Title: The Novice
Author: Trudi Canavan
Series: The Black Magician Trilogy #2, The Black Magician World #4
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Mages
5th sentence, 74th page: I’ll leave our family scandals to you.
Imardin is a city of dark intrigues and deadly politics, where those who wield magic wield power. Into this established order has blundered a young street-girl with extraordinary magical gifts. Adopted by the Magicians’ Guild, her life is changed for ever – but for better or for worse?
Sonea knew that she’d face a tough time training within the Magicians’ Guild, but she little realised the level of animosity she would face from her fellow novices. The sons and daughters of the most powerful families in the realm, her classmates seem determined to see her fail – at whatever cost. But in accepting the protection of the guild’s high lord, Sonea may have embraced a far bleaker fate. For High Lord Akkarin harbours a secret that is far darker than his magician’s robes.
I hate, hate, hate bullying – in all of its forms. And the bullying that characterises most of Sonea’s journey throughout The Novice, made me feel physically ill, and incredibly angry. Yet, this look inside the depths to which some people’s prejudices will sink made this an amazing story to read. The backdrop of confusion and fear that Sonea feels at becoming a magician, and knowing the High Lord’s dirty little secret (which is not so little) help to further this amazing storyline. The moment I finished this novel, I cracked the spine of The High Lord in excitement. After all, while Sonea is able to overcome some of the difficulties of being a novice, the greatest threat to her existence is still around.
The Novice highlights the differences that people feel and show around those of a different social standing. Almost as though where you are born and where you come from are choices. Especially when it is considered that those of the higher families are “bought down” by any and all association with a slum girl. This prejudice, although obviously expanded upon throughout The Novice is present in all of our lives, and Sonea’s ability to rise above this and not stoop to the levels which are expected of her are admirable. But, it is easy to see that even those who have no firsthand knowledge of her and ability to judge her integrity, are willing to believe blatant lies, just because she is of a lower social standing. The fear mongering that is constantly taking place throughout the story lead to a number of horrible, cringe worthy incidents that made my blood boil. Yet, throughout it all, it is Sonea’s willingness to stay true to herself and honest that helps her to triumph in the end.
The complex characters throughout The Novice make it easy for everyone to relate to at least one character throughout the story. Although I was mostly interested in Sonea’s plight, Dannyl’s journey of discovery quickly drew me in. Not only is he constantly searching for new knowledge in the name of research, but he is ultimately forced to face a part of himself that has been long buried. Again, it is the prejudices of others that enforced this journey to be necessary. And I can’t wait to see how the rest of it unfolds in The High Lord.
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