The Novice : Black Magician Trilogy

  • by Trudi Canavan
  • Narrated by Richard Aspel
  • Series: Black Magician Trilogy
  • 18 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The sequel to The Magicians' Guild, one of Bolinda's top-selling audio books. The High Lord, Book 3 in the trilogy, is scheduled for publication in audio late 2008.Sonea knows the other novices in the Magicians' Guild all come from powerful families, but she also knows she can turn to Rothen and Dannyl for help when she needs it. That is, until somone starts spreading malicious rumors about her - and Akkarin, The High Lord, steps in.Promoted to Guild Ambassador, Lord Dannyl leaves for the Elyne court. His first order from Administrator Lorlen is to resume, in secret, High Lord Akkarin's long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge. Not knowing the true reason for his journey, Dannyl is soon facing unexpected dangers.Meanwhile, Sonea has almost forgotten the High Lord's dark secret, but keeping the truth hidden may be a grave mistake.

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What the Critics Say

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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

good but really?

The book is entertaining, but a caution. If you dont not appreciate hints about homosexuality, or perhaps do not want your children hearing about it, do not get this book.
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- Christopher Steele

I should have read the negative reviews...

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Positive thoughts first. The first book was good. It had a solid story arch and interesting, clear cut character goals. You will likely buy this book to satisfy your curiosity gained from the first one. The narrator for the book did a great job of allowing the characters to have their own personality and really helped to bring the book to life. So you may also buy it because you like the narrator. That said the second book was all but dead, despite his talent. Multiple times I verbally screamed at my headphones.


What was most disappointing about Trudi Canavan’s story?

There is a rule that you cannot practice magic outside of class in the book, but apparently, as the Pirates of the Caribbean put it, “They’re more like guidelines.” The rule is broken over and over again. It would have been better if it never had existed. It ruined my suspension of belief.

Brandon Sanderson, an amazing fantasy writer, wrote this wonderful article titled Sanderson’s First Law. In it he talks about soft magic and hard magic, detailing how magic systems can have hard fast laws or be that mysterious thing that makes our pulse quicken. You cannot solve stories with soft magic because then you have Deus ex machina. Well, in my opinion, the rules are vague enough for the magic in the book for it to be considered soft magic, and the resolution is so tied to magic that I feel that’s exactly what happened at the end: Deus ex machina. (In simple English weak story telling)

Another thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was the inconsistent character decisions. Over and over again I felt like the characters were performing actions to move the story forward, not because that is what they would do. I’d tell you how but so much of the story rested on decisions that I felt were unbelievable or inconsistent for the character.

The story arch was muddled and confusing. It wasn’t clear until the very end of the book what the main character wanted to accomplish… or at least how she was trying to accomplish this goal.

Finally, the secondary story arch was completely unneeded. (More on this later)




Which character – as performed by Richard Aspel – was your favorite?

High Lord Akkarin was masterfully turned into a sinister friend by the narrator. I knew the High Lord wanted things to stay friendly, but at the same time I worried over why he kept his friends in the dark. That said, I never found out. (More on this later).


If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Novice?

Lord Dannyl’s story arch could have been skipped entirely. If ever it was apparent that an author was trying to push his or her worldview on the reader it would be here. Preachy on the level of a pastor. The relevance to the main story plot could have been stripped out into a few summary sentences and the things happening around Sonea could have been explained more fully.

For example… what on earth is High Lord Akkarin up to? Can he be trusted? That’s what I bought the second book for. By the end of this book, I strongly believed there would be no decent explanation as to why he was keeping his friends in the dark, and by the way, there isn’t an explanation in this book for that.


Any additional comments?

Epilogue. An epilogue isn’t really part of the main story, and yet, it revealed in a few minutes, everything that I wanted to know over the course of the book. In summary, all but the epilogue was a waste of time. She should have focused on covering that content throughout the book and not half of what she did cover. I would have loved a book that focused on the High Lord, versus another novice who antagonizes her like he is 4 years old, with little believable motivation.

My advice, go buy The Way of Kings.

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- Aaron Gerber

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-31-2008
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd