THIS IS A CORRECT REVIEW!!! We apologize for the glitch, but the review which was posted at 9am this morning was actually for a different book. Unfortunately, this mistake was not caught until now. Please take a moment to read Trish’s thoughts on Thief’s Magic and disregard the review from this morning.
Our greatest apologies go out to the author, Trudi. Trish really did love your book. This was an administrative error when posting the review.
Elsewhere, in an land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it — should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.
But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands… and not even the people they trust.
by Trudi Canavan
Millennium’s Rule #1
Orbit (Imprint of Hachette)
May 20, 2014
Thief’s Magic is an epic fantasy set in two distinct worlds, following two unrelated characters who find themselves unintentionally stealing magic or something magical. Tyen, a student at a prestigious magical academy in an industrial world fueled by magic, finds an old book on a treasure hunt sanctioned by the academy. The problem is, the book’s alive, and Tyen feels like he has to protect it. Rielle, a dyer’s daughter on a totally different world, has the ability to sense where magic has been used and likely use magic, too. So long as she avoids using the magic, everything will be fine. But can she?
So yes, first things first, this is two separate stories. The book shifts between the two storylines periodically, moving them both along. The chapter headings are clearly labeled so you know whose story is whose, which I thought was nice. I expected the two main characters to encounter each other in the book at some point, but they didn’t. Maybe in the following books?
I liked both stories, but I did have some trouble getting into Tyen’s at first. I didn’t really get the connection with Vella, or the sense that he was being obsessive, which was stated at one point by another character. The thing I like most about Tyen’s story was the chase. Once he’s on the run, it gets interesting. The places he goes and the narrow escapes, as well as the people he meets on the way, are all really good. That being said, there’s a hint to the ultimate plot involving him, but it isn’t much more than a hint in this installment. Mostly, it’s about him and the chase and a bit about Vella.
For Rielle, I think I liked this story the best because of its focus on a young girl in love, who wants to do the right thing but finds herself doing the wrong thing in spite of that. There was a lot more politics (or religion, since the rulers seem to be priests) built into this world, another thing I enjoyed. Things get really sweet and then really dark for Rielle. I felt like this part of the book had more emotional meat to it, while Tyen’s part had more world-building meat to it.
So, overall, I really liked this story. It was paced well and both stories were interesting, if not quite connected to each other. I’m not sure what the overarching goal of the story is for the coming books, but I hope it becomes clear in the next installment. I’d recommend this story to folks who like epic fantasy with solid world-building and magic systems, but don’t mind if the story seems more about the journey than the destination.
This book was supplied by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
About Trudi Canavan
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. The second book of the trilogy, The Novice, was published in June 2002 and was nominated for the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel. The third book The High Lord was released in January 2003 and was nominated for the Best Novel Ditmar category. All three books entered Australian top ten SF bestseller lists.
The Black Magician Trilogy reached the international market in 2004, published by HarperCollins’ EOS imprint in North America and Orbit Books in the UK. The trilogy is now rated by Nielsen BookScan as the most successful debut fantasy series of the last 10 years.
Trudi’s second trilogy, Age of the Five, has also enjoyed bestselling success. Priestess of the White reached No.3 in the Sunday Times hardback fiction bestseller list, staying in the top ten for six weeks.
In early 2006 Trudi signed a seven-figure contract with Orbit to write the prequel and sequel to the Black Magician Trilogy. The prequel, The Magician’s Apprentice was released in 2009 and won the Best Fantasy Novel category of the Aurealis Awards. She is now working on the sequel trilogy, and planning her next fantasy series, which will be set in an entirely new world.