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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable evening
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...
Published on 14 Dec. 2004

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very unsure?
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...
Published on 11 Oct. 2008 by Orborus13


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32 of 33 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very unsure?, 11 Oct. 2008
By 
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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85 of 92 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has promise, 17 April 2006
This author has got some great potential. When I read this book, I couldn't put it down. The story is quite simple at face value. As one other reviewer mentioned it has some very cliched base story lines, however, this has been strengthened with imaginative differences in the way magic is utilised and how society functions.

The story itself is quite shallow which is why I say there is great potential. Trudi Canavan seems to have the imagination to take this world and the people in it to a vastly new level, however in these stories the characters lack the depth to make them realistic. Despite this, the main character Sonea and her guardian Rothen quickly become people who you care about and are concerned for Sonea's safety.

I do believe that at some points in the book the pace slows and sections of story are dragged out purely to make up the required number of pages, once again, as Trudi Canavan matures as a writer I believe these things will fall away and we will be left with a mature, highly readable, and one of the upper eschelon of fantasy authors writing today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars could have been better, 3 May 2006
this is the first of the black magicians trilogy, its a promising start but the pace of the book is somewhat slack. Sonea is hiding from the guild for about half of the book and because of this the story plods along a bit. It takes a while to get into the book because its somewhat too slow paced but once she gets to the guild the pace does pick up and from then on the story develops a lot more fuller thge characterisations become more fuller and more real. For a first book on average its pretty good despite some of its flaws.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad editing., 5 May 2006
By 
D. O'Connor "doc2wolf" (Isle Of Man) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ok, some people have really beat up on this series (sadly, for all of the right reasons). But don't let this put you off.

This is a story that has great potential and the author works hard to reach this, but problem is that you really feel like kicking the editor for not pushing the author hard enough.

It takes three books to develop a story that could have been told in two with a bit of tight editing and THEN turned into a trilogy by pushing the authors skills a little more.

Don't be put off, this is worth a read but her next series, "Priestess Of The White" shows a lot more experience of character developement and better editorial control than this.
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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 (UK) - See all my reviews
(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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 5 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Magicians' Guild: Book 1 of the Black Magician (Black Magician Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
i first read this book aged 12 and it was one of the first adult books I have read so i am comparing it to the teenage child aimed books i had read previously. I must say that from the first page i loved this book. it has so much more depth and back-story than any other series i had read which tended to be much shorter. it I well written with the plot paced well. it is also one of the first books I have read which does not have each individual character stereotyped as good and evil. so although there are two opposing factions both stories are told as to show that each person thinks he/she is doing good. i apologise if this review shows my inexperience as a reader. but i really enjoyed this whole trilogy from start to finish. it encouraged me too read much more and i now average about 7 books per month
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Magician's guild! Boring, frustrating and very disappointing, 21 Jan. 2006
By 
G. M. Wilson "nephinbeg" (ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Being a big fantasy fan and particularly a fan of books about magicians i thought this book would be a good one for me to read, especially considering how highly it is reccommended. Anyway this book was very slow moving, nearly pointless and i found it nearly impossible to warm to the main character sonea. The first and last chapters are the only good ones and if this storyhad been in the hands of a master like Raymond e Feist the whole story would have been contained in about 4 chapters, saving time and effort and leaving plenty of room for the serious story lines and magical adventure every fantasy reader craves. Id honestly advise against reading this book unless you really havent got anything better to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly amazing, 4 Dec. 2013
When I first read this book I fell in love immediately. As soon as I finished it I ran to my local bookstore to get the next one in the series. I have since read the trilogy numerous times.
The story is set in a city called Imardin, the capital of Kyralia. During the purge (The annual purging of the city streets of the poor into the slums) the protagonist, Sonea, throws rocks at the local magicians. When one of the stones passes through the magical barrier, panic abounds. Sonea goes into hiding believing that if the magicians catch her they will kill her because they do not want the poor to be magicians in their guild. Meanwhile the magicians begin a search, intending to offer her a place among them. And so begins the story.

The story just keeps getting better as you read it, which is saying something as the start is so captivating. The personalities of the characters just jumped off the page. My favourite by far was, of course, Sonea. Such a strong leading lady was a rare thing in books I read when I first read this series. She is a woman who chooses the way she wants to live without concerning herself with the opinion of others. She makes her own decisions, though didn't have many options when in hiding. There was not much character growth over the course of the book, but remember this is a trilogy with growth in all of the characters spread out across all three books.

For me to truly love a book it usually has to have at least a dash of romance without completely taking over the story. If there is no romance at all I'm usually not going to give it a great review. I think it truly goes to show how amazingly good this book is that there was no romance in it and yet I still LOVED it! The romance comes later in the books, and is done amazingly well. It is up there with my all-time favourite romances. Even later on in the trilogy the romance is still just a sub plot and not the main focus of the books. Everything would have played out exactly the same without the romance, I think. But oh am I glad it's in there!

Trudi Canavan's writing style was paced very well. She is a truly exceptional story teller. I have read every book she has ever had published, and while I didn't enjoy them quite as much as The Black Magician series, I did still love reading them.

I loved the characters I was meant to love, hated those I was meant to hate, and was curious about those meant to be mysterious. One of the best debut's I have ever had the absolute pleasure to read! Each book in this series is better than the previous one. I would most definitely recommend this book, indeed the series, to anyone looking for a truly mesmerising read. If you have the money to buy it, or even a library to order it, then go get it now! Dare I say it; I think this is probably my favourite series I've ever read! And in my opinion, there is no higher compliment than that!
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