©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)
If you like magic and intrigue than this is a great book for you. This is the first review I have ever done and this book has inspired me to start.
The search for Sonea by the magicians and the protection of the thieves as her magical powers begin to show.
As with most narrators he provides an emotional connection to the story.
Absolutely! As with any great read it is hard to stop at any point.
I think you will find yourself looking forward to book 2 in the series before you finish the first.
I really like these books they are well written. If you liked the Mist Born series I would highly recommend these. There are three obviously, in this trilogy, but the author has started another trilogy that follows these. Only the first one is out so far and I can't wait for the next one.
I *think* I quite like this book. It's hard to tell, however, because every conversation takes place three times. This might be alright if I were reading it, but, as a listener, I'm trapped. Suddenly nothing happens. These prolonged conversations serve to bring the plot to a standstill.
The first half of the audiobook should, by rights, take half the time. The narration is repetitious, and seems to imply that the reader or, in this case, the listener is dense. This is an editing issue and should have been dealt with before the book was released.
I like the story, I like the characters. I'd like action to occur. The narrator is doing a fine job, for the most part. He's doing quite well on most of the voices. Considering the number of characters, it's nigh onto impossible to get them all distinct. Some of the female voices suffer from the Monty Python-esque falsetto. Like most fantasy novels, female characters make up, perhaps, fifteen per cent of the population, so this isn't much of an issue.
At this point, I sincerely doubt that I'll look into the other books in the series because this feels like it's happening in real time. Each day is filled with needless detail, repetitious dialogue and interior monologues.
Like the rest of the series this book is entertaining with out being extraordinary. This particular book takes more time setting up the world and the characters as you would expect at the start of any trilogy. If you cant handle that “slowing down” the book then I recommend starting at book 2 of every series from now on. Canavan manages to show the struggle of the lower class with out being too heavy handed (she does make that mistake and preaches later in the series on a different subject but you don't have to worry about that in this book). I really enjoyed how bright and upbeat the dwells were in the face of such horrible conditions. It is not often that an author can convince the reader of how horrible a character's life is and yet not have the character be depressing to read. After reading all three books I grew rather fond of the dwells although most of the other names that Canavan created for this book did not sit so well with me. I enjoy a well built world but if all you change is the name of animal then all it does is confuse us. There are some interesting new words in the books when Canavan takes the time to give them new connotations but there are ten times as many new words that don't and anything to the book at all.
That is not to say it is a bad book just that it has a few rough edges. The characters are like able and overall it is a good page turner. Not every author gets lucky and writes Harry Potter. So, if you are fine with a flaw or two and you don't want to reread the only three books in the world that meet all your standards again until next week, then this is a good book to fill the gap.
I believe this is aimed at a youth market. It doesn't develop a story quickly enough for a reader like me, and I believe that is a handicap for the youth market. Too much of the book is taken up with explaining a world of fantasy, and the main character spends most of the book running and hiding long after the reader wants resolution, even if it means she is caught. The narrator, Richard Aspel, is effective.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
What a story! Yet it becomes as slow as Bram Stoker's Dracula at places. Irrespective of this flaw, Canavan is able to engulf the listener in her fantasy world.
I would suggest the abridged audio book read by Samantha Bond over and against this reading by Richard Aspel. I found his accent at some places difficult, also his pronunciation of the names of the characters sounded improbable. Bond's interpretation gives so much more life to the story.
The story itself is good, although it seems like I've heard it before somewhere. The story could have gone in other directions to make it more exciting. I'm glad that I bought it on a $4.95 special. Maybe when the next special is run, I'll get the next 2 books and finish the series. Listen to it if you can get it on sale.
I am less than 1/2 through this book and am having a very hard time listening to it. The narrator is very hard to listen to. The story I HOPE will get better. I will listen because I paid for it.....but struggling!!
This book was a disappointment especially after reading Jim Butcher's series "The Furies of Calderon." I said it all in the title for a fantasy adventure this had very little adventure. At half the length it still could not compare to Furies - Read Butchers series if you want great fantasy, action and adventure
"Good book narrator a bit slow"
large gaps between sentences and slow reading was frustrating during the tense parts. good story though
"Stick with it - it's a good read"
Slow-burning magical romp
Pretty good, accented
It took me a while to get into the book, the narration is good but I wasn't quite expecting the Australian accent - having just listened to 45 hours of a Yorkshire accent in another book. As the book progresses it becomes more engaging. I like the premise of the story and I feel it's aimed at young adults, it's easy to follow and lightly developed. It was a fun read.
I do agree with so many of the other reviewers, the story was good and kept my interest, but the narration was odd to say the least.
I liked the characters - even though I did get a bit confused sometimes because of the unusual names, and the story unfolded well. However, the narrator had strange phrasing, his voices were odd, and I found myself dwelling on this rather than the story. I may buy the kindle editions of the next in the series as it did peak my interest.
Great book, enjoyable story. Kept me listening at every opportunity. Well read. I'm going straight on to the next book!
"Epic Fantasy - I think not, more like YA Fiction"
I'd possibly try another Trudi Canavan as the rest of her books can’t be as targeted on the YA market as I found this one. That said I would run to the hills rather than listen to anything narrated by Richard Aspel. There are scenes where two or three main characters all “speak” in his normal reading voice only to be joined by the stoke voices of the wise old sag, the town drunk or a washer woman
Spell or High Water by Scott Meyer
A female! It isn't rocket science, men do better male characters & women do better female characters. A book in which your main protagonist is female, need a female narrator
No, I've lasted about to about10 chapters, time which I will never get back
This seems a book written for the YA market, things are explained simply through dialog & important things get repeated frequently either to remind the reader/listener or just to bump up the word count
"loved the written books and so wanted the audibles"
I have to say that I was disappointed with the nararrators very 'sneering' voice. But bought the black magician trilogy and traitor spy books when they were on sale and I did get use to the voice.
This book kept me on the edge of me seat the hole time waiting to hear what happened next. I can't wait to hear the next book.
"Annoying narrator, dreadfully written"
Neither! Aspel's "strine" accent is so strong it's almost difficult to understand at times. It certainly makes it pretty impossible to distinguish the fantasy names - characters and otherwise. Also for some reason he insists on attempting some sort of cockney when reading parts of direct speech spoken by the slum dwellers. The result is akin to Dick Van Duke in Mary Poppins.
Lisping, Australian, annoying.
Story wasn't the problem; the quality of the writing was simply bad.
If you like Dan Brown's writing style you'll get along with this book. Sonea constantly has a "haunted" look in her eyes and despite having just discovered she has magical powers her heart is always pounding, her stomach is always turning over and her knees are always on the point of giving way, rendering her into some sort of effeminate Victorian flower rather than the strong female lead she's supposed to be.
Haven't read this genre, apart from Harry Potter. Can't wait for the next book and Sonea's next adventure in the Guild.
"Goog listen, but..."
Great plot lines, and sub-plots, convincing characters too.
Book two: when Sonia decides to join the guild.
Richard Aspel brings this book alive, however, he changes the character's voices throughout the trilogy.
A very exciting listen.
I recomend this book to anyone.
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