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4.4 out of 5 stars221
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 9 May 2013
Wow, I cannot believe this book has had bad reviews. This is one of my favorite ever books, but the last in the series The High Lord: Number 3 in series: The Black Magician Trilogy, Book 3 might be my favorite book ever - it even competes with Harry Potter in my affections!! Bad editing? Repetitive story line? What? This just doesn't make sense. I guess everyone likes different things, but I thought this story line was amazing, I love the whole world - I think the author does a fantastic job in creating it, making the characters interesting, and weaving together different story lines - if some of them don't resolve in this book it's not surprising - it's a trilogy!! They resolve in the next one - and brilliantly! Every character has a part to play. I love the school Sonea goes to, the magic lessons, Rothan... I have read this book at least three times, it is that good.
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on 3 January 2008
Sonea has now been accepted into the Guild and she now has a mentor, Lord Rothen. The book focusses on Sonea and her work. Getting accepted into the Guild has been a miracle and because she is a mere "slum dweller" the pupils in her classes treat her differently. Regin, a boy in her year, starts to bully her and this doesnt help her studies.

When Lorlen learns of her secret about High Lord Akkarin, her life takes a turn for the worst and Akkarin decides to keep Sonea, Lorlen and Rothen quiet by taking Sonea into his care.

A book you cant put down. I loved it and i thought it was slighty better than the first one, hence the five star rating.
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on 4 January 2006
The Novice, Part Two of The Black Magician Trilogy, is just as spectacular as the first book (The Magicians Guild). Sonea has decided to stay at the Guild, but the other Novices resent her, and she still has the fear of the Dark Lord to cope with.
The Novice keeps you reading all the way through: the whole trilogy does. I bought the first book and read it, and the day later i went back to the shop and bought the next books. The novice, and its prequel and sequel are probably the best books i have ever read. I would recommend buying all of them, for you won;t want to wait, but read the magicians guild first
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on 25 September 2015
The Novice is the second book in The Black Magician trilogy and continues the story of Sonea, the slum girl who discovers she has magical powers.

A few months after the first book, Sonea is offically inducted as a novice into the Magician's Guild in Imardin. She is immediately looked down on by her fellow novices and indeed other magicians because of her poor upbringing (magicians always being taken from the families of the rich upper class). One novice in particular will go to any lengths to humiliate her. Meanwhile Sonea is hiding a secret. The High Lord of the Guild is practicing black magic, strictly forbidden. Dannyl is sent on a secret mission by Lorlen to try to discover how the High Lord won these powers and if there is anything that can be done to stop him.

I found this book to be far more satisfying than the first book, The Magician's Guild. I think this is due to two factors. Firstly Canavan's writing is far more confident and assured (not surprising for a second novel). Also the story arc is a lot less predictable and allows for more twists and turns since the end is not inevitable (in the first novel it is clear that Sonea will eventually be joining the guild; it is only the sub-plots that provide suprises).

As a consequence this is an easier read than the first book with plenty of good stories, either Sonea's (mis)adventures in the Guild or Dannyl's voyage of discovery on his travels. The end resolves one of the major plot points, leaving the rest for the third book, The High Lord to investigate.

Canavan touches on various topics during the book, particularly bullying by peers and also some nice observations on repression of homosexuality in the intolerant Imardin society.

It is also welcoming to see more of the land; the first book was bound to the city itself but here through Dannyl we get to see the neighbouring lands and discover some of their peoples and customs, together with a fair amount of hazardous travelling.

The magic system is also key; normally magicians throw around a bewildering array of spells with limitless powers. Clearly this isn't an option in these books and each spell and power Sonea learns is neatly and logically explained and consistant. It really makes a change that the magic spells are treated mechanically rather than as, well, 'magic'.

Definitely a recommended read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 September 2012
I liked the first book of this trilogy a lot although I acknowledge that it was not overly original but I thought that the author treated the story in an entertaining way. I very much looked forward to this second book but found it very disappointing in comparison - there were just too many unoriginal and predicable events.

Having gained entry into the Guild, Sonea is admitted to their training school where she experiences abuse and derision because of her poor background. I have read this story over and over again - "Tom Brown's Schooldays", "Jane Eyre", "Harry Potter", "Ender's Game" are just a few examples of books which deal with bullying in a school (or schoollike) environment. "The Novice" brings nothing new to this and the bullying theme becomes very tiresome by the end of the book. I found it very frustrating that a bunch of adults, who supposedly were in control of what was happening, could not stop the bullying and even thought that it would build character in the victim; I did rather get the impression, from how she dealt with the issue, that the author agreed with this attitude. I just got tired of reading one passage after another about the mistreatment of our heroine.

There are other strands in the story which I found redeemed it slightly and which will mean that I shall move on to read the third installment. The High Lord himself remains a suitably enigmatic character and we are still in doubt about what he is doing with black magic and if he is responsible for the murders in the city. Dannyl's investigations in other lands are interesting and throw up ideas which may be pursued in the rest of the series. We don't really get enough information about the thieves who were an entertaining part of the first book.

Sonea's character grows in this book and we do get to know her better which makes the reader dislike the bullying more. There is a minor love interest element too. We also spend a lot of time with Loren, the Administrator, as he tries to hide things from his friend and boss. The switching of viewpoint in each chapter helps to keep the book interesting and to engage the reader.

This is not a bad book, but it doesn't live up to the promise of the first story and if I had read it first I would have lost interest in the series very quickly. I can only hope that the third book is better.
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on 27 February 2012
The Novice is the second book in The Black Magician trilogy. In it, we see Sonea actually moving into the Guild as a full-fledged novice, including classes and classmates. Sonea doesn't have an easy time of it, mostly because her background is unacceptable to most of her classmates. One in particular sets out to make her life miserable and turns the entire group against her and tries to make her look bad to the rest of the Guild as well. While not unfamiliar - it's an oft used trope, the first that springs to my mind is Talia's story in Arrows of the Queen - it's an effective one as most people and especially teens will be able to identify with it, as almost everyone has experienced bullying in real life, be it. A victim, a perpetrator or a bystander.

Akkarin plays a larger role this time around; while he was an ominous, mysterious and shadowy figure in the background in the first book, he takes a far more active part here, though no less ominous. Through Sonea, we get glimpses of the man, but what we see is of course heavily coloured by her distrust and dislike of him. And I got my wish about seeing more of Dannyl and Lorlen as they both got their own points of view. We see far less of Rothen, due to the fact Sonea and Lorlen aren't allowed to speak to him or each other, and I missed the warm bond between Rothen and Sonea, as I loved those scenes in the first book. The addition of Dorrien, Rothen's son, is a nice one and gives Sonea yet another friend, but also another liability. Dorrien is a fun character and I liked that he brought some light and levity to Sonea's rather bleak world in this book.

We also see more world building with Dannyl travelling abroad, not just Elyne, the land he's sent to as an ambassador, but also Vin and Lonmar. I like Dannyl's storyline, not just because of the chance to see more of this world, but also as it touches on another hotbed issue: about intolerance and accepting who you are in the face of it. I loved Dannyl's growth in this and the fact that the author shows that it isn't just those who blatantly discriminate against people who are 'other' who are harmful, but also those who just stand by and let it happen, even if they themselves don't feel that way. Sonea shows a lot of growth from the first book as well, she reads a lot older than she did in the previous book and she gains in confidence, power and skill, which make it easier for her to defend herself against Regin and the isolation she finds herself in after becoming the High Lord's novice. Regin is a cretin, I found him utterly loathsome and I still don't understand why no adults stepped in sooner to stop him. I loved how Sonea finally stood up to him and how smart she is in beating him without stooping to his level or hiding behind her status.

The Novice doesn't suffer from second book syndrome. While it's a natural continuation of the storyline from book one and it sets stuff up for book three, it does have enough action in and of itself to not drag. I loved this second book and am looking forward to the next one, called The High Lord, to see if the finish of this trilogy is as good as I remember it.
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on 22 July 2011
I absolutely loved the first book in this trilogy, finding it exciting and engaging with an interesting form as the story was told from different viewpoints. I had to get on with some school work before taking on the second book, however, so now I'm a little older, I find myself a lot more critical! Firstly, I've slowly come to realise that the characterisation in the novel is really very poor. Lorlen, Rothen, Dorrien, Dannyl and most of the other adult male magicians all appear to have practically identical personalities - and rather dull ones at that! I found this extremely boring, craving someone interesting and lively to come along. I think Canavan wanted to bring some sort of humour or something to the story with Tayend or Dannyl but both lose their more lighthearted personalities regularly, particularly Dannyl.

The scenes with Regin and other novices picking on Sonea often made me cringe as Regin became the typical villain with no originality to his character whatsoever, and the constant bullying scenes got quite repetitive. I also find Sonea a slightly confusing character; one minute she's this tough young woman who can stand up for herself and won't take any stick, the next she seems rather feeble and submissive, allowing Regin and his (unrealistic) band of followers to defeat her. The lengths that Regin went to in order to bully Sonea were very unrealistic, too - he even studied ridiculously hard to move up to the same class as her just so he could taunt her! Why would he have a such a powerful grudge against her? I found this very unconvincing.

Canavan clearly wanted to bring lots of typical morals to the story, like persevering around bullying and working hard etc. etc., but I thought the whole homosexuality issue did not belong in this story. While I think it's good to bring the topic into the modern lifestyle and normalise the concept, it really did not seem to fit into this particular story at all - I wanted magic and fantasy from this story, not modern ethical issues, and the scenes that followed Dannyl's realisation were so very cringey, with all the smiling and grinning and teasing, back and forth and back and forth... it all became a little too rose-tinted for my (rather unromantic) taste!

Not all was bad, however. The scenes with the High Lord were always rather exciting, and I enjoyed the imagery Canavan concocted of all the different lands and places that Dannyl travelled to. I very much admire Canavan for her general creation of this fantasy world which is like no other I've read about or seen in films (though it's clear she's taken inspiration from various sources - but then again, who doesn't?).

I am looking forward to the third book - after I've returned to all this college work, that is! ...Sigh. -_-
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on 20 January 2010
I was a bit scepitical about reading this book I am a avid reviewer and I heard alot of good reviews and praise from this book, so I took a chance, and it paid off. Trudi Caravan shows so much in her epic writting from the long passage of time during the switch of characters like Sonea,Rothen,Dannyl. She introduces the story as a learned process to magic as it's not easy as people thing. Trudi shows and protrays the charcters in such as avvid and descriptive way that we start to hate, love, loath, fear, the characters - for example - Regin a year or two below Sonea's age bullies her yet our frustration for action for her sake makes us scream at the book and makes and wants us to read on.

Thoughout the book we get introducted to new people, experiences, and the back story for the town murders which as been going on for years, on which continues in 'The High Lord' - The third book- on a more informative, enlightning and shocking results of which you know if you continue the third book. Trudi Caravan also plays a liitle bar note of discrimination and sexuality discrimination on homosexuals which makes us fear for them and there secret getting out.

Trudi's writing also introduces an underdog 'Sonea' as not one of the high clans of Kyliia as Sonea is part of the slums where she grew up in. It reverses my own perspeption of that people with money, power and influence can get anywhere they want, as during the last 200 pages of the story. You see why? It also shows us that if you put in the work and dedication you can acheive all you want.

Overall the book was not what I expected. It was more. The book as alot of twist and turns which will confuse you but the answers will slowly pop up. I enjoyed this book and am slowly reading the third installment. It is an investable buy for the creative mind.

Andrew Fair.
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on 24 August 2008
This trilogy is very good reading. It's not the most sophisticated writing you could find, not least because the author spells out the range of character's possible thoughts to situations in a rather obvious way. But this makes it an easy read, where you're never wondering whether you've missed something. The second book is the weakest, rather over-egging the unpopularity of the heroine, but it's worth it for the grand crescendo of the third - the best of the books, but which you can't read without its two predecessors. A great holiday read.
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on 6 April 2010
The Novice, book 2 of the Black Magician Triligy is a great follow on book to the Magician's Guild. It continues the story of Sonea, the street girl who has magical ability and follows her time at the guild trying to fit in. However it is not as easy as that for Sonea as the other novices don't like her and dont want her in their class. Together they gang up on her led by one particular novice who hates her and do some awful things to her. But does she get her own back???? You will have to read and find out.... It also follows the story of Danyl who has been sent to a distant land to take up his new role and this is the part that I found particularly interesting. As with the Magician's Guild, the point of view changes a couple of times each chapter and I found myself looking forward to the parts about Danyl where he is trying to uncover the truth about Akarin's past and where he also starts to uncover the truth about himself!!!! I wont say anything else about that because I don't want to spoil it for anyone but believe me, its good!!!

Overall I loved this book and as soon as I finished it, I immediately started reading the third one as it had me gripped by then and I needed to know what happened to these charactors who I had come to love so much.
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