©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)
This is an enjoyable trilogy. I got into it more than I thought I would. The author definitely allows you to build an emotional connection to the characters. It was a decent performance by the narrator. Not the best I've heard, but solid enough to not detract in any way from the story.
I had no known the book would be a kids book or young adult, I would not have purchased it if I had known.
The narrator's voice did not have much range in the characters of the younger people especially and the accent was a bit grating at times.
The book was a bit disappointing.
The story is way too predictable and the characters are mostly stereotypes. There's no depth behind their opinions or actions. Malicious bad guy is malicious because, well, he just is that kind of guy. Good guy is good because, well, I have no idea why.
These straight forward stereotypes make the plot very predictable. Something happens, how would the stereotypical malicious guy react to that? Well, that's exactly what he does and thus moves the plot forward a bit. How would stereotypical good guy react in that situation? Okay, he reacts exactly like that and moves the plot forward. Considering the cover says this is the first book in a trilogy you can easily guess the overall direction and goal. Repeat until you have arrived there.
This book might be okay for younger readers or otherwise inexperienced readers who haven't yet started to expect more from a plot and the characters.
I like the narrator but I think a female narrator would have been better since the main character is female.
At times the english accent was not controlled enough from character to character, and the larger or older men had an almost unbelievable Monty Python-esque gruff and bombast to them.
Its not a memorable story for several reasons, and I'll not buy the next book in the series because I just wasnt made to care enough about the characters. An enjoyable, but not memorable read/listen. Like popcorn- fun munching but its not dinner.
I am not a huge fan, as of yet, but I would give him another chance.
In retrospect I would have bought another title.
I think a younger audience would enjoy this book more than an older one.
Bought all three books one at a time. I enjoyed parts of the story. However, I got tired of bumbling supporting characters. The same problem infects the main characters on occasion. For example in the last volume, Sonea, the lead character, is meeting with many people. She wears a mask so the bad guys won't know she is back in town. When she meets her aunt she whips off mask and has a gab fest with her. Not story crushing but tiresome. On the other hand what I call bumbling and tiresome others might call it realistic.
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.
"An enjoyable read"
The story took a while to get into. Some of it was hard to follow. Some parts of the story seemed to lead to a dead end. Why was he asked to buy jewellery and what was he doing in a brothel.
I'm sorry I did not care for the narrator. He used an odd mix of Australian & cockney. His accent changed often. There were parts where a magician could have used magic to get out of trouble but did not.
I did get into it eventually and wanted to know what would happen next. I would probably recommend it to an older teen or 20 year old.
"More than OK, and a little different"
Though the scenario is familiar enough the story runs slightly differently for stories of this sort and I'll probably get the next in the series. I've marked performance down to a one because the narrator uses an inflexion that is a better fit for history or documentary rather than fiction. It just doesn't fit, and takes considerable getting used to.
"A decent read"
I like the idea and the story is fairly good. The idea of how society would be different if magic existed, looking at power structures, class and prejudice is great. Honestly if the story, dialog and characters were just a little stronger it could be great.
"Is this for children?"
It doesn't say so but this is possibly a children's book.
The narration even on 3X on my iPhone is slow.
I'm trying to finish it as it's not a bad story but I'm not sure I'll manage as still 3 hours to go at 3X another hour. If you like children's stories or just stories where even the baddies are nice then you might like this but you'll probably need to speed it up a bit.
"Great story, OK narrator."
Does a an average job but the story makes up for it. I have the next book downloading now.
"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
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