Poet of Fall

The Black Magician’s Trilogy: The Novice

Posted in Review by vien88 on November 2, 2008
Book Two

Book Two

Author: Trudi Canavan

Published: 2002

Publisher: Orbit

Imardin is a city of dark intrigues and deadly politics, where those who wield magic wield power. Into this established order has blundered a young street-girl with extraordinary magical gifts. Adopted by the Magician’s Guild, her life is changed forever – but for better or for worse?

Sonea knew that she’d face a tough time training within the Magician’s Guildbut she little realised the level of the animosity she would face from her fellow novices. The sons and daughters of the most powerful families in the realm, her classmates seem determined to see her fail – at whatever cost. But in accepting the protection of the guild’s high lord, Sonea may have embraced a far bleaker fate. For High Lord Akkarin harbours a secret that is far darker than his magician’s robes.

REVIEWS: (warning: may contain spoilers)

Now I’ll compare this school life with Ouran and Hana Yori Dango. A poor girl surrounded by a bunch of rich kids. Sonea gets bullied all the time because of her background. They blame her for trying to ruin the powerful families’ honour and even accused her for buying her way to Rothen’s guardianship.

Too bad rumours play quite an important role to the rules of the guild. This caused a lot more confusion and complications. Yet the bullies have motivated her to become more adventurous in finding secret passages and indirectly assisted her in improving her magical powers. And the High Lord used this excuse to take her under her wing, when the actual reason for doing that is totally different. Akkarin, though he seems to be around his 40s or slightly younger, I picture him to have a strong and clean face – like Johnny Depp – and with the extra powers he has, surely he could preserve his youthful physical appearance.

My dear Dannyl has increased his rank and became an ambassador to another country in the Allied lands. Administrator Lorlen used this advantage, and requested Dannyl to retrace Akkarin’s past – in order to learn how the ‘twist’ came to be. Dannyl willingly accepted this task, as gathering information seems to be a hobby to him. Thank goodness for me, it’s not another Harry Potter story – which focuses mostly in school, as we get to go for an adventure with Ambassador Dannyl. The fact that he met a young scholar intrigues me to read further. The fact that the scholar is actually a flamboyant pretty boy turns me on. >D

So erm… the reason why I decided to continue reading this trilogy is to find out the truth behind the ‘twist’ in the first book. It still remains a mystery but other things make me elect this one as one of my favourite novels ever. Sonea’s portrayal in this sequel may still lack personality as how she was like in the first book. But at least she didn’t went emo like Harry Potter did when people are condemning her. Nay, she doesn’t fight back, not because she was a coward. She knows well that revenge is not the answer, and she rather not use her powers to hurt others… or worse, killing unintentionally. Sonea is mature for her age, even when she’s angry, she tries her best to contain her temper. Sonea successfully made it in my list of most respected female characters (aka favourite laaa) alongside Erza of Fairy Tail and Mitsuru from Persona 3.

Cery plays a minor role this time, merely as Sonea’s visitor. But here COMES A NEW CHALLENGER! Dorrien came into Sonea’s life, brings more vibrant colours to her surrounding. A son of Rothen, a compassionate healer assigned to entertain the former slum girl. Dorrien’s interest towards his father’s apprentice grows stronger as they get to know each other. But he knows Sonea’s still too young and may develop feelings for another novice. Looking at Dorrien and Sonea’s relationship, nostalgia swept through. Perhaps I have weaknesses with guys like Dorrien… I wished I could see more of him, but his responsibility gets in his way. I’m also half glad that Dorrien had to be away for a long time and it’s not all about joyful romanticism.

Back to Dannyl and his scholar assistant, Tayend. I’m delighted to see the naughty side of Dannyl. Tayend is such a tease! He automatically reminds me of Hisoka (Yami no Matsuei) and I find his behaviour extremely cute. So I dubbed him an uke, while Dannyl… a seme. Any idea where this is going? XD XD SHONEN-AIIIIIIIIIIII <333333 [those who have no idea what the heck this is… then please DO remain not knowing 8D ] I know I was freakin’ smiling from ear to ear reading about their adventure and relationship growth. Although their part is just a sub-story, they gave me more reason to keep loving this book. My favourite pairing list is updated! It’s as though the book knows I’m undergoing depression and this cheered me up! I love you Miss Canavan~

As for the ‘twist’, well… gotta wait till the next book. Oh yeah… Dannyl x Tayend FTW!

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The Black Magician’s Trilogy: The Magician’s Guild

Posted in Review by vien88 on November 2, 2008
Book One

Book One

Author: Trudi Canavan

Published: 2001

Publisher: Orbit

Each year the magician’s of Imardin gather to ‘purge’ the city streets of vagrants, urchin’s and miscreants. Masters of disciplines of magic knows that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe.

For as the mob are herded from the city, a young street girl, furious at the authorities treatment of her family and friends, hurls a stone at a shield, putting all her rage behind it. To the amazement of all who bear witness, the stone passes unhindered through the barrier and renders a magician unconciousness.

It is an inconceivable act, and the guild’s worst fear has been realized – an untrained magicians is loose on the streets. She MUST be found, and quickly, before her uncontrolled powers unleashed forces that will destroy both her, and the city that is her home.

REVIEW: (warning: May contain spoilers!!)

If you’ve played FF7, you’ll get the idea of the conflict between the slum residence and the authorities (Shin-ra Co). The poor are discriminated so much that most turn into pickpockets and rascals (particularly the youths). Heads of criminal activities exist among them and they’re called “The Thieves”, but none of the leaders may cooperate with each other. However, they DO have underlings. Common people can ask for their assistance, but it is not wise to mess with them.

There is a huge gap between the poor and the rich. As far as I can recall, only children from the riches, who has magic potential, are allowed to join and study in the Magician’s Guild. I felt like I was fooled by the title, because throughout the story, the protagonist, Sonea, spends less time in the guild grounds. There are more ‘running’ than actually being educated with magic skills.

I like how the story is told in different point of views (although they’re still from third person view). Other than Sonea, scenes switch to a wise middle-aged magician Rothen and his former apprentice, Dannyl. Obviously, the story may lack suspense if told in such way, because (when in Sonea’s) POV you’re able to expect what might happen next. From the so-called villains POV (Rothen and Dannyl), we see their real reasons why they seek the street girl. Oh yeah, each POV is connected to each other.

I have to admit that the story is not THAT exciting. It’s not what I describe “unable to put the book down”, because I know I had a lot of break from reading the book. Like I said earlier, it’s the typical rich versus poor conflict, except that the riches attain the help of the magicians. You can try this book for simple light reading, to fill your time when you’re bored and have nothing to do. Just when I thought the story will have a simple good ending, a ‘twist’ finally emerge in the last few chapters. And this twist sparked my interest to buy the second book.

The author shows that there are both good guys and bad guys in the slum community and the magician’s guild itself. Yet each community thought the other were mere enemies. Particularly the poor, who views the magician’s as “evil” – for they mostly side the riches, follow the King’s orders and ask for a hell lot of money for Healing fee. Most of the magician’s thinks that the rascals of the slums are rebels without a cause, little do they think of what poverty may lead them to.

Geez, how i feel bored writing this. I decide to move on to character analysis now…

Sonea – The female protagonist of the story, an orphan whose mother died when she was young and her father went missing. She used to steal food with her gang, but stopped that habit after she lives with her aunt and uncle. Her magical potential was accidentally reveal during the ‘Purge’ and magician’s have been looking all over for her since then. Sonea doesn’t have much distinctive personality. So far in this book, what’s cool about her is that she crossdresses as a boy to avoid being harrassed by random men. XD

Harrin – Just when I thought he’d be the hero of the story, but nay. Yet he is indeed the leader of the gang Sonea was involved with. To him Sonea is just somewhat of a good friend, and he is attached to an innkeepers daughter so that he can become an heir to the inn.

Cery – Short for Ceryni (means…a small rodent in the world of Kyralia), he is indeed agile and as slick as a rat. I could say he is Sonea’s ‘hero’ for he’s the one who helped her escape most of the time. Another example of a ‘noble theif’ (just like Zidane from FF9, Locke from FF6, Balthier from FF12… and recently, Abu from KAMI), a person who commits crime but has a strong sense of friendship. He would do ANYTHING for Sonea… so, is there something going on between them?

Rothen – The first person who discovered Sonea’s potential from the accident during the ‘Purge’. This made him automatically deserved to become Sonea’s guardian – if she ever joins the guild. I could say that he is the stereotype wise mentor that almost each stories have. Formerly Dannyl’s guardian, he the only magician who believed in the younger Dannyl despite of the rumours. Cannot say much about him except that he is a very compassionate person…

Dannyl – I have to admit he is the most interesting character in the story. Why? Firstly, when he was young he was accused of being… well… gay. 8D But there wasn’t any proof, he had to suffer as an outcast throughout the years, but was adopted by Rothen as an apprentice anyway. He used to be a lazy student, but Rothen shaped him into a good magician who practices Alchemy. Another interesting bit, he dared himself to lose his honour as a magician by practicing espionage.He’s also an encyclopedia of rumours and his ability to gather information is an advantage for the guild in search of the untrained magician.

Fergun – Charming, but sinister. We all need a bad guy in every story, but I won’t put him in league with infamous villains. Let’s say… he’s the older version of Draco Malfoy, slightly less elegant than Lucius Malfoy. He’s the one who started the rumour of Dannyl’s ‘unusual’ interest, and has been foes with him till now. Even as an adult he lacks maturity, taking things a bit too far when fighting for Sonea’s guardianship.

Akkarin – The High Lord aka the Guild leader. Mysterious. Appears to be younger than Rothen yet seem to have powers not weilded by other magicians. Sixth sense? Mind reading? for he could tell that Sonea isn’t a rogue magician lurking in the slums. He has been friends and rivaled with the Guild administrator, Lorlen since young.

Faren – One of the Theives leader. Cery seeks his help in hiding Sonea’s whereabouts. He isn’t a Kylarian, but a Lonmar. Lonmar is known to have a strict belief, but this one is an exception. Faren is a criminal! And you so have to see his funny tricks against magicians lol!

There are other characters but these are the most apparent ones. I feel like this review isn’t that much exciting, which kind of reflect the book. But I like it anyway. And I do recommend you to read this, because more excitement is stored in the second book, The Novice! =D

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