Title: The Magicians' Guild
Author: Trudi Canavan
Publisher: Harper Voyager, 2004
Series: Black Magician Trilogy, Book 1
Favorite Quote: Rothen laughed, "I like your friend. I don't approve of him, but I like him."
Synopsis (Amazon): "We should expect this young woman to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician."
This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders . . . and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.
What the Magicians' Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.
Review: This was a gem of a book. I really wasn't expecting much, having never heard of or read this author before, but this is a good story. All the characters are completely believable. There are no unlikely terrors or immortal evils surfacing. It's just a good story about a girl, Sonea. She is a poor girl from the slums, who suddenly finds that she has magical powers. She must learn to trust the magicians, particularly her mentor, Rothen, in order to begin to learn to control her powers.
Sorea's best friend, Cery, a thief in the making, is both amusing and endearing. Sorea herself is suspicious and cautious, worldly and innocent, and she trusts very few people and relies upon herself. She is all together a fairly strong female lead character. It is so rare to find a female character of any strength in fantasy fiction that I'm always thrilled to actually find one. There are several strong female characters in secondary roles as well. It's quite refreshing.
The book concluded the current problems, but made it clear there were more to come. The selfish and cruel Fergun is found out and his machinations are put to a stop. However, there is a foreshadowing of the Black Magician who Sorea and her friends will have to combat.
I'm pleased to have found this author. If the rest of the trilogy is this pleasant to read, I'll surely be seeking out novels by Ms. Canavan in the future.
Rating: 8 / 10