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The Magicians' Guild (The Black Magician Trilogy #1)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  55,033 Ratings  ·  1,976 Reviews
"We should expect this young woman to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician."

This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work-—until one enr
Audio CD, 16 pages
Published January 3rd 2007 by Bolinda Audio (first published 2001)
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Anna It's hard to say... There are no "inappropriate" themes, if that's what you're asking, so I guess it's ok for anyone above the age of 12 or 13.…moreIt's hard to say... There are no "inappropriate" themes, if that's what you're asking, so I guess it's ok for anyone above the age of 12 or 13. However, it's not typical YA - there are 5 POVs in the series (4 in book one) and only two of the POV characters are teenagers, other 3 are adults. I think the series can be enjoyed by the readers of both YA and adult fantasy :)(less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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"It's hollow, it goes on forever. My god... It's full of tropes!"

I mean, seriously. I'm not saying this book was complete Harry Potter rip off, but come on. It's got an orphan with mysterious powers, jealous bad guys who are disproportionately threatened by a child, a kindly old man, a wizard school with color coordinating robes and folks who don't take kindly to muggles, err, poor people. And yet there was no stew, no tunics, and no prophecy. I'm sure there will be a prophecy later. After all,
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)
"She was special, but in a way he could not have guessed. She had magic!"

- DNF 67% - I am sorry, but I can't take more of the insipid interactions between these flat and dull characters (also, stupid) who keep running around in this vague and generic world where nuance doesn't exist and where everyone generalize to excess. Don't even get me started about the writing, so bland and repetitive that it would be laughable if it wasn't so terrible. I really don't care if it gets better after. I can'
Oct 17, 2008 Jen3n rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was going to put this up on my "currently reading" shelf, but it didn't take me long enough to finish it. Or, perhaps, I read more than I check this website.

Either way, this book I just finished half an hour ago is a cute little start to what seems to be a simple and inoffensive fantasy trilogy set in a stock-and-trade fantasy setting with basic characters and a plot you would expect. THAT being said, it was interesting enough to make me go look for the second and third books. Or, rather, I WI
Kelly's ( Next Best Read )
“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.”

This one started off a bit slow and dragged on a bit but for some strange reason I kept on reading as I felt that it would eventually pay off. The characters were well developed and the world building great. The heroine annoyed the crap out of me at times but I'm glad that I held on.

I really would like to see where this trilogy goes so I eage
Ranting Dragon
Oct 09, 2010 Ranting Dragon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guests
This review was written by Manon for

The redundant beginning

Sonea is a dwell that lives in the slums. Everyone in the slums hates the Magicians that live safely, luxuriously and arrogantly up in their Magician’s Guild. Only those of the Houses can become Magicians, and those in the slums are regarded as rats of the city, without any magical potential.

Until Sonea and her gang start throwing rocks to the heads of the Magicians that have gathered for the annual Purge (the Purge bei
Nov 28, 2011 Lamepun rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A protagonist that is super special, and a world apparently divided into slums and powerful rich magic people? I like my fantasy in shades of grey, not black and white, and I'm sick of protagonists that are born more special than other people, rather than character development and hard work making them more special, so I guess I should have known this one wouldn't thrill me. But I was looking for a kickass female magician protagonist, and I thought maybe this would give it to me.

Pet Peeve: Canav
Xime García

*Da vuelta el libro para leer la sinopsis*


No me encontré con nada de eso.
Me decepcioné. No demasiado, porque no le había puesto tantas fichas, pero no me gustó. Fue aburridísimo, ABURRIDÍSIMO!!!


Sonea es una plebeya que vive entre ladrones y que odia a los magos del gremio porque parece ser que son como la policía abusiva del reino. Oh, casualidad, un día, de la n
This book was divided into two parts and felt like two different stories to me. Part one would be 'The chase' and part two would be 'The actual story'. Thus I will review both parts seperately.

Part One: 2 stars

Sonea lives in the slums. She and her family have been put out of their homes by the magicians, and now they're back on the streets. This 'event' happens every year and is called the Purge. An angry mob gathers around the magicians, who are protected by a magical shield. No matter how many
Feb 18, 2012 Romaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Telling the story of Sonea a girl trying to live in a world of division where the magicians rule. Not only is she a girl but she is a commoner who could never be part of such a precious world. Well, things change and in an instant Sonea life changes through no fault of her own but all by accident.. The adventure begins when she discovers that she too possess the same precious power, that is ten times the strength of an ordinary magician.. Not only does this shock her but it also shocks the magic ...more
✍Neyla Kunta ✍
Vollständige Rezension hier


Willkommen in Imardin, eine Stadt in Kyralia. Eine Stadt, in der der Unterschied zwischen arm und reich deutlich zu spüren ist. In Imardin findet seit langer Zeit die Säuberung statt. Ein Mal im Jahr werden die Bettler und Obdachlosen aus der Stadt vertrieben – und das von Magiern.
Die Magier gelten als unverwundbar, niemand kann ihnen etwas anhaben.
Bis auf Sonea, das Straßenkind, welches aus Wut, den Schutzwall der Magier durchbricht und einen von ihne
May 18, 2015 Phrynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very enjoyable read with an interesting story and some very likeable characters. I particularly enjoyed the chapters about magic and entering other people's minds. Loved the descriptions likening minds to rooms in houses. It was all very interesting and made a change from the usual magic books where everyone is throwing magical stuff around and killing each other. The ending was very obviously the lead up to the next book and I have no problem being led. In fact I am looking forward t ...more
Apr 06, 2010 Dhuaine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Canavan became so popular that she unavoidably made me interested - she is getting lumped together with big names in industry, such as Rowling, Paolini and even Meyer. Out of these only Rowling is worth something, being the one to cause this avalanche. I was really curious whether Canavan was as bad as other fantasy-related authors loved by the public and finally got to read her books, courtesy of a friend.

The Magicians' Guild starts simply enough - lowest caste tangles into skirmishes with the
Nicklein Mae
Apr 08, 2017 Nicklein Mae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow streets because it is grieved by what it finds there.”

I picked this up with every intention of reading this the same as with every book I pick up. The synopsis piqued my interest and I'm ready to cut my arm for a copy of this. However, when I took a quick look at the review section, I was surprised to see that it has so many bad reviews. Did that deter me from reading this? Absolutely not. I read books th
David Sven
Feb 15, 2013 David Sven marked it as started-but-didn-t-finish
Shelves: fantasy, audiobooks
Here's me being ruthless. It's my new year's resolution.

I'm giving this away at 16%. I'm not going to rate it because I haven't given it enough of a chance - but the style of writing reminds me of the first Harry Potter book ie written for young children, but without the same charm. The audio narration by Richard Aspel wasn't terrible, but very average - maybe it was what he had to work with?

Possibly, if I gave this more of a chance, this would grow on me as I like coming of age, process of disc
Juan Manuel Sarmiento
Muy introductorio, no sé
Kylie Coulter
Nov 11, 2010 Kylie Coulter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Trudi Canavan's ability to create imagined worlds with strong characters. Sonea is an ordinary slum girl, poor, yet honest. She has questionable ties that she left long ago in order to pursue a life her aunt and uncle would approve of. When the magicians of the guild come to purge the city of slum scum, Sonea finds herself amongst her old friendships. In the spirit of the rebellion from the city folk Sonea throws a stone at a group of magicians who have a magic shield up. Using her anger, ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Shelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was better than I was expecting it to be. I like my fantasy a little darker than the standard and this had some components that fit nicely into that category. A world in which powerful, greedy magicians rule the world and keep society firmly under their thumb. The setting is fairly stock fantasy and the main character's unrelenting stubborness began to really annoy me. Both of these issues kept me from rating it higher than 3 stars but I still liked it enough to read the next book in the se ...more
Mar 31, 2015 Andreas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man merkt richtig, dass er der Anfang von es großem war und es war richtig genial. :)
Sep 08, 2007 Allan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
As a first novel it's not bad and, while it's enjoyable enough, that fact shows throughout.

The story lacks any real depth, character development is minimal, the plot is extremely predictable and the dialogue very stilted. I get the impression that Ms. Canavan has done a bit of Dungeons and Dragons playing as it comes close to such an adventure - all surface, single-layer action and no deep storyline. There is a little hint of a darker story in there but we don't get to see much of it here - perh
N Islam
Sep 02, 2013 N Islam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 5 year olds who've finished reading peter and jane
Reading through this felt like trudging through mud. The writing was horrible, it was so dry and lifeless that I had to push myself really hard to reach even a quarter of the book. The characters are cardboard cutouts, having some traits borrowed from other more successful novels.

And don't get me started on the dialogue. It was nightmarish. The magic in this book has no construct to it, its just random people reading thoughts and throwing balls of fire. No joke.

The protagonist is a scared little
Nick (Book-Absorbed Reviews)
I'm glad that I didn't purchase the entire series. The Magicians' Guild has all of the elements of an interesting fantasy story, without the story to support it. This took me so long to get through that I found myself skimming quickly just so that I could finish. It's a shame really because the idea was great, but the execution was lacking.
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
This book started off on the wrong foot for me, with a contradiction in the first paragraph (is the wind howling because of what it sees or is it silent because of what it sees?). The next few chapters did little to improve my opinion. The characters were stereotyped and the description clumsy. There were info dumps about how the world worked. There were words changed simply to make the world feel different—for example, ale became bol and there were substituted words for tea, coffee and trouble. ...more
Mar 05, 2017 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En realidad no son 4 estrellas serían 3'5, pero no quería ponerle 3.

La parte final hace que el libro remonte bastante.
El principio es interesante pero un poco lento para mí. Estaba deseando que los magos encontrasen a Sonea para conocer más sobre ellos.

Rothen, Dannyl y Cery han sido mis personajes favoritos y espero que sigan apareciendo bastante en los próximos libros.

Fergun me ha parecido lo peor. Un personaje malo porque sí, clasista, con ansias de venganza; un malo bastante flojo la verdad,
Sep 19, 2011 Lemon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't hate it, but I couldn't finish it. The multiple POVs worked against it, taking away all sense of mystery and suspense. You just sit waiting for the characters to work their misunderstandings out, knowing that eventually they will; it's just a question of how long it'll take. And boy, does it take a long time. Eventually I just decided it wasn't worth the wait.

The characters were all very simple and uninteresting to me. They're good or they're bad, they're male or they're female, but ve
Yzabel Ginsberg
I wasn't too thrilled at the first part, but the second part kind of makes up for it, and it seems like there could be interesting developments in the two other books.
ezra's mischief
I read this so long ago but I still feel all the feels. This might get a re-read.
Nov 15, 2015 Amelie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reihen-beendet
Stand: 2010

Ein junges Mädchen aus ärmlichen Verhältnissen, das den überheblichen Magiern mal zeigt wo's langgeht? Jawoll! Allein die Grundidee der Geschichte hat mich schon begeistert.
Sonea ist ein sehr sympathischer Charakter. Durch ihre Verbindungen zu den Dieben und ihre Vergangenheit in einer Straßenbande verliert sie auch diesen Ich-bin-die-Unschuld-vom-Lande-Charakter, der so vielen Fantasy-Hauptcharakteren anlastet. Sie ist stark und meist auch selbstbewusst. Aber sie hat auch ihre schwac
Kevin Xu
Sep 05, 2011 Kevin Xu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have loved the book a lot more, but the ending felt like a cligghanger that was to set up for the next book in the series as setting the stage. Because of that, the book was very predictable, but well written, making me wanting to read the rest of the trilogy.
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

In the city of Imardin every year magicians drive the Thieves, beggars and the poor out of the city without any trouble, until one year a young woman called Sonea is able to break through their magical barrier. Now, the hunt is on, as the magicians to find her before she destroys the city and herself. Meanwhile, Sonea is trying to hide from them and the bounty on her head by taking refuge with the Thieves.

The Magici
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Trudi Canavan was born in Kew, Melbourne and grew up in Ferntree Gully, a suburb at the foothills of the Dandenongs.

In 1999 she won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story with “Whispers of the Mist Children”. In the same year she was granted a writers residency at Varuna Writers’ Centre in Katoomba, New South Wales.

In November 2001, The Magicians’ Guild was first published in Australia. T
More about Trudi Canavan...

Other Books in the Series

The Black Magician Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Novice (Black Magician Trilogy, #2)
  • The High Lord (Black Magician Trilogy, #3)

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“It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow streets because it is grieved by what it finds there.” 122 likes
“How am I going to make friends with these people if all I can think of is how easy it would be to rob them?” 71 likes
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