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The Magicians' Guild (The Black Magician Trilogy, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback

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Product Details

  • Series: Black Magician Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (January 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006057528X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060575281
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A wonderfully and meticulously detailed world, and an edge-of-the-seat plot, this book is a must for all lovers of good fantasy JENNIFER FALLON --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Trudi Canavan is the author of the bestselling Black Magician trilogy—The Magician's Guild, The Novice, and The High Lord—as well as Priestess of the White and Last of the Wilds, Books One and Two of her Age of the Five trilogy. She lives in a little house on a hillside, near a forest, in the Melbourne suburb of Ferntree Gully in Australia. She has been making up stories about things that don't exist for as long as she can remember, and was amazed when her first published story received an Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story in 1999. A freelance illustrator and designer, she also works as the designer and Art Director of Aurealis, a magazine of Australian Fantasy & Science Fiction.

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Customer Reviews

The characters in this book are very likable.
Kelly H
The second book is a little better, though the same central plot point repeats through the entire book (she's an outsider!
William Kerney
I immediately bought book 2 after I finished this one... So now, I need to go to read it...
Amanda Richards

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

192 of 215 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on November 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you enjoy cozy mysteries that contain very little violence, sex, profanity, or even blood, you might also enjoy this cozy fantasy. By the end of "The Magicians' Guild," the bad guy is revealed, order is restored to the magical community, and the heroine and her friend from the Thieves' Guild appear to at least have a chance of living happily ever after. There are a few loose ends, but this book is the first of the 'Black Magician' trilogy, so a teaser is to be expected.

If this is your first fantasy, "The Magician's Guild" is a fairly decent read. If it's your hundredth, then you'll recognize the plot, background, and characters: poor, but courageous heroine is cursed with a magical talent that is getting stronger by the day, and is not under her control. The only people who can save her belong to the hated Magician's Guild and she would rather die than deal with those meatballs. Her friends in the Thieves' Guild hide her as long as they can, but eventually her uncontrollable magic is exploding walls and setting whole blocks of slum on fire. The heroine finally gets with the program in the Magicians' Guild, and much to her surprise discovers that some of the practitioners are actually pretty decent folks.

Most of the story is taken up by the heroine's struggle to keep hating the magicians, in spite of the fact that the reader can spot from a million miles off that she's going to become one of them.

Cozies tend not to have much in the way of suspense, complex characters, or imaginative settings, but if they are your cup of tea, then "The Magicians' Guild" is recommended reading.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Hatbox Dragon on October 26, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can't actually find anything positive to say about this book. I know it's a debut novel, but ... but the setting is very thin, the characters are ill-defined and unengaging, and there's a lot that doesn't make sense. The dragging plot is clumsy to the point that it relies on the characters being stupid.

What I most disliked, unfortunately, was Sonea herself. Canavan's efforts to portray her as a street-smart urchin with a hatred for the authorities and a past in a gang fall flat. Until the day the book begins we never see any sign that she's suffered from the authorities' attention or gone hungry, and then we learn that while in this "gang" she - er, played pranks. Others stole, but not her. She nobly proclaims that if she got a windfall of money she'd feed the hungry and keep none of it for herself. Her reaction to the wizards and life in the Guild is amused superiority, of all things. Her internal dialogue uses the same large vocabulary and elevated concepts as that of the wizards', despite her lack of education, and her speech is always smooth and polished. In other words, the character isn't written as and doesn't feel like a natural outgrowth of her supposed circumstances. We're told she's intelligent, but her actions and attempts to plot show she's not particularly bright, she has no imagination when it comes to her changed circumstances, and her decisions about who to trust seem quite random.

So for me, Sonea wasn't a credible character and she wasn't particularly likeable, either. She expressed little concern over the risks others were taking for her or the damage her unrestrained magic was doing, and her treatment of Cery was poor. Her realisation that the world is more complex than she wanted to believe is slow and grudging.
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73 of 98 people found the following review helpful By L. J Lewis on July 26, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not an avid fantasy reader but everything about Trudi Canavan's first book, the Magician's Guild, feels cliched. First of all there is a Magician's Guild and a Thief's Guild, and I have played enough RPGs to know those are fantasy staples. Mix that lightly with a vaguely mideval European flavored world. Dash in some characters that haven't fully ripened. The end result is a plot that feels half-baked.

In this kingdom every year the king has the magician's guild chase the poor and downtrodden out of the city. Needless to say, the poor don't care much of this turn of events but they are no match against the forces of the magicians' magic barrier. That is until a slum girl named Sonea uses the latent magical talent within her to penetrate the barrier. Suddenly this unassuming girl is running for her life, thinking that the magicians will try to kill her because they don't want anyone outside the good-old-boy network to have magic. The Guild Magician's must track Sonea down before her uncontrolled power destroys the city.

The plot itself is okay, but it's like Canavan was trying to stretch a the story to twice the length it needed to be. The characters never really seemed to come alive either. The first half of the story is pretty dull because very little of interest happens to Sonea as she hides out and the guild rushes around trying to find her.

The second part fares a little better when Sonea begins to learn the ways of magic, but it remains a very flat and dull book. The story ends just as it seems ready to roll. I'm a little suprised that what was a little throw-away detail is what will become the plot that will carry the rest of the triology. Maybe the next book will be better because it may have a larger focus, but I'm not eager to find out.
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