This is just the kind of unchallenging and easy-going Fantasy that is sometimes exactly what you need when you’re looking for a break from too much density of worldbuilding and complex magical systems. I think that’s actually why I initially bought it — I was deep in Glen Cook’s Black Company books at the time, and felt like I needed something still in the same genre, but a little lighter. The fact that Trudi Canavan is a fellow Melbournian, and I found this book on the shelves of a New York bookstore, sealed the deal.
I’m pleased to report that I was so right about this book. It is a simple Rightful Heir/Secretly Powerful story, in which low-class slum-dweller Sonea is revealed to harbour reserves of magical power — which, in her caste-ridden land of Imardin, is unusual in the extreme.
She spends the first half of the book attempting to evade the omnipotent Magician’s Guild (which we know she’s going to join, because it’s the title of the damn book) but is eventually caught and becomes apprentice to the kindly Rothen, learning super-fast and impressing him, because of course she does.
There is an immediate enemy, yes, and he is one of the more obvious, evil-for-no-reason examples of such I have read in a very long time, but there is enough elsewhere in the book that is opaque and puzzling that I am quite intrigued, and reasonably keen to discover what comes next.
In short, this isn’t great Fantasy, but it’s certainly good enough for me.
TBR DAY 143: The Magician’s Guild (The Black Magician #1) by Trudi Canavan
TIME ON THE TBR: 12 years.
PURCHASED FROM: Barnes and Noble.