Book Review: The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan

The Magician's Guild1
Title: The Magician’s Guild (Book 1 in The Black Magician Trilogy)
Author: Trudi Canavan
Social Media: FacebookGoodreads, Twitter
Publisher: Harper Voyager Fantasy

This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work–until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders… and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.
What the Magician’s Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained made who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.

About The Author:
Trudi Canavan lives in a little house on a hillside, near a forest in the Melbourne suburb of Ferntree Gully in Australia. She has been making up stories about things that don’t exist for as long as she can remember and was amazed when her first published story received an Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story in 1999. A freelance illustrator and designer, she also works as the designer and Art Director of Aurealis, a magazine of Australian fantasy and science fiction. You can email her at or find out more about Kyralia and the Magician’s Guild at

Things I Liked:

  • The World-building – I don’t just mean the description, I enjoyed reading about the slums and the different people and races involved, but I especially loved the political struggles of the Magician’s guild.
  • Relevant themes/issues – The topics of classism, women’s rights and culture clashes are all real world problems but the author handles them well, and although Sonea did get a little soap-boxy, it was justifiable.
  • The Characters – They are all distinct, three dimensional and interesting. Trudi Canavan is excellent at subtle Character Establishing Moments. Fergan is definitely a suitable antagonist, I could easily picture him twirling a moustache and declaring, “Next Time Lord Dannyl, Next time!” however The High Lord though, he intrigues me, definitely looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.
  • Lack There of Romance – One of the biggest problems in the Fantasy genre is how a female protagonist’s love-life is handled, but more importantly “Why is it necessary for her to have one?”. I loved the student-mentor friendship/relationships between Lord Rothen, Lord Dannyl and Sonea. Although there was some minor romantic conflict, it was important to the story and never took center stage over the more interesting aspects of the novel.

Things I Didn’t Like or Could Be Improved

  • Slow Plot Build Up – Took a while for the plot to gain momentum and there wasn’t a lot going on to distract from that.
  • Lots of Characters – I understand Trudi Canavan is playing the long game and I understand that most of these characters will be reoccurring, but there are a lot of names to remember

Over all, a great book 1 to a fascinating series

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