In the remote village of Mandryn, Tessia serves as assistant to her father, the village Healer. Her mother would rather she found a husband. But her life is about to take a very unexpected turn.
When the advances of a visiting Sachakan mage get violent, Tessia unconsciously taps unknown reserves of magic to defend herself. Lord Dakon, the local magician, takes Tessia under his wing as an apprentice.
The hours are long and the work arduous, but soon a new and exciting new world opens up to her. There are fine clothes and servants – and, to Tessia’s delight – regular trips to the great city of Imardin.
However, Tessia is about to discover that her magical gifts bring with them a great deal of responsibility. For a storm is approaching that threatens to tear her world apart. -Goodreads
My Rating: 5/5
This book is essentially an explanation for how the world came to be in The Black Magician trilogy. Trudi Canavan has created a world with a rich history and vibrant characters. The magic system might not be particularly complex, but there are costs and a method for wielding it.
Tessia is one of my favourite main characters Canavan has created. She begins life in a typical rural setting but is soon thrust into the larger world. It was fascinating – on several levels – exploring this new world with her. Knowing a little of this world from reading the trilogy, seeing it before its destruction was wonderful, and it adds so much to the history and cultures explored in the main trilogy.
The plot itself is a typical Canavan plot. Our main character works her way from the bottom of the food chain to a main cog in the progression of the larger events that take place. The plot isn’t complex but it’s compelling and thoroughly enjoyable.
I can’t say any more due to possible spoilers, but I would like to finish this review by saying that this prequel does what many prequels struggle to do well – it adds valuable characters, worldbuilding, and history to the story it is coming before. If you loved The Black Magician trilogy, then you will love this.