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on 15 September 2014
Narrated in turn by Tyen and then Rielle in their respective worlds, we're left on a cliff-hanger at the end of each part. What a page turner!

One world where the magic is being used up by the running of the machines while in the other, if you're not a priest of the Angels then it's against the law to use magic.

I loved the contrast of these two worlds. The world building and myths are fabulous. Whilst I was reading this, both worlds really did exist.

It doesn't take long to work out that both hierarchy's (the Academy and the priests) are corrupt - or so we're led to believe…

Tyen’s confidence in himself is building throughout the story. Rielle comes across as a strong character who does what she believes is right. Both are naïve but learn as they go along.

I loved the escaping and adventure, the anxiety and the excitement and the betrayals and friendships. Oh and the surprises! So much to keep my imagination fired up and emotionally involved.

I have in my mind a couple of things that might be in store for Vella (apart from all the knowledge she holds). I also have my suspicions of the way Tyen's and Rielle's characters will develop. I am very intrigued by Lord Valhan and I’m hoping we’re going to see him again in the series. I would love to find out his motives as I think that he is something else …

A very promising start to this new series. If you are a fan of fantasy/sci-fi I recommend you pick up a copy for yourself. - See more at:

I would like to thank the publishers for approving my request to review via Netgalley.
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on 15 May 2014
5 Words: This book is so awesome.

What can I say? I freaking loved this book!

It's safe to say that I loved Trudi Canavan's first series The Black Magician Trilogy and I've read it over and over (seriously, my first copies are falling apart I think I've gone through 3 of each book) and recommended it to all of my friends who loved it too and fell in love with her world and her writing. But then I kind of fell out of love with her as I read her newer works.

But oh my god, I am back in love. Truly, madly, deeply. This is definitely one of those high-fantasy books that you can read again and again. I LOVED the world, the characters, the atmosphere, the way it made me think, the subtle way feminist-issues were raised. I loved everything.

I found this very different from her previous books, but also very similar in a way to BMT. It had that same magic that hooked me right from the start.

The two narratives running through this book were simply stunning. Every time it came to where the narrative switched worlds I would cry out in indignation because the cliff hangers, oh dear god the cliff hangers. This was an edge of your seat, stay awake five hours past your bed time, forget to eat or drink, truly epic fantasy. This writing is breathtaking and the pacing of the story works so well. There is love, lust, hate, deceit, loyalty, surprises, rejections, tragedy, hope, adventure, drama and magic.

I couldn't get enough of this book and now I can't wait until the next one. I need to know what happens to Tyen and Rielle and how/if/when/where their worlds collide. I will DEFINITELY re-read this, it was so freaking awesome.

Thank you so much to Little, Brown UK for my e-galley. I fangirled like mad when I was accepted and now I can't even put some order to my thoughts because this book was so freaking good.
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on 18 December 2014
Thief’s Magic is one of Canavan’s best books to date. Here’s what Thief’s Magic is about:
In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.

Elsewhere, in a land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it – should she dare risk the Angels’ wrath.

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands. Not even the people they trust.

The book is split into two stories, Tyen’s and Rielle’s.

Tyen’s character and storyline were brilliant. His tale is a classic adventure story and grips the readers attention. The reader will like the concept of many different worlds and the concept of the millennium rule. Tyen’s story is compelling and will leave the reader with a hankering for more. More conversations between Tyen and Vella, more exploration of different worlds and more learning of magic.

Rielle’s character felt two dimensional and underdeveloped. Other characters in Rielle’s chapters were much more interesting than her. Canavan had well researched dyes, paints and artistic skill, which she put into the novel as required. There are some imaginative ideas and interesting plot points in Rielle’s story. But as the book continued, I sighed every time I saw Rielle’s name as the chapter title. The problem with Rielle’s character is that I didn’t care about her. This was in part because she lacked depth.

As always Canavan’s writers voice engages the reader. She showed the transition of time really well and the show/tell balance was perfect. The pacing was a little slow at times and the reader will question if some chapters are necessary or important to the story. However Canavan may have been laying the foundations for the two other books in the trilogy. Towards the end of the advanced copy I received, the editing could have been better. There were a number of typos that interrupted the flow of the story, however it is likely these were fixed prior to the printing of the general release.

Overall Thief’s Magic is a great read. Tyen’s story makes the reader excited about the next book and impatient for it to be published.
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on 14 November 2015
I've greatly enjoyed Trudi Canavan's previous books, so I am quite disappointed to find this lacks their style, depth and involvement. Somehow it just did not grab me or involve me as the others have. As others have said, it's two separate stories with common themes in one book. Will they merge later in the series?? I'm no literary analyst, so I'm finding it hard to figure out quite why this book fails when Trudi's previous books have been so good. Somehow the stories are less believable, the characters less robust, the situations unreal, and the story-line descriptions a bit thin and shallow. I might borrow book 2 from the library to see if things improve, but I doubt I'll buy it after this one's disappointment.
I hope Trudi returns to form again in her next book - I really do.
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Trudi Canavan has been my favourite author for a number of years. Her books whisk me into another realm. This book didn't fail to do that, however it was difficult to only have two story-lines and feel like I was reading one book... Putting it down... Picking up another and there being no cross-over... I am sure that in her next book, there will be some merge but I was disappointed that I felt like this entire book was just the prologue.
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on 9 July 2014
I found that the whole book seemed to be a prologue, a lot of build up without any real action. I also found it was difficult to read as it skipped between the two characters throughout, without any real crossover between the two. It felt as though it was more two separate books than one. I've read all of Canavans other books and I am usually engrossed but unfortunately not this time.
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on 1 January 2015
Although this book was good, I wouldn't say it was up to her usual standards. I absolutely love the Age of the Five, and the Magician series', but this book didn't really hold my interest massively. The world the book explored seemed less vivid than I expected, and I wasn't overly involved in the protagonist's story. I hope the next instalment is back on form.
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on 2 June 2014
The following review contains spoilers.

The most succinct way to describe this book would be: a disappointing prequel.

The characters life of two people: Tyen and Rielle. Their situations seem partially derivative, or have strong parallels with her previous work; and a large volume of the text contributes little to the plot or developing the characters (there is little character the development). The book seems to serve the purpose of explaining how two people got to their respective places, in a long, drawn out fashion, for the following books of the trilogy.

Tyen on the whole is a rather fortunate chap -- the author acknowledges this herself in-text. Repeatedly he comes across groups of people whose life's purpose was to stand in wait for his arrival. The plot seemingly is depends on poorly written drama and "Mary Sue" citizens to ensure he gets to his destination of floating off to some other world. When not actively evading "the baddies", we informed incessantly over his angst of harming people that intend to kill him, or incarcerate him indefinitely. He also serves the role of "info-dumper" on information on the mechanics of the machinery used in the world; and strategies used in battle. At times it feels like the author has given that more thought to these points, than the plot as a whole.

As mentioned the character doesn't grow, or develop, we don't really learn a great deal more than what was established in the first few pages about him. Which is pretty much the same for the second character.

Despite the author's propensity for writing "strong female characters", the lead female's most significant display of agency was cleaning the bedroom-kitchen-living area. Much alike her male counter-part, she rarely elects to do something -- more just "forced" into acting based on some contrived circumstance, to further the "plot" -- a great deal of her issues would have been resolved by effective communication. A lot of her story largely reads like Twilight: we are repeatedly informed on how enamoured she is to her love interest; and how close to perfection he is.

The narrative was hampered by extensive descriptions of Tyen's and Rielle's travels, boarding on Google Maps step-by-step directions. In Tyen's case, it was largely a failed attempt at building tension: travel by rail, nearly caught; by air, nearly caught; by sea... For Rielle, it served as a partial break from her angst over her loved one.

The author's originality seemed to have waned somewhat from her first books: Rielle's family history had parallels with Sonea's: she had "taboo" magical abilities; from a "lower class" and had difficulties being accepted by the "families" of the city; had difficulty being accepted by a largely male institution; a love interest which brought ruin to her social life; banished by the largely male institution; a long walk through deserts and mountains. Tyen could be likened to Sonea and Tessia in that "OMG I HAVE ALL THE MAGICAL POWERS" and being capable of picking up (what is described as) very advanced/difficult magical concepts trivially, in minutes.

Aside from the magic-steampunk theme, there isn't really a great deal to recommend of this book.
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on 17 February 2016
Trudi Canavan is simply one of the best fantasy authors around; this was another gem.

The multiple world concept is fantastic. But that in itself isn't enough for a great series, the reason I enjoyed the book so much was because of the structure; two parallel stories revolving around two independent protagonists. It's fascinating to read about each world and their respective attitudes towards magic, its use, the consequences of usage and the amount available. The two worlds serve as excellent contrasts.

There's some very neat touches including: a book that stores all your knowledge and thoughts when you touch it.

And the core question: should you use magic and what are the consequences? serves as a pertinent analogy to the real world problems we have today regarding energy conservation.

The structure of the novel - whereby the plot will focus on Tyen for a few chapters followed by Rielle - keeps the plot fresh and I was sorry to leave one world yet happy to return to the other; a sure sign you're enjoying the book!

Trudi Canavan also uses parables as a writing tool later on to describe some important exposition; this is a sign of a really talented author as she uses this in one plot strand and the 'talking book' in the other, making those sections very easy to read.

It only gets four stars because both strands are very slow to get going but especially Rielle's story. Both pick up pace and finish strongly but the first quarter of the book could have been severely reduced and no story would have been lost. I'm sure the author was going for depth - which is fine - but there are limits to people's patience.

If you've enjoyed the author's previous work and are a fan of Jennifer Fallon or Robin Hobb, you'll love this! Roll on book 2.

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on 4 September 2015
Having been a huge fan of Trudi Canavan’s (and read her other books multiple times!) I was excited to see Netgallery were offering ARC’s. When I received Thief’s Magic I wanted to stop what I was doing, grab a cup of tea and read.

Thief’s Magic is cleverly titled. Theft of magic is prominent in all worlds. Tyen steals his magic from the local vicinity, while Rielle believes that any magic she uses will be stolen from the Angels. Also Vella had her life magically stolen from her by being turned into a book and her ability to feel taken from her. She in turn steals information from a persons touch through magic.

The narrative is split evenly between Tyen and Rielle. This provides an excellent narrative structure that allows the reader to feel suspense for the character. Also there is archaeology mentioned (yay!), which obviously makes the book so much better…

I couldn’t decide which story I preferred, as both Tyen and Rielle have completely personalities. Tyen is easily swayed by his friends and his morals get him in a pickle; also he is quite an ambitious young man. Whereas Rielle has more humble ambitions, she just wants to paint and be with the man she loves rather than have marry someone who her parents deem acceptable. Both live in different worlds – in Tyen’s it is normal to use magic for everyday use, whereas in Rielle’s world magic is restricted for the use of the priests – the male priests.

Getting to the end of either Tyen’s or Rielle’s sections was frustrating as I wanted to know what the outcome of the current situation would be. However, within reading the next few lines of the next section I became absorbed with that character’s storyline and had completely forgotten that there was another plot, until the end of the section… sigh…

The wide cast of supporting characters were believable and helped the story along. My particular favourite was Vella the book/woman, which could be a bit uncomfortable as Vella feels no emotions, so should be hard to identify with? Vella was a woman who is now a book and stores a wealth of information just by touching you. Will Tyen ever be able to help her? However I hope that Canavan will bring back Veroo, Sezee and Izare, as they bring out the best of Tyen and Rielle. Also despite them being minor characters I wanted to know more about them, I would have been happy if the story had been expanded to divulge more details about these characters. Otherwise my love for the characters will diminish as they will feel more like plot devices rather than an essential part to the story.

Will Tyen and Rielle ever be able to return home? And can they increase the little magic in their worlds? Can’t wait for the rest of the series to be published, so much more to come.

Having finished Thief’s Magic it is clear that this is the start of a series, the prologue – while there is action and adventure some readers may feel that this is a long introduction to the main event, pleasant, but not what they were quite expecting. Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable book, that will keep you up until the very early hours (one more chapter syndrome…) that is on a par (and something which could be even better than) Canavan’s The Magician’s Guild Series.
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