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The Magicians' Guild: Book 1 of the Black Magician (Black Magician Trilogy) [Paperback]

Trudi Canavan
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)

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The Magicians' Guild: Book 1 of the Black Magician (Black Magician Trilogy) The Magicians' Guild: Book 1 of the Black Magician (Black Magician Trilogy) 3.9 out of 5 stars (259)
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Book Description

5 Feb 2004 Black Magician Trilogy (Book 1)

Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe.

Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconscious.

The guild's worst fear has been realised ... There is an untrained magician loose on the streets. She must be found before her uncontrolled powers unleash forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.

THE MAGICIANS' GUILD is a blistering new fantasy adventure from a debut author skilled in both world-building and storytelling. The trilogy continues with THE NOVICE (Aug '04) and THE HIGH LORD (Feb '05).

Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; paperback / softback edition (5 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841493139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841493138
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Trudi Canavan lives in Melbourne, Australia. Her first published story received an Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story in 1999. She has since published the bestselling Black Magician Trilogy and is now a bestselling author in the UK, Australia and the US.

Product Description


A wonderfully and meticulously detailed world, and an edge-of-the-seat plot, this book is a must for all lovers of good fantasy (JENNIFER FALLON)

Book Description

The first volume in a fabulous new trilogy of magic, intrigue and breathtaking epic adventure.

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First Sentence
"It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow city streets because it is grieved by what it finds there." Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable evening 14 Dec 2004
By A Customer
This is an easy read: I went through the entire book in an evening, and almost picked up the second book and started reading until I realised it was almost 1am. It's paced well and doesn't have too many annoying fantasy clichés. The characters are likeable, and there's plenty going on to keep them interesting.
It could have done with a few thousand less words on Sonea hiding from the Guild though. It wasn't *quite* boring me, but I could see boredom looming on the horizon, and breathed a sigh of relief when it was over. There's also a couple of the places where the point of view switches abruptly between two people mid-scene, which is confusing until you stop, go back, and realise what happened.
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84 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not revolutionary, but rivetting nonetheless 25 Jun 2004
By A Customer
"It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow city streets because it is grieved by what it finds there..." Canavan starts her novel with that sentence, and it just gets better.
There have been loads of fantasy books written about young people growing up not knowing they are mages/magicians/witches and suddenly finding out. And who are a danger because they don't know how to control the magic... sound familiar? Well, this is another one. But don't let that put you off, because Trudi Canavan can write. She can write very well indeed. Her world is well developed, her characters well-rounded, and the story line is gripping. Likeable characters, except for a really unlikeable well-drawn villain. Put simply: it is a great read.
I haven't given it five stars because I reserve that for books that offer me something new and mind-blowing as well as good writing, but don't let that put you off. This book is superb and well-worth the buy. I suspect this writer is going to go a long, long way as she explores the opportunities open to her as a writer of fantasy - this after all, is her first book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very unsure? 11 Oct 2008
There were aspects of this book that i really enjoyed, the magic system for one. But after reading some amazing epic fantasies e.g. A song of fire and ice (that seems to be poking up alot) many of the less structured books seem to be lacking something, structure maybe?

I appreciate that these are shorter books and more has to be taken on faith, and i actually disagree with many of the 1 star reviewers with saying that there is no imagination or depth, far from it.

I ploughed through the trilogy in about a week and found it to be quite satifying, imagination wise. The few twists and turns are well thought out and placed, if not a little predictable. But all in all, it was something to keep me occupied, which it did, and i don't begrudge the time spent while i wait for another big one.

I think we've just been spoiled by some excellent authors and some truely epic fantasies, i know i have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A weak fantasy book 24 May 2010
I have wanted to read a book by this author for ages after hearing that she's one of the great fantasy writers. I believed her to be a more serious Maria V Snyder. Well, I wanted to love this book and get wrapped up in another world but it just wasn't happening. The story isn't original, magicians go after young girl who has untamed magical ability, but that's not the problem. I really didn't like the writing style, it was just really dull. Events that should have been really exciting like battle scenes and revelations just felt abit flat. I didn't feel excited, I didn't read in a rush of exhilaration desperate to find out what happened. In short, I didn't manage to finish the book.

I got to around page 200 before I gave up. I was frustrated, the young girl was STILL running from the magicians and it was just boring. A scene with the girl and her friends, a scene with the magicians and repeat for page after page. It's a shame really; I wanted to find a really good fantasy series. I don't know why I thought Canavan would be even better than Snyder. I thought Canavan would have fully formed interesting characters but she didn't, they were pretty much cardboard cutouts of stereotypes. Also, the book didn't seem to have a sense of fun about it. Maybe this is just me but when I read Snyder you just knew the author was having fun writing it, the characters were funny the scenes were exciting but Canavan seemed to be taking it all abit too seriously.
I may try to read this book again in the future so I'll give it 2 stars.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy, enjoyable fantasy ride. 18 Jun 2004
By Timbertwig VINE VOICE
The Magician's Guild is refreshing in that it's not about a reluctant male hero's quest to save the world. Instead, Trudi Canavan presents us with a spirited female lead who discovers that she has magic, which puts her in a social dilemma.
Should she accept her powers and join the "snobbish" magicians who are hated by ordinary people? Or should she stay ordinary but risk destroying those she loves with her uncontrolled magic?
The Magician's Guild is an enjoyable, easy read. Trudi Canavan's flowing narrative style will keep you turning the pages until the end. Though not as good a writer as Robert Jordan or Robin Hobbs (yet), Canavan keeps your interest with her likeable characters and familiar situations that readers will relate to. Themes such as social class divisions, friendships and betrayals, finding your true identity and figuring out where you truly belong are explored.
The books comes to a satisfying ending but readers are left in no doubt that this volume merely sets the scene for The Novice and The High Lord, the next two books in The Black Magician Trilogy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but Sadly less than Immersive
I read the whole trilogy in quick succession as the story unfolded at a good pace, albeit with an underwhelming sense of predictability. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Ray Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Present from a wish list
Published 23 days ago by Morticia
1.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight - a chore to read
2 dimensional characters
Characters are thrown onto the stage with no build up
Poor writing style
Fails to engage
Lacks drama

A pale shadow of proper... Read more
Published 28 days ago by A buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a perfect present
Published 1 month ago by karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent = keeps moving
Published 1 month ago by Terry L
4.0 out of 5 stars Ooh it's good
It's very good really great and gripping with good characters and plot a little plodding in the middle chapter but worth reading
Published 1 month ago by tony lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really good story.
Published 1 month ago by M. J. Bourne
4.0 out of 5 stars ... the story simply but interesting so you are gradually sucked into...
Truck Canavan keeps the story simply but interesting so you are gradually sucked into the events and wanting more
Published 1 month ago by Kenrick Stevens
3.0 out of 5 stars Tried to enjoy it
Very good at first, but it became boring out of lack of action and became very predictable,couldn't finish. The story was very creative but the writing lacked imagination. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lucy
3.0 out of 5 stars A good half and a bad!
So like I said in the title this book is split into two halls, part one and part two, or as I like to call them the good and the bad half. Read more
Published 2 months ago by jpiper1
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