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26 February 2012

The Magicians' Guild (Black Magician #1)

The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan is the first book in her Black Magician Trilogy.

In a world where magic is controlled - both for the safety of society and of the magician - is has been centuries since someone came upon magic on their own. Usually a magician will check a child for magical potential and then release his or her magic. And this only happens to children within the Houses, the upper parts of society.

Each Winter the king orders the Purge of the city where city guards and the magicians' guild moves the homeless and lowest classes out of the city walls. There is a huge city outside of the walls at this point, but it is has none of the luxuries of the city like running water, sewage systems, etc... So people move back into the city to find work each Spring.

The last hold out is always a square near the city gate. The magicians form a protective barrier and slowly push people toward the gate. Each year there are street kids to throw rocks at the magicians in protest, but they just bounce off of the shield. This year, when Sonea hears a rude comment one of the magicians makes about people like her, she throws a rock herself. She hopes with all of her being that the rock passes through the barrier. And it does.

Now the magicians are looking for her. They say they are trying to help her control her magic, but the lower classes have never seen the magicians do anything good for them. If the Thieves will help hide her in the underground tunnels she may have a chance - unless her magic gets too strong for her to control without training.

Canavan has written a great first book this trilogy. The characters and society are well thought out and compelling. Readers will be anxious for book two to see what happens to Sonea next. This is a great choice for fantasy readers.

Canavan, Trudi. (2001). The Magicians' Guild. New York: EOS.

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