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The Magician's Apprentice

(The Black Magician Trilogy #0.5)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  23,147 ratings  ·  738 reviews
Taking place hundreds of years before the events of The Magicians' Guild, The Magician's Apprentice is the new novel set in the world of Trudi Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy.

In the remote village of Mandryn, Tessia serves as assistant to her father, the village Healer. Her mother would rather she found a husband. But her life is about to take a very unexpected turn.

Hardcover, First Edition, 593 pages
Published February 23rd 2009 by Orbit
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ItsADrizzit Actually, I would read this first. If you've read the actual Black Magician trilogy a lot of what happens in this book becomes boring and predictable …moreActually, I would read this first. If you've read the actual Black Magician trilogy a lot of what happens in this book becomes boring and predictable IMO. The only thing that you might struggle with is the world setup and what is where, since that knowledge is somewhat presumed, but there are maps and I'm betting you could figure it out.(less)
M. Blakelylaw I picked my copy up from a super sale stack at one of the big box bookstores. Any of them should still have a copy, at least in paperback. Then, there…moreI picked my copy up from a super sale stack at one of the big box bookstores. Any of them should still have a copy, at least in paperback. Then, there's always Amazon.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  23,147 ratings  ·  738 reviews

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Start your review of The Magician's Apprentice (Black Magician, #0.5)
Mar 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Canavan fans
Shelves: read-in-2009, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, series, audiobook
The Magician's Apprentice is considered #0.5 in Trudi Canavan's The Black Magician Trilogy. It was written after, but serves as a set up for The Magicians' Guild, which I have not read. It mainly follows the story of Tessia, a young healer apprenticed to her father, who discovers her magical abilities when she deflects the advances of a Sachakan mage. She becomes apprenticed to Lord Dakon, joining his apprentice Jayan, who initially disdains the fact that a he must share his education with a wom ...more
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Definitely a worthy prequel to the Black Magician Trilogy. I enjoyed the story and the fact that it wasn't entirely predictable. I would definitely recommend it to any of Trudi Canavan's fans. The only thing I had an issue with was that the story jumped around between more characters than I thought necessary, making it a bit harder to relate to the main characters. ...more
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, review, favorites
This and my other reviews can be found at

The Magician’s Apprentice is about Tessia, the local healer’s daughter, who unknowingly uses magic after fending of the advances of a visiting Sachakan mage, she becomes an apprentice to the magician Lord Dakon alongside fellow apprentice Jayan. However she would soon learn that with her magical gifts comes with responsibilities and not all is peaceful as it seems between Sachakan and Kyralia.

This prequel, set a fe
Marnie  (Enchanted Bibliophile)
He liked the idea that if either of them ever fell from grace, the other might be there to offer support

First Sentence:
There was no fast and painless way to perform an amputation, Tessia knew.

O, what a journy.
I remember reading The Magicians' Guild many, many years back - so many years in fact I can't remember who the main characters is. But I do remember I enjoyed it, and that I wanted to read the rest of the Black Magician trilogy. And this weekend that little reminder popped into my head
Jan 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads, arc, fantasy
Good Intro to Fantasy; but not Groundbreaking.

I have not read any of Trudi Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy (THE MAGICIAN'S GUILD, THE NOVICE, and THE HIGH LORD), although I have thought about it for a while. It is obvious that this edition to the world introduced in the original trilogy was written after and I can only guess at what is to be the beginning of the trilogy.

This is a wonderful book for people just getting into the fantasy genre. It has everything that is to be expected in a fantasy
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
I've come across Trudi Canavan many times when looking for good fantasy reads, and I finally decided to give it a go. The first few pages of The Magician's Apprentice were quite exciting, I thought Tessia would be an interesting character. But further on I started to get doubts, the plot was a bit shallow and most of all, the characters were really flat. Having read awesome books like "A song of ice and fire" where there's plenty of characters and each of them has so much history and depth that ...more
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading vlog:

Buddy read with Deborah from Hills of Books.

This book instantly restored my earlier disappointment in the finale of the previous trilogy. Although a standalone prequel, it was a thick one and added so much context to the land of both Sachaka and the countryside of Imardin.

It was cool to see earlier maps of the land as well as the start of concepts and issues that had been studied as history in the later books (specifically the start of the war and the id
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A very addictive read that I would willingly read again and again. A book I could not put down with lots of fantasy elements that I like. The only reason I didn't give this five stars is because of the constant switches between the impressive cast of characters, some of which were not as interesting as others. Personally I preferred Tessia and Jayan's story and would have liked to stick with them all the way through. ...more
Lorenzio Phillibuster Fireworks
The Magicians Apprentice is 0.5 in the The Black Magician Trilogy. The first instalment in the trilogy was published in 2001 and this book was published in 2009. Perhaps I should have started the series in publishing order rather than story order, but I spent most of the novel questioning why this was actually a novel. I found it really hard to justify this 0.5 instalment needing to be 600 pages long, especially when it was published several years after the actual series.

The novel uses split PO
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Although this didn't have the same magical introduction to a new world for me as The Magicians' Guild, I think someone starting with this book may get some of that same feeling, although the pace at which the larger universe is introduced lacks some of the details of the first book.

However, the plot is essentially the story the first book should have had. The main character, Tessia, essentially has the same personality and motivations as Sonea of the original trilogy, and the same issues with fa
Cheryl Landmark
Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

Well, I liked it, but I certainly didn't love it. The premise sounded very promising--I love fantasies about strong, young women discovering their magical powers and learning how to control them to fight against evil--and the writing was certainly quite acceptable. But, somehow, this one fell a little short for me.

For one thing, the pacing for the most part was very plodding and slow and the plot was rather dull in places. There was a lot of talk about fighting, but not
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Im so disappointed. Oh why, dear Canavan, have you let me down.

One day me and Emer discussed in A Book Nirvana group about how often books read at younger age are the ones that stick to all-time-favorites lists rather than new ones. And Trudi Canavans The Black Magicians trilogy was exactly that to me. An all time favorite read at a young age. I also loved the Traitor Spy Trilogy which followed that but this was sadly weak for me.

Alltogether 702 pages. The first 300 flew by but the last 400...
Deborah Ideiosepius
In the remote village of Mandryn, in the realm of Kyralia, Tessia works as her father's assistant. Tessia dreams of proving herself enough to become a healer like her father but in this realm, woman cannot become healers. Then, just as the realm is about to be plunged into warfare with the neighbouring empire, Tessia proves herself to be a 'natural' she has magical potential and is taken into training by the lord of the village, himself a magician. Tessia finds her new life perplexing, magical t ...more
Apr 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Retardation galore! The prequel to Black Magician Trilogy is riddled with boring, tedious narrative, moralizing talk for primary school kids and tons of ridiculously funny gaffes that would make people on literary constructive crit boards roll with laughter. It doesn't explain anything about the magic from the trilogy. This book's setting doesn't even match the trilogy and some of the situations plainly contradict the rules laid out in the other books. Overall it looks like a rehashed draft or a ...more
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Well, once I read the other reviews and figured out this was a prequel to a trilogy, the bizarre pacing made more sense. The narrative switches between several characters, something that rarely works for me--I always end up liking one character more than another and I can never get into a groove one way or the other. The same was true here. I really liked Lord Dakon and Tessia but I could have done without the others, especially the character that popped in about halfway through the book. Sachka ...more
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I lost interest about page 200. After the interesting beginning, the plot became one of those "frolicking around countryside, letting the suspense wane" types.

I liked the character of Tessia - a pity that she didn't have much to do. Also, the interesting merging of the magic and medicine was hastly done. I would have loved to see it more developed. The relationships were nicely developed, but some of the character progression didn't make much sense (I'm tired of the "he's a paranoid schizophren
Feb 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Well written, solidly characterised, nicely constructed. But dull.

Might be a good one for those who are new to Fantasy - a way in, as Brooks' Sword of Shannara , Eddings' Pawn of Prophecy or Ray Feist's Magician was for many. And for those who are fans of the Black Magician series, (of which this is a prequel), I can see this being a much desired book.

But for me the plot was just way, way too obvious, the characters a little too cookie-cut. I lost interest very quickly.

Clare Cannon
Jun 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adults
Shelves: young-adult, adults
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Somehow this ended up in my notes section instead. Oops.

I know I can't completely judge this book when I haven't finished it (I read about five chapters). In addition to that, I realize that this isn't the plot of the book... But I really don't want to read a fantasy book based on the premise that there are two main countries next to one another, one is similar to Europe in the Middle Ages with magic added and the other similar to India with magic added, where the white people are slave-free whi
Blodeuedd Finland
So this is a prequel to the Black Magician books, but you can read it before you can read it afterwards.

But yes it does remind me a bit of The Black Magician books. Character wise and story wise. It took the same path, but eh, I could still read it.

It's about Tessia who finds out she is a magician. She gets to learn magic and then the adventure really starts. Bad magicians on the move. War, death, loss.

One thing I did not like was that suddenly after half the book (and this is a big book!) anot
Jul 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As the tooltip for one star says - I did not like it. It would not get 1 in 10 because it was not that bad but it was 2-3 times too long. The amount of needless dialogue, fragments and sentences was overwhelming. There was even one POV character that could have easily been thrown away and it would improve the flow of reading. It the book was pruned to 200-300 pages it would be a nice and easy read. With over 700 it was a dull pain.
Ok i LOVED this book!!

Im pretty sure i was hooked as i just couldnt put it down. I thought the character development of the main character and her story was put forward well and in a well spaced easy to understand manner. The story itself did go slow at times but overall, was a decent storyline.

I look forward to reading more from this author :)

You can also find my reviews here: (tho they are alot more colourful)
Tommye (The Fantasy Review)
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-read
View the full review at The Fantasy Review

The Magician’s Apprentice is essentially an explanation for how the world came to be in The Black Magician trilogy. Trudi Canavan has created an epic fantasy world with a rich history and vibrant characters.

The magic system might not be particularly complex, like something we might see from Brandon Sanderson, but there are costs and a method for wielding it...
Lisa Emme
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
This was good, but nothing special. I was able to put it down for days on and and really only finished it just to get it off my plate. I guess that isn't much of a glowing review. I gave it 3 stars rather than the 2 it maybe sounds like because it was a well written story with interesting characters, it just wasn't doing it for me right now. ...more
Veronica Ika
Some people say that a good book title should include keywords that describe the most important thing, character, or idea in the whole story. And tell me if ‘Apprentice’ here is not one of such keywords! If you have been familiar with the Black Magician trilogy, this word definitely gives you a good idea of what this prequel will be and even the gap between the two works. So, does it mean that those who haven’t read the trilogy cannot enjoy this book? Nah. That depends, though. Those who have re ...more
D.L. Morrese
Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I may have lost my taste for epic fantasy. Although this is a fairly standard example of the genre (it has magic, an evil antagonist, a plucky young protagonist, a medieval-like setting, and over 500 pages) it failed to interest me much. Maybe it's just TOO typical of the genre. It's all been done before. Nothing about this story stands out. The politics and economics don't make a lot of sense. The magic system is simplistic. The characters aren't especially engaging. There is no real world
Set in the same world, but back in time, as Canavan's first trilogy, the Black Magician Trilogy, this is in a way back-story, and in a way, not. I thought it was a standalone novel about what happened between Kyralia and Sachaka, two neighbouring countries, and more importantly, about how "black magic" - or higher magic as it used to be called - came to be banned and the knowledge of it repressed. Well, it is a standalone Fantasy novel, it is about the war between Kyralia and Sachaka, which is l ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I bought this book years ago while on holiday in Germany. The idea was to improve my German, but instead I only managed to read the first few chapters a couple of times. I was happy to finally get my hands on the English version. It's not bad but it's not amazing either. The story plods on and on. Major societal issues are highlighted and then simply bypassed. I kind of missed the engagement I felt with the characters in The Magician's Guild. ...more
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, 2012
Written after The Black Magician trilogy, The Magician's Apprentice is a prequel of sorts to said series. As a step back into history, it is a very cool story, showing us events in the past that set things in motion that will not only feature in The Black Magician trilogy, but also in The Traitor Spy trilogy. To my surprise, however, the book dealt with a different era than I expected for some reason. Why, I don't know, but I expected the book to either deal with Akkarin's history, or the period ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Translation in several separate books 3 27 Aug 20, 2018 02:58PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Separating two books 2 187 Mar 07, 2017 06:08AM  

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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.

Other books in the series

The Black Magician Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Magicians' Guild (Black Magician Trilogy, #1)
  • The Novice (Black Magician Trilogy, #2)
  • The High Lord (Black Magician Trilogy, #3)

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