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24 March 2012

The Magician's Apprentice

The Magician's Apprentice by Trudi Canavan takes place 600 years before The Magicians' Guild of the Black Magician series. It is a prequel that you should read after the series even though chronologically it happens first as it is the story of the creation of the Guild of Magicians.

Tessia is the daughter of and assistant to the village healer. She would love to become a healer herself but it is not a job women normally occupy. They can be midwives and assistants, but the deep medical knowledge and practice is left to men.

When Tessia and her father are called to the home of Lord Dakon - the Lord of Mandryn where they live - it is to treat a slave. Though the country of Kyralia does not allow slavery, a man from neighboring Sachaka has brought his slave with him on a tour of Kyralia. While at Lord Dakon's home, Tessia feels threatened by the Sachakan, Takado, and uses magic to repel him - magic she did not know she possessed.

Unlike wealthy families who place their children with a magician for training, Tessia's magic released itself. As the only higher magician in the village, Dakon takes on her training. Though Tessia is excited to have magic, she is not willing to give up the idea of being a healer. If there was some way to use magic to heal it would be the perfect combination, but so far no one has discovered how to combine the two.

Fans of Canavan's will delight in this novel that explains the current day politics and rules about magicians. She has created a complete world that I hope will be the setting of many future novels.

Canavan, Trudi. (2009). The Magician's Apprentice. New York: Orbit.

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