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The Magicians' Guild: Book 1 of the Black Magician (Black Magician Trilogy) Paperback – 5 Feb 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 320 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (5 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841493139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841493138
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.7 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 493,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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)

Review

"A wonderfully and meticulously detailed world, and an edge-of- the-seat plot, this book is a must for lovers of good fantasy." (Jennifer Fallon)

"The first book of 'The Black Magician Trilogy' by Trudi Canavan, "The Magicians' Guild" is set in a world where practicing magicians are required by King's Law to be members of a guild or suffer their magical abilities to be forever repressed and bound. Guild membership has become the exclusive province of magic users from the nobility or 'houses', while the common people, especially the annually displaced poor from the city, are felt to be inappropriate candidates for the privilege of guild membership. That is, until a young girl from the city slums discovers during the course of an annual protest that she has such powers. Slum dwellers or 'dwells' fear and despise the magicians. Fearing for her life and with the help of her closest friend and the 'Thieves', she seeks to hide from the magicians who are now seeking her out. The problem is that untrained and unchecked, her growing magical power will kill her. "The Magicians' Guild" is brought fully to life with the dramatic narrative skills of Richard Aspel in this complete and unabridged, 15 hour 45 minute, flawlessly produced audio book and will have listeners eagerly looking forward to the next two volumes of Trudi Canavan's 'The Black Magician Trilogy'!" (Mid West Book Review) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"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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By A Customer on 14 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on 1 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book purely by chance whilst waiting for a flight home from Melbourne. Being an avid fantasy reader I have read a lot of debut novels and been disapointed that the plot and characters are often weak and trudge along. What a lovely surprise to find that Ms Canavan drops you straight into a world fully formed and ready to be explored. After only brief introductions the reader is hurled into a world of strong characters, intrigue, discovery and an edge-of-seat plot that keeps you reading and eager for more. To anybody looking for a good read with characters you will love and hate I recomend this book without reservation. I only wish that I had been brave enough to buy all three books of this trilogy at the same time as they are not yet available here in UK and now I will have to wait to find out how things develop.
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Format: Paperback
Make no mistake - this book is aimed at the "young adult" segment of the market. Trudi Canavan is not trying to write a complex, multilayered and multifaceted character study set against a backdrop of a magical world, she's trying to write an adventure book.

And at this she succeeds. One of the book's few faults is that it perhaps tries to be a little too cute at times, but that can be forgiven and is sure to please a younger (or young-at-heat) reader. Sonea, the heroine, is a very likeable young rogue from the slums, and interestingly spends most of the book fighting her own prejudices as opposed to some Evil, which makes for a change of pace from more formulaic fantasy stories. Unfortunately, the narrator gives the reader both sides of the story - what the magicians are really like, and what Sonea *thinks* they are like - which on occasion makes Sonea's frantic attempts to stay away from them seem simply pig-headed rather than driven by genuine misconception on her part.

Ms Canavan should also be praised for her gentle introduction of the villain of the book, who is revealed only gradually and doesn't show his colours unequivocally until near the end. Although his demise is somewhat sudden and a bit of a deus ex machina moment, which feels disappointing.

What is perhaps lacking in the book is a more thorough look at the character's motivations - for many of the wizard characters, their reasons for helping or hindering Sonea are far from clear, they just Do What They Do. But then, as said, this book was never meant to be a character study; most of the supporting characters exist to make the story move along more than anything else.
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