Name: The Magicians’ Guild
Author: Trudi Canavan
Number of Pages: 470 (Paperback)
Published: 2010 by Orbit
The old magician paused. ‘If this young woman is a natural, we should expect her to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician.’
Each year, the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no ordinary lowlife can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as imprenetrable as they think.
Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, throws a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. She is amazed when it sails unrestricted through the barrier and knocks a magician unconscious.
The Guild’s worst fear has been realised. There is an untrained magician loose in Imardin who must be found before her uncontrolled powers can destroy herself and the city. – from Goodreads
I’ve just finished The Magician’s Guild and it turned out to be a really good read. I’m glad I persevered through a fairly slow beginning. I read on, hoping the story was going to get going, on the basis of a recommendation.
And I’m really glad I did.
In the first part of the tale we meet Sonea, a girl who suddenly finds herself the sole focus of the entire Magicians’ Guild after wielding power she never knew she had in a very public setting. To the casual onlooker, it may look as if she attacked a magician, and the punishment for that would be severe so she goes all out to avoid capture by the magicians who start to hunt for her.
However, it becomes imperative that she is found, because without training her powers will overtake her and destroy her.
The Guild searches in vain, as Sonea and her friends have found protection with the Thieves, who will shelter her until she controls her powers, with the implication that she will help them out later on.
This hiding and evasion section started to drag after a while. It established Sonea and Cery and their friendship, and the world in which they live, but I wish it had been shorter, because at times, if it hadn’t been for that recommendation, I was tempted to stop reading.
Things take a turn as Sonea starts to lose control of her powers. Destruction and danger mount, and Sonea clearly needs help, at this point, something really clicked for me. The stakes were raised, the magicians were closing in as Sonea’s magic made her detectable, and suddenly her whole world is changed.
Part 2 sees Sonea go to the Guild and under the guidance of Lord Rothen she begins to master her powers and gain Control. Learning about the Guild and the various powers the different magicians have was fascinating, and the rivalries and friendships between certain magicians made for great conflict.
Lord Rothen wants to become Sonea’s guardian, someone to look after her once she begins lessons in the Guild, but another magician, Fergun believes he has a counter-claim to this right, and to ensure Sonea herself will back up his claim he takes extra measures to guarantee her support. He has his own agenda in taking her under his wing, and there’s little doubt that it’s not really for her benefit at all.
I really enjoyed the growing respect and friendship between Sonea and Rothen. Initially she has no love for the Magicians’ Guild, and certainly doesn’t trust magicians, but gradually she comes to believe that Rothen is a decent and honourable man, and someone she can trust, which makes Fergun’s scheming and meddling all the more interesting.
And then there’s the head of the Guild, the High Lord. I don’t want to give anything away but I think he may prove to be an intriguing character later on in this series and I can’t wait to find out more about him.
The last few chapters of the book contain enough revelations, schemes and secrets to have left me wanting to get on with book 2, The Novice, fairly quickly. I can’t wait to return to the Magicians’ Guild and see Sonea learning to use her powers. I’m definitely glad I stuck with this book.