When I first read this book I fell in love immediately. As soon as I finished it I ran to my local bookstore to get the next one in the series. I have since read the trilogy numerous times.
The story is set in a city called Imardin, the capital of Kyralia. During the purge (The annual purging of the city streets of the poor into the slums) the protagonist, Sonea, throws rocks at the local magicians. When one of the stones passes through the magical barrier, panic abounds. Sonea goes into hiding believing that if the magicians catch her they will kill her because they do not want the poor to be magicians in their guild. Meanwhile the magicians begin a search, intending to offer her a place among them. And so begins the story.
The story just keeps getting better as you read it, which is saying something as the start is so captivating. The personalities of the characters just jumped off the page. My favourite by far was, of course, Sonea. Such a strong leading lady was a rare thing in books I read when I first read this series. She is a woman who chooses the way she wants to live without concerning herself with the opinion of others. She makes her own decisions, though didn’t have many options when in hiding. There was not much character growth over the course of the book, but remember this is a trilogy with growth in all of the characters spread out across all three books.
For me to truly love a book it usually has to have at least a dash of romance without completely taking over the story. If there is no romance at all I’m usually not going to give it a great review. I think it truly goes to show how amazingly good this book is that there was no romance in it and yet I still LOVED it! The romance comes later in the books, and is done amazingly well. It is up there with my all-time favourite romances. Even later on in the trilogy the romance is still just a sub plot and not the main focus of the books. Everything would have played out exactly the same without the romance, I think. But oh am I glad it’s in there!
Trudi Canavan’s writing style was paced very well. She is a truly exceptional story teller. I have read every book she has ever had published, and while I didn’t enjoy them quite as much as The Black Magician series, I did still love reading them.
I loved the characters I was meant to love, hated those I was meant to hate, and was curious about those meant to be mysterious. One of the best debut’s I have ever had the absolute pleasure to read! Each book in this series is better than the previous one. I would most definitely recommend this book, indeed the series, to anyone looking for a truly mesmerising read. If you have the money to buy it, or even a library to order it, then go get it now! Dare I say it; I think this is probably my favourite series I’ve ever read! And in my opinion, there is no higher compliment than that!
Let me know what you thought in the comments below. Did you read the book and like it? If you didn't read the book are you going to read it now?