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December 17, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith

The Magician’s Guild

The mag

I have had this book, along with its two brothers, on loan, for about 4 years now, courtesy of my friend Mary, whose books I always seem to hold ransom for ages! Sorry Mary, I promise I have treated them well and that I lovingly bubble-wrapped them, as though they were my own, when we moved house (both times).

The Magician’s Guild is the first book, in a trilogy, by Trudi Canavan. The first thing that appealed to me about it was the word Magician, in the title, and the second thing was the picture of the magician on the cover. I just had a feeling that it would be my kind of book and might help to satiate my thirst for the magical world.

The premise of the story was certainly an interesting one. Every year the magicians of Imardin, carry out a ‘peaceful’ purge to rid the inner city circle of the poor, driving them back to the slums. To the magicians, ridding the city, once again, of the ‘dwells’ is merely a responsibility, which they may not particularly enjoy but that they perform for the good of the city. To  the slum dwellers, however, the purge symbolizes years of hardship and repression and the reason that they find themselves on the wrong side of society.

Slum dweller Sonea is no exception. The realm of the magicians is a far cry from the crowded conditions that her family and friends have been forced to live in for so long. Angry and frustrated, at the elitist magical society, she puts all her energy behind throwing a stone at the magical shield, not even caring that she cannot reach those whose mere presence taunts her. From the moment that Sonea’s stone penetrates the magicians’ magical barriers, her potential as a magician is realised and life as she knew it is over.  Unaware that this is the first of only a few barriers she must break through and of the danger she poses, to herself and those she loves, Sonea flees, attempting to evade capture by disappearing underground into the unsavoury world of the thieves.

I enjoyed this novel, although I found that it frustrated me slightly, near the beginning, as it seemed to take a long time to get to the point, in the plot-line, which I felt was inevitable. I think the initial slow pace may be because The Magician’s Guild was always intended to be the first in a trilogy, so the author felt no sense of urgency. Although at times predictable, the story definitely gathered momentum towards the second half of the novel and I enjoyed the fact that the characters’ negative views, of the respective societies, were being challenged and that perspective and individual merit were explored as themes.

One of the characters I liked (as much as I can ever like a baddie, booooo!) was the magician Fergun. Although I was rooting for good to prevail, I couldn’t help but feel that he mixed it up a bit and provided a bit of much-needed conflict within the later part of the story. His motives weren’t always clear but that kept me interested in his character and added a bit of depth to the story.

Canavan builds an interesting and unique world, within the walls of the guild, and, as well as Sonea’s story, gives us glimpses into intriguing, underlying plot-lines which I am sure will manifest themselves in later books. With its carefully placed teasers, long start and unfinished business, this novel felt  like only a beginning to a much bigger story.

So I’m afraid Mary that you will have to wait a bit longer to get books 2 and 3 back, I promise it won’t be another four years this time though!

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2 Comments

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  1. Mary / Dec 17 2013 8:11 pm

    I totally forgot you had these!!! I have another trilogy of hers that you can have if you like this one 😉 x

    • ljbradburn / Dec 17 2013 8:25 pm

      Thanks sweetpea, I’m not surprised that you forgot, it’s been a long time! Yeah definitely, really enjoying this one so far 🙂 Loves xxx

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