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The Novice (Black Magician Trilogy) Paperback – 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Black Magician Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: ATOM; New Ed edition (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905654111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905654116
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,884,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Now that Lord Fergun has been sent into exile, Sonea is starting her first year as Novice at the Magician's Guild University, under Lord Rothen's guardianship. She's eager to learn, but being a slum girl she knows it won't be easy to be accepted by, not to mention make friends with, her wealthier and nobler classmates from the Houses. However, she far from conceives the depth of their scorn yet. Indeed one of them, Regin, probably because he simply can't stand a mere slum girl outdoing him, will rally the others and gang them up against her, bully her constantly, play pranks on her, repeatedly ambush her to exhaust her strength and destroy her notes. In other words, make her life hell.

In the meantime Lord Dannyl has taken up his new role of Second Guild Ambassador to Elyne. After an adventurous sea voyage, and after sorting out some of his appointed duties in the capital Capia, he finally has some time to himself to investigate Akkarin's journeys. Indeed, Administrator Lorlen, who suspects the High Lord of performing Black Magic, which is forbidden by the Guild's laws, has asked the young magician to retrace Akkarin's footsteps, ten years earlier. Doing so, Dannyl meets Tayend, a scholar who works at the Great Library and has an amazing memory. The handsome lad will aid him in research and they'll become close friends.

This middle novel is very exciting, I just couldn't put it down. All the loveable characters from the first volume are back, with the exception of Cery, whom we almost hear nothing of. Replacing Fergun, Regin is suitably despicable and irritating, and you can really feel Sonea's frustration when she can't find proof enough to expose him. The High Lord, although first depicted as the ultimate invincible villain, becomes more three-dimensional throughout the book, and I'm looking forward to reading the thrid installment to discover what his real motives are.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book really loses the momentum of the last one and slows down into a slow Harry Potter-esque grind of the magic school and bullying. A LOT of bullying. So much so that you find yourself saying "YES, I get it. Bullying is WRONG. PLEASE give me the plot back". In addition, you find yourself wondering how a girl who grew up in the violent slums, and was part of the Thieves, actually puts up with and/or cares about the bullying- in spite of all the author's careful "no, this is why she doesn't just pop out of a dark corner at them one night" stopgaps.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This series was disappointing. I felt the second book could have so much more, instead it repeats itself a lot, lets problems go on and on and on with no resolution, and really felt like I was reading the same paragraph over and over. What started out as a promising story with interesting characters quickly fell flat.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's very rare that I read a book and finish it and say, "You know, that could have been a good book, but the editor screwed it up."

This is one of them. The editing is appalling.

I don't mean things like typos or grammatical mistakes, I mean storyline editing. There's just no way this trilogy should have passed muster. There's setups with no payoffs, payoffs with no setups, major characters who don't do anything, major conflicts mainly revolving around a misunderstanding (which later gets cleared up), and plot points that repeat themselves and repeat themselves over and over.

These problems are found throughout the trilogy (the second major character in the book only appears once, briefly, during the second book, and then at the end, doesn't really have anything to do with anything), but the first book is the worst. The entire first half of the book should have been axed by the editor, and rewritten down to 20 pages. There's just no point, you know how it will turn out, and it's repetitive. I barely managed to slog my way through it after trying four or five times.

The second book is a little better, though the same central plot point repeats through the entire book (she's an outsider! she's being picked on!). It is a little bit more interesting though. The third book, and really, the second half of the third book, is the only part of this trilogy where things actually start to happen.

Seriously, the editor of this series needs to be fired. It's not a bad trilogy - I didn't mind reading it, but it really feels like it needs two or three more drafts before it's ready for print. As Brian Sanderson says, "Don't describe a shotgun on the wall of a cabin unless someone is going to use that shotgun later.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second in the series Sonea's story continues as she begins to learn the finer points of magic.

Akkarin is more featured in this book and despite how 'evil' he is meant to be, you can't help but be curious. This book also sees a brief love interest for Sonea.

I admit the book gets a little wordy with Lord Dannyl's journey and I got a little bored as I couldn't see how it was effecting the story (but trust me - you need to know it)

Overall a great sequel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As Bildungsromans go, this is a good one. Sonea grows a bit here and acquires more of a conscience. The other characters are expanded more and the tale is told from 4 separate viewpoints. There's some serious bullying, a good fight at the climax, a mystery or two, a red herring, tales of adventure as the story moves out of the confines of the city into the greater world and a little romance.
All in all this is a good successor to the first book in the series. Also, as the middle book in a trilogy, it has a suprisingly satisfactory end, with just enough plot hooks to keep the reader interested without being too much of a cliffhanger.
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