Sonea, former street urchin, now a Black Magician, is horrified when her son, Lorkin, volunteers to assist Dannyl in his new role as Guild Ambassador to Sachaka, a land still ruled by cruel black magicians. When word comes that Lorkin has gone missing Sonea is desperate to find him, but if she leaves the city she will be exiled forever, and besides, her old friend Cery needs her help. Most of his family has been murdered - the latest in a long line of assassinations to plague the leading Thieves. There has always been rivalry, but for the last decade the Thieves have been waging a deadly underworld war, and now it appears they have been doing so with magical assistance.
©2010 © Trudi Canavan 2010. (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
reads for fun
I read the Black Magician's Trilogy and enjoyed it very much. However I fear that in switching to an audio book for the follow up titles I have messed with the pictures and sounds that I developed in my head for this world.
The narration simply did not fit well with my preconceptions of what the story should be about and I found myself being annoyed with the telling of the story.
The writing and story line in this next instalment of the series is not as strong as the first trilogy. Introducing some of the characters sexual preferences has been done rather clumsily and struck me as tokenism.
I will pursue this second trilogy but think I will switch back to the written word to complete the story.
I love to read. I also love to write.I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.
So, we're back and following the continuing adventures of Sonea in this follow-up to Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy. Got it. But the story seems to rely too much on the previous trilogy. Anyone picking this series up without having read it will probably feel lost about exactly why Sonea is feared as a Black Magician. The reader is simply, bluntly, told that she is feared and distrusted and then thrown right into this new tale.
The story, as my title for this review states, is pretty much average. It feels, I am sad to say, like the author understood that she had to fill three (sizable) books for this trilogy and took to that task with eagerness. Unfortunately, the story tends to drag because of the vast amounts of stuff (for lack of a better word) included. It's one big pacing fiasco in my opinion.
The problems really arise from the fact that out of all the POV characters we are treated to (Sonea, her son Lorkin, Ambassador Dannyl, or Cery) none of them have a truly compelling narrative and make a play for the story's lead protagonist. At the same time, this muddles the story's antagonist to the point where, when it ends, leaving us hanging for book two, you really are left wondering who (or what) was the overall force driving the story. There are sub plots galore, and they all seem to be possibly intertwined, but the antagonist is just simply ill-defined.
I also felt like the story was simply flat from start to finish. There really did not seem to be a true rise in the action towards a climax of any significance. And once we were treated to what I guess was the climax, it was short and almost not even a real test for the character(s) involved.
I had been prepared, going in, to read the entire trilogy. Now I am not so sure. I will have to let it sit and stew for a little while and ponder if the slowly developing plot is really something I am interested in moving forward.
This trilogy starts out very weak, although the next book gets a little better. The characters are difficult to believe, being very transparent and untroubled with 'darker' thoughts. It's also a bit of a 'journey' story, which I love, but this one is not particularly engaging.
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
It has been a while since I read Trudi's Black Magician series which I remember I really enjoyed. I probably should have reviewed this series predecessor because it took a little extra concentration to recall details from the former novel. I felt the start went a little slower start that I would like to have seen. Also, I would have liked to see Sonea's son go through some training. Lorkin is instead to be introduced to us after his graduation ready for his mission as an ambassador's assistant. However, things pick up and get good near the end leaving us with solid conclusions but several things that need to be resolved.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
Listen to the five minute sample. In the first hour and a half that does not change. Oh, you have other characters talking, but it is the same. They talk about feelings and the weather and grass growing and... I got too impatient to go longer than an hour and a half.
Canavan has several books at Audible, several in different languages. Most of her ratings are over 4 points, so there is a happy audience for her books, but it is not what I care for.
I actually liked the narrator, but several did not. I guess I am 100% off on this.
This story starts out really slow and I was getting real bored with it.However, I stuck with it and found it interesting. I was glad i did listen to it on audio.Because I would of not made it to the end.
Without giving too much away there is Romance; beginning and ending, Family; Lost and Found, and Alliances with old and new enemies. The way that Canavan expresses these different relatinships from different viewpoints not only brings the characters vividly off the page, but also stirs the emotions and feelings of the reader. They yearn for love. They miss their children (Even if they have none). They are confused by their old enemy. Because Sonea's relationships become the readers. Lorkin's relationships, Dannyl's and Ceryni's too.
Even after a character's family is murdered the narrator speaks in a glib voice. I appreciate that different characters have different voices and there are pretty varied accents employed, but all of the characters sound excited all of the time.
The characterization and character development are not great. These are all adults, but they none of them show forethought or suspicion, even thieves and people with something to hide. Nobody changes or grows.
I've enjoyed some of the other books set in this world, and maybe the narration spoiled it for me or maybe this one just wasn't for me.
Overall, I liked the story, but I really disliked the reader. In the beginning chapters of the book the reader would pause for a long time after each sentence/paragraph. Perhaps he was patting himself on the back for getting through the previous paragraph. I found it to be extremely irritating and almost stopped listening to the book. Luckily, the reader got better as the book progressed. I liked the story so much that I will be buying the next book in this trilogy and giving it a chance. I will not wait 20 chapters for the reader to quit pausing so long after each paragraph.
I have read The Black Magician triology and this first book in The Traitor Spy series was pretty much the same - only less interesting.
I absolutely love my audible account, makes its from enjoying a book to loving the stories found in the books. Do forgive my errors in the reviews i do have dyslexia but i will share my love with everyone
Discovery, Betrayal, adventure
The only books of Aspel i have heard are the books by Canavan, but like all his other books this one is of the same level of work, you can tell the caracters apart, he puts emotion into them, and he is clear
"Fabulous book awful narrator"
Trudi Canavan is an incredible author, possibly one of my favourites, and i have regularly enjoyed listening to her previous books. I had already read this book before i purchased the audio book and have to say that the story is a fabulous continuation of the original set of books, with new characters that you love as much as the original. However the narrator for this audio book is awful, although I could forgive the slight variations in the way he pronounces the names as everyone may read them differently, the tone of the voice is wrong for the story, and is in fact very harsh and irritating at times. Because of this i am really struggling to get through the story. I am a huge fan of audio books and will remain to be one, and i am disappointed to recommend to anyone considering purchasing this audio book to stop, listen to the sample and think again. Buy the book and enjoy it in your own voice, unless they produce a new version with a new narrator (fingers crossed).
"Traitor Spy Trilogy, looking good!"
I loved the Black Magician trilogy and so, i was really excited by the prospect of another instalment! However, though the characters from the trilogy are there, they are overshadowed by newer characters who are just as wonderful! I liked the prequel which was published on audible last year (The Magicians Apprentice) as it fleshed out the background story which i think is one of the most interesting parts of Canavan's world. This takes the story on whilst continuing to explore the history of Sachaka and its relationship with Kyralia - i am looking forward to listening to book 2 in this trilogy, i hope it answers some of the questions raised in this, the first in the new trilogy.
"Book 1 - Building Well, Good Listen!!"
I like most am a true Trudi fan and was excited to download and listen. This was also my first time listening to one of Trudi's books rather than reading. I was pleasantly surprised, although another review has said the narrator is awful, I would have to disagree he does a good attempt at getting into the book and portraying all the emotions needed.
I was a little disappointed with the book in regards to although I realise its a trilogy nothing really happens that excites which I thought all the other Trudi books did.
But all in all I enjoyed and am currently awaiting the download of book 2.
"Great book - Great Author - Awful Narrator"
I have loved all the Trudi Canavan books and have found myself immersed in each story without being able to put it down till its finished. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard a new trilogy was on the horizon... So as soon as it was released i was there, downloaded it to my ipod and set off on my twice weekly business trip... What a shock I had when I heard the narrator Richard Aspel kick the story off... No no no no no... Not right, not good, a real disappointment. I couldn't acutally listen to it. his voice was totally wrong for the story. I think a big mistake has been made here!! So story very quickly replaced by Radio 1, 2 and 4 and I went and bought the book and am reading it myself. Still a great story and another good read from Trudi but let down for me by Narrator...
"It was ok"
This book was fine, but it really didn't grab me, and I am not going to download book 2 right away. However, it was a good story and once you get used to the narrators voice it is well read. If you are at a loose end and after some fiction then this will do.
I loved the original books but I have found this to be very slow. Whether she has written this as an intro to the trilogy or not it crawls along. I suddenly found I was at chapter 15 and really nothing has happened.
I hate having to grind this out, got through to chapters in the 20's still not a lot has happened- not a good sign.
I loved this book when I heard it was on audible I payed money for this then when I started it the man started speaking and his voice didn't match the song
"Awful Recording of fabulous story"
A terrible recording of a fabulous story. The male reader is totally unsuited to narrate this story. His character voices are terrible making for very unpleasant listening.
In my personal opinion do not purchase this version.
"Excuse me, Richard, you dropped your 'h'."
The story was rendered in so lamentable a way by the appalling Richard Aspel that I think I would need to read the book myself to give a fair review of the writing.
I liked the multiple plot idea: the mother's detective work to trap a rogue and the son's political intrigues. Frankly, it was the only thing that made me listen to the end of the novel and despite this I will not be downloading the sequel because of the narrator.
Steven Pacey or Joe Jameson. Frankly, anyone who could say 'hinted' rather than 'inted' would be acceptable. I also can't work out if Aspel's voice was nasal or rasping but either way, I wanted to scream at him by the end. He ruined the book.
For this narrator, any word with an 'h' at the beginning.
I think I've been as frank as I can.
"A solid start"
Having read the reviews of this audiobook I wasnt sure if I would enjoy it. The Narrator takes a bit of getting used to but he reads the story well and I enjoyed listening by the end. The story itself lacks a bit of depth and for a guild of magicians there seems to be quite a dirth of magic except when it comes to opening doors, the characters make some questionable decisions but are flawed and apealling. I was engaged enough by the end to want to purchase the second book. A solid opening.
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