Trudi Canavan - Shastrix Books

Trudi Canavan

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The Traitor Queen

The Traitor Queen

Trudi Canavan

29th July 2019

The final novel in the series (after two trilogies and a standalone in between) wraps up the tale of Sonea and her magician friends, as they fight against a rogue, a country of slavers, and a drug problem.

I thought this was the worst book in the series. The narrative really drags, and I found it hard to keep going - my motivation at the end was purely to get to the end because it would be disappointing not to finish after seven books. I lost interest in the characters and really didn’t give a monkeys what happened to them.

I’m struggling to remember the details of the plot because I found it so un-engaging. I’ll admit I didn’t think the earlier novels were perfect, but this one was really disappointing.

It’s put me off trying more of Canavan’s novels, even though I already have another trilogy sitting on my shelf.

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The Rogue

The Rogue

Trudi Canavan

23rd March 2018

The second book in the second trilogy set around the Magician's Guild continues the adventures of Sonea, hunting a rogue magician in the streets of her city, and her son, a pseudo-prisoner in a far off land.

I feel quite ambivalent about this book. While the plot is entertaining, it feels a little slow and somehow simplistic. The main characters in particular don’t feel as though they have as much depth to them as some of the secondaries, and I'm not sure if that is a deliberate attempt to allow the reader to project themselves into the narrative or just a flaw.

It comes across clearly as a second-book-of-a-trilogy, with that feeling of wanting to move the narrative from point A to point B rather than having a self-contained plot of its own, though some of the threads do seem to run end-to-end in this volume.

I don't feel excited enough to rush out and buy the final book of the series, but just enough to keep an eye out in case it pops up.

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The Ambassador's Mission

The Ambassador's Mission

Trudi Canavan

8th October 2016

We return to Canavan's fantasy world for a second trilogy, set some twenty years after the first, where a slightly evolved society sees characters both old and new face new challenges. It has exactly the same feeling as the original series and it's like barely a moment has passed as the reader is dropped back into the world.

If anything, the story is a little bland and forgettable, and too much of it is familiar from the previous stories in the world and little of the world building feels new. I think I would have preferred it to push the boundaries a little more, and maybe the later books in the trilogy will do so.

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The Magician's Apprentice

The Magician's Apprentice

Trudi Canavan

3rd February 2016

Effectively the fourth book in the series, this prequel is set several hundred years before the original trilogy and provides an interestingly different view on the same world through a dirty provisionally similar plot.

One day, a young girl accidentally discovers she can do magic when threatened by a confrontational magician and is separated from her family to learn magic, not get on with other students, and get involved in a war.

As a sucker for world building and character establishment, I really loved the beginning of the book as it introduced people and places and followed their daily lives. My interested waned slightly when the plot moved on to other, faster and more exciting events and away from the humdrum. Maybe I'm weird.

The book has a slight feeling of being a failed trilogy. It could divide neatly into the sections, and maybe that's how it was plotted, but, in my imagination at least, the author wasn't able to pad each part out enough to make them stand alone.

An adequate prequel, but not quite living up to the original series.

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The High Lord

The High Lord

Trudi Canavan

25th May 2015

The final book in the Black Magician trilogy continues the adventures of Sonea, a commoner who's defied expectations to become a novice at the magicians' guild. Canavan manages to twist the reader's expectations in fascinatingly natural new ways to produce an amazing tale which concludes the story spectacularly.

I was a little disappointed by some of the character development in this one, where some of what Sonea gets up to does seem to be a bit abrupt a change and doesn't feel like the same strong character that I'd read in the previous two books. However this is balanced by some of the other characters who are developed, though perhaps not as far as I would have liked.

It's interesting how this story pulls together threads from both of the first two books, and produces such a big finale. I did continue to think though that the writing is a little unpolished and that some of the other fantasy authors I read would have extended the world building and characters just that little bit more, which would have given me more enjoyment.

Overall I've really enjoyed this series and am certainly planning to pick up some of the authors other books, which include a prequel and sequel trilogy to this one.

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The Novice

The Novice

Trudi Canavan

17th November 2014

The second book in the Black Magician trilogy continues the story of Sonea, a girl from the slums who has managed to break centuries of tradition by being accepted into the magical university. It's now effectively her first year of school, and I was worried that it might become derivative of other stories set in education establishments for the magically inclined - but it's not.

The school-based storyline is original and authentic - Sonea's actions and reactions are very believable and the twists throughout make for a fascinating tale. Similarly, the other strands of the plot following some of the more senior magicians are revealing, and in places I'm sure I've already picked up on hints of things to come in book three.

There are places in the narrative where the writing style still feels a little unpolished, as I said about the first book, but this doesn't detract from the tale, and even makes it feel a little more approachable. The plot really sucked me in, and it's one of the most addictive books I've read for a while.

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The Magicians' Guild

The Magicians' Guild

Trudi Canavan

31st March 2014

Although the commonly accepted wisdom is that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the design and imagery certainly play a role in advertising a book, and the works of Trudy Canavan have been screaming at me from the bookshop shelves for a few years. I finally gave in to them and bought this, her first novel and the first part of a trilogy.

The plot is not too complex and it does feel like a first book, as it tells the tale of a girl from the slums who accidentally discovers she has magical abilities, in defiance of the perceived wisdom that only 'the families' can produce magical children, and is then hunted by the local magicians' guild.

There are similarities to Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy and the all-pervasive Harry Potter series, but actually the book takes its own path well, not following the direct narrative route I was expecting and taking time to explore the world that Canavan has created. The world seems well crafted and there's clearly a lot more there than we get to see in this novel, and I hope that in the sequels we get to see more of it.

Although it didn't quite have that spark that makes a book stand out as extra special, there's nothing really to criticise and I enjoyed it very much and will pick up the rest of the trilogy very soon.

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Unreviewed books

Last of the Wilds
Priestess of the White
Voice of the Gods

Top books

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  2. The Rogue
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  4. The Magician's Apprentice
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  6. The Novice
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  8. The Magicians' Guild
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  10. The High Lord
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  12. The Ambassador's Mission
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  14. The Traitor Queen