Regular price: $24.47

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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
  • 5 Stars
    465
  • 4 Stars
    501
  • 3 Stars
    246
  • 2 Stars
    82
  • 1 Stars
    48

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    401
  • 4 Stars
    329
  • 3 Stars
    145
  • 2 Stars
    34
  • 1 Stars
    28

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    360
  • 4 Stars
    320
  • 3 Stars
    173
  • 2 Stars
    58
  • 1 Stars
    38
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A good trilogy

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not all audiobooks should be unabridged

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Novice

Trudi Canavan has a wonderful imagination. This book is a great beginning. Hope to enjoy many more of Ms. Canavan's offerings.

  • Overall

Not great but still good.

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

World building can be dull

I believe this is aimed at a youth market. It doesn't develop a story quickly enough for a reader like me, and I believe that is a handicap for the youth market. Too much of the book is taken up with explaining a world of fantasy, and the main character spends most of the book running and hiding long after the reader wants resolution, even if it means she is caught. The narrator, Richard Aspel, is effective.

  • Overall
  • Jacobus
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 04-02-10

The Abridgement is better

What a story! Yet it becomes as slow as Bram Stoker's Dracula at places. Irrespective of this flaw, Canavan is able to engulf the listener in her fantasy world.

I would suggest the abridged audio book read by Samantha Bond over and against this reading by Richard Aspel. I found his accent at some places difficult, also his pronunciation of the names of the characters sounded improbable. Bond's interpretation gives so much more life to the story.

  • Overall
  • Katja
  • Tampa, FL, United States
  • 10-29-09

It's ok

The story itself is good, although it seems like I've heard it before somewhere. The story could have gone in other directions to make it more exciting. I'm glad that I bought it on a $4.95 special. Maybe when the next special is run, I'll get the next 2 books and finish the series. Listen to it if you can get it on sale.

  • Overall

not impressed

I am less than 1/2 through this book and am having a very hard time listening to it. The narrator is very hard to listen to. The story I HOPE will get better. I will listen because I paid for it.....but struggling!!

  • Overall
  • Sarah
  • Hamilton, ON, Canada
  • 09-29-09

Better story than narrator

The story is definitely quite good, especially for this genre - sure, it's a little cliched (poor child from the slums accidentally discovers s/he has huge magical powers; pursuit ensues; epic battle between good and evil changes a society in which magicians can move things with their minds but no one has managed to invent, say, central heating yet) but it's fairly well-written and character development is good.

However, the reader - Richard Aspel - isn't all that great. Some reviewers have criticized his 'raspy' voice and accents, but those aren't the problem. It's that the best readers tend also to be good actors - think Ian Carmichael, Jonathan Cecil, Anton Lesser - and this guy just isn't. When you're reading, it's REALLY important to put the stresses on the right words/syllables (even a sentence like "That's great!" can be read in a whole lot of different ways, all of which change the meaning), and I think part of the problem other people were having with this was that Aspel wasn't putting the right inflection into the words. It doesn't ruin it or anything - it's just that it could be a lot better.

Is this going to be your favourite audiobook ever? Unlikely. But if you like the genre, you could do a lot worse than this one.

  • Overall
  • Robin
  • Douglaston, NY, United States
  • 09-30-09

too much talk too little action

This book was a disappointment especially after reading Jim Butcher's series "The Furies of Calderon." I said it all in the title for a fantasy adventure this had very little adventure. At half the length it still could not compare to Furies - Read Butchers series if you want great fantasy, action and adventure

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • P. J. Bell
  • 05-13-16

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Paul
  • 09-29-15

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • MR
  • 08-09-15

Great story, OK narrator.

Does a an average job but the story makes up for it. I have the next book downloading now.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michael
  • 07-30-15

Good book narrator a bit slow

large gaps between sentences and slow reading was frustrating during the tense parts. good story though

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Frankie Yates
  • 07-18-15

Stick with it - it's a good read

If you could sum up The Magician's Guild in three words, what would they be?

Slow-burning magical romp

What three words best describe Richard Aspel’s performance?

Pretty good, accented

Any additional comments?

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • mollyeyre
  • 05-14-15

Good story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • esra
  • 04-19-15

Enyoyable story

Great book, enjoyable story. Kept me listening at every opportunity. Well read. I'm going straight on to the next book!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • mr
  • 04-13-15

Epic Fantasy - I think not, more like YA Fiction

Would you try another book written by Trudi Canavan or narrated by Richard Aspel?

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

What will your next listen be?

Spell or High Water by Scott Meyer

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Aspel?

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

Was The Magician's Guild worth the listening time?

No, I've lasted about to about10 chapters, time which I will never get back

Any additional comments?

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Pippa
  • 04-13-15

loved the written books and so wanted the audibles

I have to say that I was disappointed with the nararrators very 'sneering' voice. But bought the black magician trilogy and traitor spy books when they were on sale and I did get use to the voice.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-09-15

Great book

This book kept me on the edge of me seat the hole time waiting to hear what happened next. I can't wait to hear the next book.