Title: The Mad Apprentice
Author: Trudi Canavan
Series: The Black Magician Trilogy #0.7, The Black Magician World #2
In: Legends of Australian Fantasy (Jack Dann & Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Mages
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
5th sentence, 74th page: Somehow she forced her weary legs to take her to the rooms Tagin had chosen for her.
The Mad Apprentice follows the story of Lord Tagin, and his sister, Lady Indria. It narrates how he learnt Black Magic without the approval of his mentor, who he later killed. As the story develops, Tagin starts killing every magician who tried to stop him, along with many non-magicians and animals alike.
Throughout The Black Magician Trilogy, black magic is seen as something horrible. Indeed, throughout the majority of books centring on mages and witchcraft, the idea of black magic is an antithema. After all, the idea of taking someone else’s life force to further your own means is quite a horrible idea. And, so it is with Trudi Canavan’s Black Magician World The Mad Apprentice investigates what happens when someone unstable harness such a questionable wealth of power.
This story was going to have a bad ending right from the beginning. Indria’s fear of her brother, and discomfort at his very presence in the first page hint at underlying issues that bode ill. His admittance of murder and Indria’s obviously misguided belief that she is able to steer him to a saner choice just build upon the feeling of disquiet.
There is something that is eerie about people with power, who appear sane, but have a kind of madness inside. The idea that a mad man can be a highly intelligent and capable one is all the more terrifying. After all, this is what serial killers and murders (such as Tagin) tend to be like – intelligent, and more than a little mad.
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