entirely different world. Events have become glorified or demonized; nations have grown and fallen; and the Magician’s of the world are all centred around the capital city of Kyralia, Imardin.

Canavan paints a beautiful and, subsequently, devastatingly realistic picture of the differences between the have’s and the have not’s. The poorer people of the city are deprived of all but the basic allowances, and even then have them revoked once a year in the great purge which sees them driven from the city-proper before winter. As a result, characters are split into three categories; the desperately poor, the comfortably rich, and those would do something on either side but are unable too.

The characters introduced to us will see us through to the very last book, and as a result, are introduced slowly and meticulously. The story does not rush, and in fact surprises the reader in its length to reach a conclusion all but impossible to avoid thanks to the covers blurb. This in and of itself makes for a lovely bonus, as the book does not conform to what the reader thinks upon turning to the first page.

Naturally there are those within the “establishment” that are less ingrained in the upper class hatred of the poor, and thus allow our lead, Sonea, to find attachments despite her best attempts to the contrary.

I was immensely pleased throughout, with my inability to predict everything that would happen. Canavan doesn’t attempt to hide the story, but simply reveals what is necessary as is necessary, and anything else the reader is able to deduce is to their benefit.

If you’re looking for a fun quick book to read, or even looking to introduce young teenagers into the world of fantasy with good writing, then Trudi Canavan is definitely the way to go. A definite winner.
Joshua S Hill, 7.6/10

Reviews by and Joshua S Hill

10 positive reader review(s) for The Magician's Guild

Our interview with Trudi Canavan

By Joshua S HillIt has become quite apparent to me that Australia is producing more and more of fantasy’s best writers. Thankfully for me, they are also some of the nicest people around, and one of the best, Trudi Canav [...]

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Trudi Canavan's The Black Magician Trilogy series


The Magician's Apprentice

The Black Magician Trilogy
8.4/10

The Magician's Guild

The Black Magician Trilogy: Book 1
8.0/10

The Novice

The Black Magician Trilogy: Book 2
8.1/10

The High Lord

The Black Magician Trilogy: Book 3
8.6/10

The Magician's Guild reader reviews

from Bulgaria

I loved the trilogy!I Read all of the books without being able to put them down.

from The Netherlands

I really love this first book of the trilogy, and I think it has a great story which becomes even greater in the last book. I also really like the first chapter, the stone-throwing part did it, for sure.

from Newcastle, England

This is a nice easy read for anyone looking for something to take them away. Not to many characters to get confused by and the plot is nice and simple. Thought it dragged a bit towards the end, but overall a good enjoyable read.

from Sweden

I really trying to get my doubters to read The Black Magician Trilogy. For some reason they have not picked up the book - I know once they do they will not be able to put it down!

from India

An excellent read! It was great and I consider her one of my favourite authors ever.

from Romania

It was a very exciting read, I finished the second book in a single day! The storytelling has a quick pace and the characters are enticing. It has surprising twists and unconventional characters. Overall, it is a very good series.

from UK

Very very exciting series. Gripping story telling and engaging characters. Quality fantasy.

from Bournemouth

The book took a while to get into but I really enjoyed it because of the massive differences between rich and poor. I liked the way they gradually brought things back from earlier in the book so that you began to make a mystery within the main plot. It never got boring to me but I can see where other readers may find it a little long.

from Unknown

Sonea and her friend Cery are slum dwells. Considered by all to be the lowest of the low, so much so that the King routinely purges the city of these undesirables every winter, driving them out using members of the Magicians' Guild to back up the soldiers. But this year something goes horribly wrong. Sonea throws a rock at the mages, an act of defiance everybody realizes is futile, but somehow her rock gets through the magical barrier! In the confusion a young boy is killed, mistakenly taken for the one who threw the rock, and Sonea runs for fear of her life. This is an excellent read, it's fairly fast paced and nothing is as it appears to be, which in my mind makes for a good story. I love cheering for the underdog and turning pages in anticipation of what happens next, this tale caters to both nicely. There is definite cliffhanger ending so I do recommend getting all 3 for back to back enjoyment.

from UK

I thought that this trilogy was fantastic and the best set of books that I have read in the last few years! I found that they all built up to the final book where you can't help but get swept away in the story. I thought the books were very well written and very descriptive. The only downside was my own interest in what else was happening this world, what about... what is... Hopefully Trudi will have answers to these questions in the prequel and sequel books. I am very much looking forward to reading them and can't wait until they are released!

9.5/10 from 11 reviews

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