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.
I listened to the first book and procured the second at the soonest available opportunity. The plot thickens with the second installment, adding depth of character too many of the individuals focused upon. I will be obtaining the third installment right away.
Devourer of all books fantasy
This was a spectacular continuation to the Black Magician series. After reading the first book in the series I wasn’t sure if I would continue it; but I am so glad I did. This book is much better than the first one and incredibly interesting and engaging.
I listened to this on audiobook and I really love the narrator of these books. He is a pleasure to listen to and does an awesome job with character voices and emotion. I would highly recommend listening to this series on audiobook.
There is so much tension throughout this book, it just about kills you. Sonea, Lord Robin, and the Administrator know a deadly secret about the High Lord Akkarin that they are desperately trying to keep secret. As if this isn’t enough stress Sonea’s fellow classmates have taken a strong dislike to her. Sonea remains admirable through the book; she is smart and resourceful but continues to get caught up in events that test her. I loved her character and my heart just broke for her throughout this book; there were a couple of times I just wanted to scream “Enough, give the girl a break and some happiness!”
Much of the story is also told from Dannyl’s perspective. I adored his parts of the book just as much as Sonea’s. Dannyl does a lot of traveling and ends up on a quest to trace Akkarin’s travels and find out more about the ancient history of magic. These parts of the book had a lot of adventure and history involved in them and I loved them. Both Sonea and Dannyl develope love interests in this book; much of that is in the background but it was nice for these characters to have some happiness in midst of all of their trials.
The only thing that really irked me throughout this book was everyone’s fear and assumption that The High Lord Akkarin was evil. Yes, Sonea saw him practicing black magic but did anyone ever try to figure out why Akkarin would do that? Throughout the book Akkarin remains alof, intimidating, and at times strict and even a bit cruel. However, he is never outright evil and I can’t help but believe he isn’t the problem in this book. It bothered me that all the magicians and novices that know his secret just assume that he is evil without finding out if maybe he has a greater ulterior motive. It made me disappointed in the intelligence of the surrounding characters and seemed short-sighted to me. I was especially disappointed in Robin and the Administrator.
The other thing I found frustrating was how all the magicians turned a blind eye to how Sonea was tormented by her classmates; at times this torment is so severe as to be torture. I found it disturbing that the adults in this book are okay with the students ganging up on and torturing one young girl.
Overall aside from the above two complaints I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The whole book is written in a fantasy style that feels a bit older to me (like 90’s epic fantasy) and I enjoyed it a lot. There is some excellent world-building in here along with a complex plot and characters that are easy to engage with and relate to. The book ends on a cliffhanger that will absolutely kill you; I want to read the third book immediately! I would recommend to fans of classic fantasy.
I know some others may have given this book in the series harsh reviews but the book is actually very entertaining. I think what might make others think the book is boring or not good is that the subject is about bullying, discrimination and persecution. The main characters faces an unending volley of pranks, and abusive behavior from her classmates as she discovers how much more powerful she is compared to the others. Being that she isn't from the same class as they are (she's from the slums and they are of noble birth) it becomes all too easy for others to fall in line with her bully. I like the way the author makes you as the listener/reader uncomfortable as she gives glimpses of the main characters thoughts and emotions regarding the events that unfold. On top of the bullying there is real danger that a black magician may find out she knows his secret - which is why she cannot prove her innocence when accused of thieving. I found the book very entertaining and did get some satisfaction at the end for the heroine. The only thing that might need improving is the cadence of the reading - but as this is the second book I am used to it so it doesn't really bother me at all and is only a minute problem (if any).
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.
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
"Better than the first book!"
This is the second book of the Magician's Guild series. I found it much faster to get into than the first and the storyline was much better. This book has got me wanting to download all of them in the series! The only fault I would say is about the narrator. He tends to leave big gaps between sentences and it sometimes seems like the book has stopped, the a few seconds later he'll start again. Not a major issue, just a bit annoying!
The only fault I would say is about the narrator. He tends to leave big gaps between sentences and it sometimes seems like the book has stopped, the a few seconds later he'll start again. Not a major issue, just a bit annoying!
great story and a consistent performance (so far) which is not always the case with some trilogies I have listened too.
"Definitely not Harry Potter"
clear and understanding as always.
Magic schools were always interesting with lessons, teachers and fights between students, like all simple school stories
"Still pretty good"
Still a pretty good series of books. The character are more developed as is the social structure and the analysis of magic and the way non magic or family hierarchy effects the character. The plot is still a little predicable but otherwise very good.
"A fantastic series!"
Since the Harry Potter series I have always struggled to get into another magical series - until this one! In this series the magic is all based on scientific facts and altering natural forces!
They characters and well developed and easy to like!
Definitely worth a try!!!
"Even better than the first"
This audio book is really good - as the first review suggested it can take a little while to get into but it?s well worth the effort! Just waiting for the final unabridged book in the trilogy now!
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