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Publisher's Summary

Sonea is caught up in a confrontation between the hated Guild magicians and the angry youth of the slums. To her dismay, she discovers that she possesses the same powers as the reviled magicians. To avoid capture, she must seek protection from the city's feared underworld, The Thieves. In return, she must use her powers for them, but her magic never seems to do quite what she intends it to.
©2004 Trudi Canavan; (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    48

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

An enjoyable start to a fun story

What other book might you compare The Magician's Guild to and why?

This book in many ways reminds me of the dragon age circle mages. While its not as extreme mages are held apart from society in many ways.

Any additional comments?

The first book starts very focused on the divide of rich and poor. Later on this idea is mostly lost as character back story and makes way for the deeper over aching story. If the primary plot of all books had been based around this Idea it would have made an excellent story in its own right. The fact that later in this book and moving into the rest of the story this is mostly set aside and causes a rift in the story telling that has a negative effect on the overall story. This is mended as you get deeper into the main plot line. If your able to hold out past this bad transition you will enjoy this book. For the most part this story is very PG to PG13. The writer mostly avoids foul language and fights are more about the battles than the depiction of death.

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surpricingly good :D

What did you love best about The Magician's Guild?

the character building and how well it is doen.<br/><br/>it is slow and you feel like you are left with much of the story waiting but it is done in a very nice and good manner and the only complain is that you want so much more of it :D<br/>not that you want it faster just that you want a few houndread hours more

Who was your favorite character and why?

robin i think :)<br/>but there are very few characters i dont like actually ^^<br/>there is not anyone i find extremely intrigin either though..<br/>or the black magicien would be AWESOME but we all know he is gonna be painted as the bad guy or it will have some wierd twist making him actually use flower magic instead of dark magic or something silly :/ sadly

Have you listened to any of Richard Aspel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no but i kinda like him; his voice is good for this type of book and he does a good job with voice's and it is easy to follow who is saying what and in what feeling etc.<br/><br/>there is space for a bit of improvement though he is doing a good job and i would listend to more with him :)

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

well ... yer... but its like 15 hours long and i got projects, university, work etc. so no way i can :P<br/>i have however skipped a day of doing anything other then listening to the next book in the serie which i am doing right now xD<br/>just wanted to write a nice review as a thanks to the author for giving me a great time listening to his work :D

Any additional comments?

it's a very good book, i really like the way magic works in his universe and i like that it is actually focused a lot on the life and it feels like you are following the mages existance instead of following some grant scheme of a kingdom or following the magic itself instead of the characters.<br/>it does a great jump having the characters in focus while still feeling like a true mage book, which is rare and i really like it.<br/><br/>it is nice to see the characters have some backbone which is not shown in a "neanter cave man way", but that characters can have backbone, will and pride even when they have to truly bow their head and be subjecated..<br/><br/>i hope we will see the main character actually play in dark magic and become a "good villian" type character :P<br/>which we properly won't, since as good as no book ever does that when we are talking fantasy and magic.. sadly :/ <br/><br/>its a good listen and it got great moments but i truly feel that you get too little story in each book which is why i can't give it a 5 :)<br/>it is not that what is there isnt wonderfull, but that i was left with a feeling of "was that it" and if there havent already been a second book in the serie ready for me i would have felt annoyed of being left of thinking that i only got to read the intro to the book.<br/><br/>i am kinda scared for the third book though which is the last one out when i write this review, it better not leave me hanging in the same manner xD hehe<br/><br/>diffinately worth the buy and you should support the author, we need more of such authors ^^

Slow Burn

I enjoyed this book but it was missing something. There wasn't enough action or fun for the first half and right as it got interesting boom that's the end. Trudy Canavan does a pretty good job but many of his voices are to similar. Good but doesn't stand out.

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Amazing

What a wonderful start to a breathtaking series!! I can say this with the utmost confidence as this is my 2nd time listening!'nn

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The story and character's pull you in!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Magician's Guild to be better than the print version?

No. I am a highly imaginative person. So whenever I read a book, I am sucked into it's pages and transported into the vibrant world behind the pen and ink! An audio book is somewhat limiting in the respect that you are at the mercy of the spell woven by someone else. In this case, I do not generally care for the person that vocally spins the tale of the Magician's Guild. However, it does not put one of so much as to make you stop listening all together. Because I love the story and the characters that much, I am still able to enjoy the audio version. Especially when I do not have time to sit and read it.

What did you like best about this story?

The most intoxicating thing about this book is the characters and the character development. The first book may start out just a bit slow, but the next thing you know, you're compelled to know more about each and every character, most especially the High Lord. I think this character most draws me in and wraps me in a cloak of intrigue and anticipation!

Have you listened to any of Richard Aspel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was the first time I'd listened to Richard Aspel. He does try to bring you in and make each voice unique. But I find his voice to be whiney and nasally, and not at all how I envisioned any of the character's voices.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Oh, I have been wishing and hoping for a film from this trilogy so badly!! I'm not even sure how to begin to come up with a tag line. There's just so much to say and a tag line just seems to not be able to pull you in to everything you'll be amazed by! Maybe something like, "One lone vagrant, stirred by the Purge, sets in motion the path to a great battle and the potential downfall of the mighty Guild."

Any additional comments?

Read it, it's amazing!

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  • Yette
  • Spokane, WA USA
  • 08-05-14

Proceed with Caution

What did you like best about The Magician's Guild? What did you like least?

It's fantasy.<br/>The slow pace - it takes a long time for the main character to move on from her initial setting.

Would you ever listen to anything by Trudi Canavan again?

Possibly, but would definitely read reviews (here & Amazon) to determine if it's worth another try.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Richard Aspel?

Sure.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

As before, the plot moves very slowly & it seems chapters are repetitive action. I have felt more engaged with the "slum/ underground" settings in other series (i.e. Fiest). I listened through, hoping the rest of the series would have more action & expand the world the story is set in.

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  • Performance
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  • Aven
  • The Midwest
  • 08-01-14

Completely sucked in...

Where does The Magician's Guild rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is in the top 5.

What did you like best about this story?

This book completely sucked me in, I listened to it while walking, late at night, in the car...loved it!

What about Richard Aspel’s performance did you like?

His voices were wonderful.

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  • Jesse
  • Snohomish, WA, United States
  • 06-03-13

Okay story; very hard to relate to the characters

Any additional comments?

The plot was decent but slow at many points, and the characters were shallow and hard to relate to. They felt more puppets, jerking without consistency to the pre-determined plot.

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Began slowly

I had to force myself through the first half of this book, but honestly the second half caught my attention and made me willing to try the second one. I have read / listened to other series that are similar and became some of my favorite stories.

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  • Sean
  • United States
  • 04-22-13

Excellent!!!

What did you love best about The Magician's Guild?

This book started out kind of slow but when it picked up, it took me on a whirl wind and hooked me. As soon as I realized the book was nearly over, I had immediately purchased the next two so I could continue the series without delay.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sonea, because she was the proverbial underdog. She went from rags to riches and learned that she has an important role to play to protect the ones she cared for.

What does Richard Aspel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

An accent that brought the feeling of old-time and even other-landly feel.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

This I would be unable to answer without enough time to think. It would have to be something thorough and befitting such an experience.

Any additional comments?

This was beautifully written and narrated. I have already recommended this book to a close friend of mine. He doesn't read science fiction but is interested from my suggestion since I mainly stick to science and educational material.

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  • Overall
  • Pringle9984
  • 04-13-13

Excellent Fantasy Novel

The first of Trudi Canavan's books that I read, I have since purchased and read all of The Magician's Guild books (including the spin offs) as well as some of her other series. This novel in particular gives you a good two sided view of Imardin from the slum dwellers and thieves as well as from those within the Magician's Guild. Through Sonea we learn that neither side is perfect and begin to get involved in the politics of the city (or at least of the guild).



This works well as a self contained story with an 'antagonist' who is dealt with by the end of the book, but also has plenty of hooks and direct ties into the continuation in rest of the Black Magician books.



Overall one of my favourite fantasy novels, my only problem was that I read the book version first and they pronounce some of the names differently to how I imagined them - but I guess that's my own fault.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lilian Crossley
  • 04-13-13

The Magician's Guild: book 1

I listen to audiobooks whilst quilting, so like to have a book that draws me into a different world. This is not the kind of story I would usually read in book form, but I enjoyed the atmosphere created by the narrator. The characters and their experiences held my interest and I look forward to listening to the rest of the Trilogy to find out how it all ends. Will definitely look for more Trudi Canavan books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carlin
  • 04-07-13

entertaining!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator has a nice voice and he is easy to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-23-12

Predicable and dull

I don't understand the good reviews given to this series of books. I wanted to like them and managed to force my way through the trilogy in the hope of finally seeing them in a positive light.



It never happened. I found them terribly formulaic and uninteresting. I couldn't care less about any of the characters and found the magic and world boring and insipid. The ending in the third book just left me irritated and slightly angry.



So my advice is to try this first book and hopefully you will agree with the majority and have a great new trilogy to enjoy listening to. If, like me, you hate this from the start then just give up and try something else because it doesn't get any better in the next couple of books!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dave
  • 12-23-12

A Magical and Exciting Sorry

The book is written develop the characters a gripping story where you get drawn into the world of the magicians and how the class structures effects the lives of everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nicola
  • 02-04-10

The Magician's Guild

This is an amazing book. Full of all the magic you could want, adventure and action. Absolutely loved listening to this book. would highly recommend. Voice is pleasant to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Iain McCorkindale
  • 02-03-10

Difficult to listen to

AGAINST: Nasal, high-pitched voice, occasional mispronounced words, making this very difficult for me to listen to - I only managed to listen to about a quarter of the book.

FOR: Excellent book (I've read it on paper). To give the narrator credit, he has plenty of varied intonation, and if you can live with the nasal quality, I'm sure this will make an excellent listen for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Frances
  • 05-18-10

Good adaptation

I had read the book previously and had the same problem as before. Both times i found the first half of the book hard to get into but again I found the second half absolutely fascinating. The series overall is brilliant and is one of my favourites, but it is slow to start.
The narrator is good and worth listening to but it is difficult to tell when the narrative has shifted to another character's point of view sometimes.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • J.E.A.S
  • 08-04-09

Boring

This was my first Audible audio book and I'm sorry to say that I was very dissapointed. The narration is ok, but his character acting wasn't particulary convincing, and his voice for the main character was just annoying. He made her sound like a whinging child. It was the story that let the book down, however. The author simply failed to create any atmosphere. While I accept that going overboard with descriptive narrative is unnecessary, there has to be some description of characters and surroundings. I just don't have a convincing mental picture of the world or characters the author is writing about. The plot is equally shallow. The plot just bumbles along until the books ends. Nothing interesting happens until the last 30 minutes of the book! I didn't care about any of the characters or the plot and found myself mentally drifting off. In a word - boring.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 10-23-17

optional header? lol

loved the story, lots of room for character growth, which hopefully will come in the next books