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 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.
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.
Yes! This second book in the Black Magician's Trilogy pulls on the strings of the many different character stories and weaves them together into a compelling story.
The High Lord. One of the few characters who's story is still wrapped in a cloak of mystery. He's intriguing and beguiling and it sucks you into the story!
I'm sure that Richard Aspel would add something to the right story. However, this series is not one that I actually enjoy him reading.
Not extreme, but it did certainly leave me wanting more.
Love this book and have read it and/or listened to it three times already!
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.
Narrative: Brilliant series, I loved reading the novels the first time round and the audio versions have not diminished my love for these books. Faster pace than The Magician's Guild makes this story far harder to stop listening/reading.
Narrator: Easier to tell between point of view transitions, it has slightly improved since The Magician's Guild. The sample gives an accurate idea of what the narrator will sound like throughout the reading. As long as you do that and find you don't mind his voice, then you should be ok.
"A fantastic sequel"
This book takes up where The Magician's Guild left off. Sonea begins her training at the univercity under the kindly guardianship of her mentor, Rothen. She must deal with contempt and hostility from both her teachers and her classmates, and all the while, the shadow of High Lord Akkarin and his terrible secret looms over her. This book is somewhat darker than the previous story, but the author's excellent characterisation and engaging style are just as evident. A must-listen if you liked the first book.
I have read this book and also got it from audible, it is brilliant if a little hard to get in to. But worth the effort. Cant wait for all her other books to become unabridged on audible.
A good easy listen just has good has first book going to download load the next one now
"A fun bok"
This is one of the best books I have read
This is only the first type of fantasy book I have read
No but will look out for him
As a visually impaired listener having a story brought to life in this manner is nearly as good as reading IT yourself
"loved it, addictive listening"
loved this trilogy, each of the three books were brilliant, captivating adverse to listen too
"A griping sequel"
yes, I read this some years ago and enjoyed it so much I brought it to listen to again.
Story – 3/5
Truth be told, I found that this book went on for quite a while with not a lot actually happening. It was entertaining enough, which is why I give it a 3/5 for story, but I do think a young adult would enjoy this more than I did. I was waiting for something big to happen at the end, but I was left very under whelmed. There was very little action in it, and centred a little too much on the bullying aspect at the guild between novices rather than moving the over-arching story along.
Trudi Canavan’s strongest point is making very likeable characters. They can be a bit one-dimensional at times but this could be down to the target audience. The world she has created is also quite good, with the magic system, social classes, and politics being detailed enough to make the reader want to learn more.
I have heard that the 3rd book in the trilogy is the best of the 3, and redeems the other 2 books, so I will definitely persevere (plus I bought all 3 together in the sale).
Performance – 3/5
Richard Aspel’s reading is consistent with the first book in the novel. If you didn’t like that, you won’t like this. I don’t think he is quite as bad as other people are making out though, and if you are laid-back about this sort of thing like me, you will no doubt be fine with him. If you are still unsure, you can always return the book and get another
He tends to read the novel like it is only children that will be listening, which is wrong to do. He over emphasises the thoughts and speech of the characters, making the younger people sound very whiney. His voice acting gives each character a distinctly recognisable voice though, and he does well to set the atmosphere of the scenes.
Overall – 3/5
"Sub plot better than the main one"
Yes found it very engrossing listened to it on every dog walk or break time at work
The subplot of Daniel and tayend
Boring and heavy breathing
The book on a whole is great, but I'm still not sure mr aspel is the right choice, tedious English dialects is his only go to
Due to the narrator I would not consider the audiobook any better than the print version. I have read this book more than once and would rather read the book again than listen to it read by Richard Aspel. If you don't mind heavy breathing and continuous gulping you will like this audio book - when listening I find the heaving breathing and the additional mouth noises incredible irritating to a fantastic story
The storyline is captivating and exciting.
I believe a female narrator would have been best for this role as the book is about a female main character.
Yes due to the storyline - no because of the narrator. This is a fantastic story by an amazing author it is a huge shame about the narrator.
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