Set twenty years after The High Lord and the Ichani invasion, Sonea is now one of two Black Magicians in the Magicians’ Guild. The Guild is still fearful of black magicians, so by having two, they can each ensure that the other is not getting up to anything they shouldn’t. And that’s not the only change – Kyralia and the Guild have come quite far since our last visit.
Sonea and Akkarin’s son, Lorkin, has now completed his own studies at the Guild, but struggles a little, living in the shadow of such famous parents, and is feeling restless. When he hears that Lord Dannyl, his mother’s friend and the former ambassador to Elyne, wants to go to Sachaka and become the new Guild Ambassador to the strange land to the north, Lorkin is determined to become his assistant. But being Akkarin’s son has consequences, as he comes to discover.
Whilst this is going on, Sonea has problems of her own to deal with back in Imardin. A “thief hunter” is on the loose in the city, killing off Thieves. When an old friend is targeted, she is drawn into the hunt for the one responsible, especially because there is a suspicion that they might be a rogue magician…something she knows more than a little about…
As some of you may know if you’ve been around this blog long enough, Trudi Canavan is one of my favourite fantasy authors, which came about upon reading The Black Magician Trilogy. (Which, in my opinion, is one of the best trilogies ever written.) And, the first book in the sequel trilogy certainly lives up to them.
It was great to catch up with some of the old characters: Sonea, Rothen, Cery and Dannyl, as well as get to know to some new ones: Lorkin, Tyvara and Anyi. The way the plot has advanced over the twenty years between the series is consistent and believable, and the story flows with ease between the different story threads and points-of-view.
Sachaka is an interesting if harsh country, with customs quite different to those found in Kyralia. There are no servants employed there, only slaves, something that makes Kyralians understandably uncomfortable. And magic is quite different there too.
All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Ambassadors’ Mission, and look forward to reading book 2 in The Traitor Spy Trilogy, The Rogue. I would gladly recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy fiction, but would suggest that they might want to read The Black Magician Trilogy before embarking on this one.