©2004 Trudi Canavan; (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
"The first part of the Black Magician Trilogy, this captivating tale has already been hailed by critics as a 'must for lovers of good fantasy'." (Marie Claire)
The first half of the book should be 10 minutes not 10 hours. The second half is just as dull. The characters just do stupid thing after stupid thing. No reason for any adult to listen to this book. Half of the book is thoughts of what seems like 10 year olds struggling to make any decisions.
I never write reviews because I normally don't care enough.
The first problem I have is in the beginning unrelated to the book. no other audio book has ever had the narrator read the acknowledgements. I doubt any listener cares one wink how many times the authors friend reread the book. The narrator also reads the glossary of terms. Listeners can go to the authors website or buy the book if they care about terms they didn't know, which would have been the appropriate place to put it. This is most likely a publisher decision so don't hold that against the author.
The narrator speaks clearly and has good range. Far better than many, not the best however. Exceptional performance of works presented.
One of the reviews I read prior to listening said the story started slowly. This is an understatement to be sure. The first 8 hours of of this book is simply boring. An 8 hour story of "oh no I can't get captured" only to be captured.
If you are interested in an action fantasy, pass.... just pass by this book.
The story is interesting to keep you listening once at least. One of the struggles of reviewing the story is how little there is to it. This book felt like it was made to introduce a trilogy and not to make a memorable story. Entire story can be derived to "girl gets magic, guild searches for and catch girl, girl get blackmailed, blackmail is discovered, girl joins guild".
The main character is probably the least likable and interesting character in the book as well. Her logic (and others) as written will annoy the listener under casual logical analysis (possibly intended by author)
Another note though, the main character and her love interest have names that sound incredibly similar. Maybe this isn't an issue when read in print, however this is extremely annoying when listening. I don't listen to books to be annoyed constantly
My last comment is that many of the naming conventions seem to have been chosen more to convince the reader that the story is original than just being. For instance, there is a creature to all intents and purposes is a rat, but we had to give it more legs and call it something else. There is no impact on the story. This is just a mechanism to remind the listener how *original* the world is.
I have read and heard many different renditions of wizards and magicians and this one is a refreshing new look at how the powers and abilities manifest. More like a personal physical characteristic than a trade that can be learned by memorizing a few funny words.
I have read this book many times. Bought the Kindle version and Audiobook. Loved listening to it except didn't like the narrator affectation when he was being the protagonist. Just my opinion, maybe its because having previously read the book, I had my own ideas on how the characters should sound.
Devourer of all books fantasy
This is the first book in the Black Magician series. I have had this book on my shelf to read for quite awhile. It was a decent fantasy book, but the pacing is a bit slow and the plot is repetitive.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. The narrator is pleasant to listen to and does character voices well. I would definitely recommend listening to this on audiobook.
The magician’s of Imardin have gathered to do their yearly purge of undesirables from the Inner City. One of these “undesirables” is Sonea, she is a young woman whose aunt and uncle were actually making an honest, if meager, living when they were driven out of their house as part of the Purge. Sonea, in an unusual fit of anger, joins the other slum kids in throwing rocks at the Magicians’ impenetrable shield….only Sonea’s rock doesn’t stop at the shield...it goes through it.
Sonea is terrified that the Magicians will kill her her for what she’s done, common folk just don’t have magic. So Sonea begs her thief friends to hide her from the Magicians as long as possible. Unfortunately Sonea needs to be taught how to control her magic before it spirals out of control and kills everyone.
There are a lot of good aspects to this story. I really and truly enjoyed all the characters (well not the evil ones, but all the good ones). They are well done and have a lot of depth to them. In general the characters are kinder to each other than I would expect characters eking out a living in the slum to be. I also really liked Sonea; she is smart and resourceful...if a bit too dependent on others sometimes. Additionally I enjoyed the magic and the idea of the Magician’s Guild and their different schools of magic.
However there was a lot I didn’t like as well. Sonea spends the first two-third’s or more of this book running from place to place hiding from the magicians. It gets very repetitive and boring. She doesn’t actually get involved with the Guild until very late in the story. I also wished we had saw more of the world outside of Imardin; we really don’t and it makes the world-building seem stunted.
What kept me engaged in the story was the whole idea of Sonea’s magic destroying her; you are constantly wondering what choices she will make and how they will all play out. The story is very nicely tied up with another storyline started right at the end to keep the reader enticed...it’s not a cliffhanger but more of a presentation of yet another mystery.
Overall this was a decent fantasy that suffered from some repetitiveness and slow pacing in the beginning. I did however really enjoy the characters and magic throughout and would love to learn more about them both. I am unsure whether or not I will continue with this series. I have heard that the latter two books of the series are much better, so since I already have the books I may go ahead and read them.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who misses Harry Potter, anyone who loves a good magician story, and students looking for a good, engaging action story. I loved the detail in the story and the performance of the audio book.
The narration is all in one voice, a rather dull inner monologue that does not change from character to character. Very little action, a lot of whiny agonizing.
No, just other books from this author.
I do not think anyone could have made this listenable.
This book in many ways reminds me of the dragon age circle mages. While its not as extreme mages are held apart from society in many ways.
The first book starts very focused on the divide of rich and poor. Later on this idea is mostly lost as character back story and makes way for the deeper over aching story. If the primary plot of all books had been based around this Idea it would have made an excellent story in its own right. The fact that later in this book and moving into the rest of the story this is mostly set aside and causes a rift in the story telling that has a negative effect on the overall story. This is mended as you get deeper into the main plot line. If your able to hold out past this bad transition you will enjoy this book. For the most part this story is very PG to PG13. The writer mostly avoids foul language and fights are more about the battles than the depiction of death.
the character building and how well it is doen.
it is slow and you feel like you are left with much of the story waiting but it is done in a very nice and good manner and the only complain is that you want so much more of it :D
not that you want it faster just that you want a few houndread hours more
robin i think :)
but there are very few characters i dont like actually ^^
there is not anyone i find extremely intrigin either though..
or the black magicien would be AWESOME but we all know he is gonna be painted as the bad guy or it will have some wierd twist making him actually use flower magic instead of dark magic or something silly :/ sadly
no but i kinda like him; his voice is good for this type of book and he does a good job with voice's and it is easy to follow who is saying what and in what feeling etc.
there is space for a bit of improvement though he is doing a good job and i would listend to more with him :)
well ... yer... but its like 15 hours long and i got projects, university, work etc. so no way i can :P
i have however skipped a day of doing anything other then listening to the next book in the serie which i am doing right now xD
just wanted to write a nice review as a thanks to the author for giving me a great time listening to his work :D
it's a very good book, i really like the way magic works in his universe and i like that it is actually focused a lot on the life and it feels like you are following the mages existance instead of following some grant scheme of a kingdom or following the magic itself instead of the characters.
it does a great jump having the characters in focus while still feeling like a true mage book, which is rare and i really like it.
it is nice to see the characters have some backbone which is not shown in a "neanter cave man way", but that characters can have backbone, will and pride even when they have to truly bow their head and be subjecated..
i hope we will see the main character actually play in dark magic and become a "good villian" type character :P
which we properly won't, since as good as no book ever does that when we are talking fantasy and magic.. sadly :/
its a good listen and it got great moments but i truly feel that you get too little story in each book which is why i can't give it a 5 :)
it is not that what is there isnt wonderfull, but that i was left with a feeling of "was that it" and if there havent already been a second book in the serie ready for me i would have felt annoyed of being left of thinking that i only got to read the intro to the book.
i am kinda scared for the third book though which is the last one out when i write this review, it better not leave me hanging in the same manner xD hehe
diffinately worth the buy and you should support the author, we need more of such authors ^^
This story grabs you from the beginning excellently narrated which makes all the difference on audio books especially for visual impaired readers
"A grown up Harry Pottter"
I enjoy both audio and written versions
It's a darker, grown up Harry Potter
I read this book some years ago and enjoyed it so much I brought it to listen to again
"Great audio series not so good narrator"
Probably simular to books 2 and 3 of the black magician trilogy
When he was narrating a scene were there was dialogue from two different individuals he quite often had the same voice for both so it was hard to understand who was talking
Don't know about laugh or cry but it kept my interest
Trudi canavan is a great writer
Richard aspel is a not so good narrater
Although there are issues with this audiobook (mainly around the narration/production), I still found it very entertaining.
Story – 3.5/5
Reviewing this as a young adult story - it is good. The plot and explanations are simple, and easy to follow, so you don’t need to concentrate too much to keep up with the plot.
There isn’t a lot of action if that is important to you, in fact, there is very little. Instead, the story concentrates on the character and world building. All of the main characters are likeable, and there is a lot of detail provided around the politics, the class system and the magician guild itself.
Being a trilogy, this is clearly the first part of a much larger story, and didn’t really have much of an individual plot that came to an end (like most trilogies tend to have). The ending made way to what the trilogy plot will become, and it definitely sounds like it will be a good read/listen.
The magic system was spot on for the target audience (YA). It was simple in that you either had it or you didn’t, and that it was just called “Magic”, but how to perform spells was described well throughout the training of Sonea.
Performance – 3/5
Richard Aspel isn’t a terrible narrator, he just isn’t great either. He wrongly reads this like it is a child’s novel, and as a consequence over emphasises on the voice acting and makes the younger characters seem very whiney. I wouldn’t let that put you off the story though; I personally got used to it and was still able to enjoy it. His positives are that he describes things and portrays the mood of the scenes well, and gives each character a distinctly recognisable voice.
With regards to the production of the audiobook – there are regular pauses of a few seconds in-between sentences. After an hour or two, it was easy not to notice, but this may bother some people more than me. I would advise listening to the sample before purchasing
Overall – 3.5/5
"Utterly annoying narrator"
This trilogy was highly recommended to me by my girlfriend so I purchased the entire trilogy. The story is quite good but, the narrator is just awful. His accent is annoyingly unsuitable and he reads as if he is in front of a toddler's group. He pauses far too often and far too long. I actually had to speed up the playback slightly to try and reduce this frustrating style.I will try other Trudi Canavan titles but ONLY if there is a different narrator.
Just about anyone else could have done a better job.
If I could get my credits back for this trilogy I would.
An excellent start to the story. Sonea is bought to life in a way that really makes me want her to succeed. I cant wait to listen to the next book and see how she gets on.
As for the narrator, having listened to The Apprentice first (a story set before this one but written after) I was a little thrown off by some of the changes in pronunciations and the fact that the Lonmars in this story have the same accent as the Sachakans in The Apprentice. Also some of the characters voices/accents changed in the book but with so many to deal with it's understandable.
"The worst narration ever!"
I felt the story was interesting, but the narration was unbearable, the man's voice was akin to Antony Worrall Thompson, all his inflections were in the wrong place and one of his characters sounded like a terrible Winston Churchill, I managed to finish this first book but can't face any more! Such a pity, I cannot understand how Richard Aspell got this gig and kept it for future books!!!
"still my favourite book"
I first read this book a couple of years ago when it was published in Germany. Since then I have read it over and over again in German and English. The narrator of the audiobooks is brilliant. Besides, I think the story is great and I love the character development.
"A good start to the trilogy"
I thoroughly enjoyed both the story and the pacing of the book. It is a well written (and well narrated) story about a slum girl who naturally manifests magical powers and tries to hide them from her hated magicians, who (thanks to "the purge") she sees as evil people.
Something not helped by seeing someone killed by a magician, after she hits one with a stone!
The rest of the story sees her in hiding with her friend, who has contacts among The Thieves, trying to keep away from the Magicians who have been scouring the city for her.
Then she sees something that she shouldn't...
Fantastic book and quite the unexpected. Being a fantasy reader Trudi captures the imagination by introducing the listener to a world of magic, suspense and a bit of humour. The reader can identify with the main character and the emotional connection along with the suspense keeps the reader hooked on the book and keen on getting the trilogy. Brilliant writing, exciting story and great character development.
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