Amanda's Reviews > The Novice

The Novice by Trudi Canavan
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Apr 07, 11

Read in January, 2009 — I own a copy, read count: 4

The Novice, the second installment of The Black Magician Trilogy, continues the story of Sonea, a young girl who, after discovering she possesses strong magical powers, is accepted into the Guild of Magicians in order to learn how to properly control her magic and study its various uses.

By the end of The Magician's Guild, the first novel, Sonea has agreed to join the Guild and is already learning how to use her powers more effectively. The Novice begins a short while after this, where our young heroine is preparing to take her oath and officially become part of the Guild.

The book follows Sonea as she begins her apprenticeship at the Guild, and explores the problems she faces as a slum-dweller suddenly amongst some of the richest children in Imardin. However, in contrast to the first novel, The Novice has a dual plot; as well as tracking Sonea as she begins her education as a Novice, it also follows Lord Dannyl, a magician we were introduced to in the previous book, as he travels to Elyne on a quest set by Administrator Lorlen - Lord Dannyl is to retrace the High Lord's journey, beginning in Elyne, in order to learn more about an ancient magic Lorlen believes he studied. Unbeknownst to Dannyl is the danger his research could put him in.

As enjoyable and believable as the first installment, The Novice is a terrifically fast-paced and gripping read. Canavan expertly introduces some more adult themes in this second novel, adding more intrigue and setting the trilogy apart from the series it is most often compared to. The introduction of these new themes, the faster pace and the dual plot all contribute to making The Novice considerably better than it's forerunner and well worth reading.
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