Sonea knows the other novices in the Magicians' Guild all come from powerful families, but she also knows she can turn to Rothen and Dannyl for help when she needs it. That is, until somone starts spreading malicious rumors about her - and Akkarin, The High Lord, steps in.
Promoted to Guild Ambassador, Lord Dannyl leaves for the Elyne court. His first order from Administrator Lorlen is to resume, in secret, High Lord Akkarin's long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge. Not knowing the true reason for his journey, Dannyl is soon facing unexpected dangers.
Meanwhile, Sonea has almost forgotten the High Lord's dark secret, but keeping the truth hidden may be a grave mistake.
©2004 Trudi Canavan; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"...a wonderfully and meticulously detailed world, and an edge-of-the-seat splot, this book is a must for lovers of good fantasy." - Jennifer Fallon
Positive thoughts first. The first book was good. It had a solid story arch and interesting, clear cut character goals. You will likely buy this book to satisfy your curiosity gained from the first one. The narrator for the book did a great job of allowing the characters to have their own personality and really helped to bring the book to life. So you may also buy it because you like the narrator. That said the second book was all but dead, despite his talent. Multiple times I verbally screamed at my headphones.
There is a rule that you cannot practice magic outside of class in the book, but apparently, as the Pirates of the Caribbean put it, “They’re more like guidelines.” The rule is broken over and over again. It would have been better if it never had existed. It ruined my suspension of belief.
Brandon Sanderson, an amazing fantasy writer, wrote this wonderful article titled Sanderson’s First Law. In it he talks about soft magic and hard magic, detailing how magic systems can have hard fast laws or be that mysterious thing that makes our pulse quicken. You cannot solve stories with soft magic because then you have Deus ex machina. Well, in my opinion, the rules are vague enough for the magic in the book for it to be considered soft magic, and the resolution is so tied to magic that I feel that’s exactly what happened at the end: Deus ex machina. (In simple English weak story telling)
Another thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was the inconsistent character decisions. Over and over again I felt like the characters were performing actions to move the story forward, not because that is what they would do. I’d tell you how but so much of the story rested on decisions that I felt were unbelievable or inconsistent for the character.
The story arch was muddled and confusing. It wasn’t clear until the very end of the book what the main character wanted to accomplish… or at least how she was trying to accomplish this goal.
Finally, the secondary story arch was completely unneeded. (More on this later)
High Lord Akkarin was masterfully turned into a sinister friend by the narrator. I knew the High Lord wanted things to stay friendly, but at the same time I worried over why he kept his friends in the dark. That said, I never found out. (More on this later).
Lord Dannyl’s story arch could have been skipped entirely. If ever it was apparent that an author was trying to push his or her worldview on the reader it would be here. Preachy on the level of a pastor. The relevance to the main story plot could have been stripped out into a few summary sentences and the things happening around Sonea could have been explained more fully.
For example… what on earth is High Lord Akkarin up to? Can he be trusted? That’s what I bought the second book for. By the end of this book, I strongly believed there would be no decent explanation as to why he was keeping his friends in the dark, and by the way, there isn’t an explanation in this book for that.
Epilogue. An epilogue isn’t really part of the main story, and yet, it revealed in a few minutes, everything that I wanted to know over the course of the book. In summary, all but the epilogue was a waste of time. She should have focused on covering that content throughout the book and not half of what she did cover. I would have loved a book that focused on the High Lord, versus another novice who antagonizes her like he is 4 years old, with little believable motivation.
My advice, go buy The Way of Kings.
I usually agree with most of the reviewers of an audiobook before I end up buying it. Not so much this time. This story is just "ok".
1) It drags A LOT
2) The antagonists behavior and the protagonist's reaction to it don't really draw me into the story. I think part of the problem is that we don't really get a true sense of who the antagonist is. Something just feels a bit off about the way they interact with each other.
3) The "research" plot line could be eliminated completely. Every time the audio switched over to that story I wanted to rip my eyes out. Also what's with the doubts and questions surrounding homosexuality? It just didn't make any sense, nor did the heterosexuality either. There's no passion of either kind. The author should have just stuck to the magic and left sexuality out; it wasn't believable when it was brought into the story.
3 Stars because:
a) the "magic" part of the book held my interest...
b) the book got better once I hit the 2X speed on my ipod (the narrator is a SLOW reader too)
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
The Novice is a great book to listen to, Richard Aspel makes Trudi Canavan's book come to life, he shows emotion and speaks clearly
The book is entertaining, but a caution. If you dont not appreciate hints about homosexuality, or perhaps do not want your children hearing about it, do not get this book.
Very enjoyable listen. This audible book helped me through my spring cleaning. Thank you very much. Your fan.
The first book to a bit to get into, but I really enjoyed this one! I cared about the characters a lot, and there was lots of suspense and a couple of different plots. Going for the third one now.
worth the time and money spent it keep me going on all three books. wish they had more.
More action! The setting for this book is mostly the University of the Magician's Guild. The small area becomes tedious as the character continues to be tormented, struggle with classes, etc. It doesn't feel as if anything really is tense or exciting.
I had hoped that other characters would expand the world-building, and it does happen somewhat. However, it's not enough to make up for the boredom of the main story line.
I found myself frequently wondering how much farther I had until the book was completed, rather than just finding myself immersed in the world and enjoying the story.
I often felt the characters' thoughts were used to lecture at the reader & express the author's view on topics.
I gave up. I really wanted to finish the book so that I'd feel I gave a totally complete review. This is an honest review, nonetheless. I only made it about 90% through, then finally realized the time just wasn't worth my lack of enjoyment.
While I'm still interested in the characters, there is too much repeation in all of the storylines in this second book. I understand that the characters are growing in their knowledge/skills, but they are doing it at such a slow pace that it feels like the book is happening in real time and that it's been months since I started. I've decided to get the third book for my Kindles because it is easier to skim the written word.
no audio performance was well done
Writer needs to write appropriately for the age of her characters. You can not reveal the ages of the characters to be 17 and 15 and then continue to write them like they are no older than 12. Characters were made out to be way too childish for their ages. It became rather annoying and frustrating at times when following the plot.
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