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Ratings and Reviews (8 52 star ratings
8 reviews
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4.5 out of 5
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    Magicians Guild

    Having just finished the whole Feist series I was searching for another series to read. So far I have enjoyed this and will carry on reading as I love the read so far
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    First read of this author

    Actually read this book from Afternoon of one day till the next morning when I finished it. Just had to find out what happened to the primary characters . Would recommend it, even though I would have gladly reached into the book and given some the characters a good slap for being dim.
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    Mr

    Not bad gets better as you go on.
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    Tantalising

    Yay! A heroine you can root for...and a glimpse at what lies ahead for the main characters. Hopefully the next installment will be as gripping
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    Start of a classic modern fantasy series

    Trudi Canavan has been on my 'to read' list for a long time (far too long really). I finally found the time to read The Magicians' Guild - book one of the Black Magician trilogy. ​The story revolves around Sonea, a girl living amongst the poor and near-poor of Imardin. The city is home to the titular guild, where the greatest magicians in the world learn and teach. Those showing magical talent only come from the ruling classes. But Sonea has magical talent so the guild need to either break tradition and train her or block her powers as unless she is trained they will unleash themselves and kill her. The problem is that Sonea (along with the rest of the less privileged city dwellers) distrusts and fears the guild. The book is in two parts - the first involves Sonea hiding from the guild and their attempts to find her. This is quite a clever strategy from a story telling point of view since the world and characters can be gradually introduced. We meet Sonea and her friends, and also the Thieves that control the slums. On the magicians' side we find some are sympathetic towards Sonea while others are outraged at the thought of training a slum girl - some for more personal reasons than others. The second half involves Sonea's initial training at the guild. I do try not to give away major plot direction in these reviews, but I don't think it's much of a spoiler that she does end up in the guild, given the name of the book. In this part we find out more about magic and the guild, plus the plot that forms the core of this book moves forward and is resolved in a satisfactory - and dramatic - style. Canavan's writing is focused firmly on character, although the world around them is fully realised, with the slums suitably dingy and grubby and the guild grand and opulent. The characters are allowed to develop through the pages. I found the start a little slow going, but I think that was mostly because the previous book I read was for more action based. There is also very little dramatic tension about Sonea ending up in the guild, but I don't think that is the purpose of the first half of the book anyway. This story is clearly there to set up the characters for the trilogy as a whole - and as the plot progresses Sonea discovers some things that are clearly going to be important in her future. The way the ending is left is therefore very finely balanced between the resolution of the main plot and leaving the threads for the next book, and Canavan is spot on in delivering this. Overall I really liked this book and will read the other installments as time allows without hesitation. If you are looking for some brutal anti-hero cutting a swathe of destruction through his enemies this is not the book for you. If you want some careful characterisation and a personality driven and human-scale plot, pick up this book. It is also refreshing to have a female main protagonist in the traditionally macho world of fantasy. Recommended.
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