My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Book Info from Amazon
In the remote village of Mandryn, Tessia serves as assistant to her father, the village Healer – much to the frustration of her mother, who would rather she found a husband. But her life is about to take a very unexpected turn.
When treating a patient at the residence of the local magician, Lord Dakon, Tessia is forced to fight off the advances of a visiting Sachakan mage – and instinctively uses magic. She now finds herself facing an entirely different future as Lord Dakon’s apprentice.
But along with the excitement and privilege, Tessia is about to discover that her magical gifts bring with them a great deal of responsibility. Events are brewing that will lead nations into war, rival magicians into conflict, and spark an act of sorcery so brutal that its effects will be felt for centuries . . .
What I thought of it
The early chapters didn’t focus much on magic … and with the large cast of unfamiliar characters, I found it a little hard going at times. That may have been due to my fatigue, which made it difficult to read all that many pages at a time (which can be a factor when trying to get ‘into’ a 700-page book!)
But it was definitely worth sticking with it.
As a prequel to the Black Magicians Trilogy, which I have also read, it did its job well, covering:
-The story of how Kyralia and Sachaka (and their neighbours) came to be as they are.
-How blood gems came to be used.
-The taking of power to boost magic.
-The power of magical knowledge, and – more importantly – the benefits of sharing it.
-The building of the fort between the two lands.
-The first glimmer of the idea of a Magicians’ Guild.
-The development of the use of magic in healing (fascinating to me as I use Reiki).
-The Traitors’ backstory.
By the end of the book, I was feeling satisfied. If I have the stamina I might read The Black Magicians Trilogy again, sometime … I’m sure it would be enriched through my knowing the ‘history’.
I have to end by saying that writing a seven-book series – all of epic length – really is a huge, huge accomplishment. Trudi Canavan always writes skilfully, and her epic world-building – not to mention her characters – always deliver. I’m sure I’ll be back for more!
Have you read this book? Which of the Trudi Canavan books (or series) is your favourite, and why?
If you haven’t read it, has this post piqued your curiosity? 🙂
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