This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work-—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders…and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.
What the Magicians’ Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control. -Goodreads
My Rating: 4/5
It isn’t until the second third of this book that things get really good. Canavan has a fantastic, accessible writing style that thrives on mystery. As soon as Sonea begins to become more wrapped up in what’s going on and stumble across strange, unexpected happenings, the pace picks up and I couldn’t put the book down.
There is a whole cast of character who all have distinct voices, motivations, and opinions. Sonea is frightened and desires only the freedom from that fear – for herself and the ones she is closest to. Lords Dannyl and Rothen are fantastic and I hope to see a lot more of them. Dannyl is sweet and gentle, and Rothen has an air of fatherliness to him. Cery is a cheeky git and I love him for it. Finally, Fergun is a very creepy character and well portrayed as such.
The plot itself isn’t too complex, but there are clues and hints to the overarching plot of the trilogy that are introduced well in this book. The magician’s Guild is one of the best “wizard-school” settings I have read and will be a joy to read for anyone who loves that sort of thing.
Overall, this is a great introduction to this world and its characters. It may not be the best fantasy book ever, but it’s great fun and is heading towards a bigger, grander story.