Book Review: The Novice by Trudi Canavan

The Novice is the second book in The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan, a series that I am completely immersed in at this moment in time.  They are, quite frankly, a treasure.

The Novice follows on from where The Magician’s Guild left off.  Sonea, the slum dweller who had surprised everyone, including herself, when she discovered she had powerful magic, is now studying at The Magicians’ Guild.  However, not everyone is happy that there is a former slum dweller in their midsts, tainting an institution that has become solely identified with the Houses, the richest inhabitants of Imardin.

This instalment, moves away from where she has come from and instead focuses on her transition into the world of Magicians.  The plot twists and turns as the author shows us glimpses of the world outside of Imardin, introducing new characters and developing those of whom we are already acquainted.

Although in the first book, the villain is only hinted at, in the second we are offered a little more to go on.  However, whether they really are villain or not, and whether their crimes are what we are led to believe, are questions we carry with us into the third and final part of the trilogy.  Canavan’s ability to reveal just enough is no doubt a credit to her as a writer, and why these books are unquestioningly a success.

Bullying, jealousy and prejudice are important themes throughout this book, as is learning how to overcome obstacles in the best possible way, the right way.  It is not hard to empathise with Sonea’s situation and the issues raised are dealt with sympathetically.

Although I enjoyed both books in the series so far, and rated them the same (4 out of 5), I do believe that The Novice was faster paced and had an equal measure of action and intrigue throughout.

To quote how I rounded up the review of book one, for I believe there is not much I can to it:

“This is a great book and I am certain that I will read it again.  The author can spin an engaging narrative, one that ensures that if the reader has to put the book down, it is begrudged.”

I really enjoyed The Novice. As the sequel to The Magician’s Guild, this book was fast-paced, the character and story development, engaging…a real page-turner. I could not put this down and will be starting the final book in the series immediately. I am so happy to have come across these books and this author. Great stuff.

4 out of 5

(My Goodreads review of The Novice by Trudi Canavan)