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In ancient Kyralian poetry the moon is known as the Eye. When the Eye is wide open, its watchful presence deters evil -- or encourages madness in those who do wrong under its gaze. Closed, with only a sliver of white to mark its sleeping presence, the Eye allows hidden deeds of both good or ill to remain unnoticed.
Looking up at the moon, Cery smiled wryly. This phase of the Eye, a narrow slit, was the one preferred by secret lovers, but he was not hurrying through the shadows of the city to such a rendezvous. His purpose was of a darker kind.
Whether his deeds were good or ill, however, was difficult for him to know. The men he hunted deserved their fate, but Cery suspected there was a deeper purpose to the work he'd been commissioned to do than just reducing the murders that had plagued the city for the last few years. He did not know everything about the whole nasty business -- of that he was sure -- but he probably knew more than anyone else in the city.
As he walked, he considered what he did know. He had learned that these murders were not carried out by one man, but by a succession of them. He had also noted that these men were of the same race: Sachakan. Most importantly, however, he knew they were magicians.
As far as Cery knew, there were no Sachakans in the Guild.
If the Thieves were aware of any of this, they were keeping their knowledge well hidden. He thought back to a meeting of Thieves he had attended two years ago. The leaders of the loosely allied underworld groups had been amused by Cery's offer to find and stop the killer. Those who asked slyly why Cery hadn't succeeded after so long might be assuming there was only one murderer, or they might want him to think that was all they knew.
Each time Cery dealt with one of the murderers, another began his grisly work. Unfortunately, this made it appear to the Thieves that Cery was failing at his task. All he could do was shrug off their questions, and hope his success in other underworld activities made up for it.
From the dark square of a doorway the shape of a large man emerged. Distant lamplight revealed a grim, familiar face. Gol nodded once, then fell into step beside Cery.
Reaching an intersection of five roads, they approached a wedge-shaped building. As they stepped through the open doors, Cery savored the heavy odor of sweat, bol and cooking. It was early evening and the bolhouse was full. He moved to a seat at the counter, where Gol ordered two mugs of bol and a dish of salted crots.
Gol munched his way through half of the beans before he spoke.
"At the back. Flash ring. What you say, son?"
Cery and Gol often pretended to be father and son when they did not want their true identities known -- which was most of the time they spent in public these days. Cery was only a few years younger than Gol but, with his small stature and boyish face, he was often mistaken for a youth. He waited a few minutes, then let his gaze shift to the back of the bolhouse.
Though the room was crowded, it was easy to locate the man Gol had pointed out. His distinctive wide, brown Sachakan face stood out among the pale Kyralian ones and he was watching the crowd carefully. Glancing at the man's fingers, Cery noted a glint of red in the dull silver of a ring. He looked away.
"What you think?" Gol murmured.
Cery picked up his mug and pretended to gulp a mouthful of bol. "Too much rub for us, da. Leave him for another."
Grunting in answer, Gol drained his mug and set it down. Cery followed him outside. A few streets from the bolhouse, he reached into his coat, pulled out three copper coins and pressed them into Gol's large hand. The big man sighed and walked away.
Cery smiled wryly, then stooped and opened a grille set into a nearby wall. To any stranger, Gol appeared to be completely unperturbed by any situation. Yet Cery knew that sigh. Gol was scared -- and he had good reason to be. Every man, woman and child in the slums was in danger while these murderers were about.
Cery slipped behind the grille into the passage below. The three coins he'd given Gol would pay three street urchins to deliver a message -- three urchins in case the message was lost or delayed. The recipients were crafters of one kind or another, who would pass on the message via city guard or delivery boy or trained animal. Each man or woman along the path of the message knew nothing of the meaning behind the objects or passwords they were given. Only the man at the final destination would understand their significance.
When he did, the hunt would begin again.
Leaving the classroom, Sonea slowly made her way down the crowded, noisy main corridor of the University. She usually paid little attention to the antics of the other novices, but today was different.
A year today since the Challenge, she thought. A whole year since I fought Regin in the Arena, and so much has changed.
Most novices had gathered into groups of two or more and were walking toward the rear staircase and the Foodhall. A few girls lingered by a classroom door, talking in conspiratorial murmurs. At the far end of the corridor a teacher emerged from a classroom, followed by two novices carrying large boxes.
Sonea watched the faces of the few novices who noticed her. None glared or looked down their noses...Continues...
Excerpted from The High Lord by Canavan, Trudi Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted April 1, 2013
Posted June 3, 2014
Posted March 27, 2013
I was totally engrossed in this story and stayed up many nights to read this trilogy, I even bought 2 more of your books in anticipation of the great reads they were so far.. then I came to the end. I thought you did such a disservice to this trilogy to end it this way that I have lost any desire I have had to read more of your books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 25, 2013
I enjoyed all three of these books in the black magician trilogy. Each time I'd guess as to where the story would go - I'd be wrong. Canavan will keep you guessing. Cute stories.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2013
Posted August 25, 2011
Posted March 24, 2011
Excellent finish to a great trilogy. Canavan's "Black Magician" trilogy has been a nice change from the run of the mill Tolkienist fantasy. Her books have enough plot twists to avoid being predictable and the character driven story lines are appealing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 15, 2011
If you have been reading this story you already know, the Highlord is the final book of the Black Magician Trilogy it is the epic and climatic battle of good vs evil ... rich vs. poor. You'll see Enemies become allies and much much more as this story winds into its epic and exciting conclusion. I strongly recommend that you read this trilogy and i'm giving it 5 Stars. Just a little bit of a hint to some of you...You'll even get to see the epic battle that has been brewing over the course of all three books in which Sonea finally gets the chance to confront her biggest opponent, which i think is the best part of the entire book. enjoy the read guys and galsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 1, 2010
I read the entire series, and over all, I enjoyed it. It sure took my mind off things, but I can't say it's the best thing I ever read. The characters were all nicely done, and how each of them changed was interesting. However, I would have liked to see more depth in them. When it came to the romance, yeah, I felt a little giddy and happy, but when it came to the sad or emotional parts, I realized I really wasn't invested in any of the characters. It was interesting, but nothing made me pity any of the characters, or make me want to cry. If it was exceptional writing, trust me, I would have cried in some parts.
As for the actual story, nothing is ever completely original, but I think this series held its own. If there's something very similar to this I have yet to read it. I did have a problem with the fact that the protagonist had a different love interest for every book. I wouldn't find it a problem if it had more to do with the actual plot. For the first two romances, they seemed a bit out of place after I finished reading the last book.
The rest has a spoiler, so don't read on if you're really interested.
The one thing that really bothered me about this book, however, was Akkarin's death. I wasn't sad, not even little overwhelmed. The only thing that I felt was frustration. It just seemed like a meaningless death. The author even draws attention to the fact that he didn't HAVE to die if they had just sucked the power from the arena. I don't have a preference over sad or happy endings so long as I feel it had a purpose. This one lacked it. I think it would have proven a better point if he had lived and had to deal with the consequences of everything afterward. Her pregnancy at the very end was also very out of place.
Although it isn't great writing, though, if you like fantasy, you won't mind this book. I still had fun reading it.
Posted June 14, 2010
I Also Recommend:
This last book in the trilogy is definitely my favourite. As the concluding chapter of the series, The High Lord gives us the answers we have been waiting for before jumping straight to the action. From the time that Sonea first fights beside Akkarin until the end, the tension never quites let up. Even having read the story before, I simply did not want to stop.
But I do agree with the Thieves on one point. The Guild's magicians are fools. Although there was sufficient evidence to proof some of what Akkarin had said, they chose banishment instead of imprisonment until they could verify the truth. By doing so, they not only sent their strongest ally into the hands of his enemies but left Kyralia wide open for attack. And until the end, neither the Guild nor the Kyralian King seemed to learn from their mistakes. When Akkarin's words prove true after the Ichani attack, neither the King nor the Higher Magicians were willing to call him back. Instead they chose to sacrifice more of their magicians in a futile attempt at delaying the Sachakan magicians while attempting to learn Black Magic themselves.
More telling was how the Guild let their prejudice cloud their judgement. Sonea is living proof that magical talent is not the sole preserve of the nobility. Yet the Guild chose only to evacute the Houses to prevent those with latent magical ability being harvested of their power, not bothering to even warn the other citizens of the impending danger.
Ironically, it is the city's vagrants and criminals who choose to stay and fight. These second-class citizens of Imardin are the ones risking their lives to help in the fight. Even rescuing those who had ignored or ill-used them. I really love these kind of tales where normally ordinary people behave heroically. I only hope that what they did was appreciated. After being saved by those they seek to Purge, can the magicians and King go back to believing in their own superiority ? It will be interesting to see if and how Imardin has changed in the Traitor Spy trilogy.
The High Lord is a keeper. An enjoyable and exciting read.
Posted February 4, 2008
Most of the other reviewers agree that this series is good, and I agree. I do not agree that this was a bad way to end this book, as she has tied upsome loose strings. I am wondering if she left it this ways so she could continue on in this series later, it would make a lot of sence. I am definiatly going to reread these books again. It was a unexpectly good series and has left me wondering where are friends are going from here.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2007
I loved this book and i dont think anything was left unsaid. All plots seemed tied up. You were left with ideas for possible next books (the sachakan king cryne the child, though i here there is a second set of books for that in 2008)I loved the connection between Akkarin and Sonea though it made me cry (truly cry) at the loss of Akkarin. I see why it ended that way as it would be hard to make the story fit with allowing them both back into the guild but it still was saddaning as they had only been togeather a short time and i felt it was written so well it made me feel for there love. I have read this book a few times as i feel it was the best of the set and had so much in it. Though i wish she had done somthing in regards to Akkarin wear the ring (just to show his love for her) or it would have been nice if Akkarin had known she was pregnant! Though i thought that was coming when it said she found that little extra power inside (hoped it was from a child) Though i know it would have been hard to finish it i would have loved to see Akkarin and Sonea togeather for longer.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 11, 2007
as the previous reviewer stated, the ending was terrible! i wish i had never read the last few pages! Trudi wrote an amazing series (finished all three in one weekend! yeah, im that much of a loser! lol) and i truly thought that she would write a satisfying ending to sum it up but she didnt! i still gave it 4 stars because this was one of the the most intruiging 'sp?' trilogies i've read in a long time! worth reading until the last pages of this last book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 15, 2007
The first two books in this series were compelling. Not the kind of life-changing 'Dear god, how did I live before I read this' type, but the 'This is interesting. I bet this is going to happen next' type. In fact, down to the last few chapters, this one was even better. And then those last twenty pages. I'm sorry, but I was furious with Canavan for resorting to such a bad-soap-opera plot twist. And it ruined the series for me. I would recommend these books--hesitantly. In fact, if you don't read the last twenty pages and invent your own ending, this could be a really great series. If you read hers, you'll end up snarling.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 19, 2006
I loved this series! But the ending made me cry. I've read the other reviews and don't know what was left so unclear or untied at the end so I can't say that I agree with them but I think there is room for a continuation or a new series which I would definitely pick up. Even though I was very upset with the ending, it was still a great story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 12, 2006
I read all three books in this trilogy and I couldn't put them done. AMAZING story and it counld not have been better written I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy with some romance!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 19, 2006
I loved this book, I actually bought all three and the kings dragon because it was a buy three get one free deal and I basically couldnt put the Black magician trilogy down. I stayed up till three in the morning and read through out the day. Sad emding tough, messed up how the high lord died.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 19, 2005
Trudi Canavan did a commendable job in writing this volume of trickery, intrigue, and romance. Sonea has developed into a strong and confident young woman and has grown into her abundant powers with a flair in the challenge. Non-stop excitment was mixed with Sonea's humorous little quips. This is definitly a book that I will enjoy reading over and over again. The ending was sad, but was laced with hope and a little happiness. Well done Trudi!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2005
Kudos to Trudi Canavan. I enjoyed all the books in the Black Magician Trilogy. I couldn't put these books down. It has been a long time since a writer has made me peek at the end, because I have no idea whats going to happen. If you like unpredictable books than this is a good one. I was a little disappointed at the ending between Akarrin and Sonea, but then I realized it wouldn't have seemed as real if Canavan didnt write it that way. It would have probrably been a little awkward too. I am a person who hates when things don't turn out right, but in the end it was one trade off for another. I really recommend this book. It doesnt have the classic fairy tale ending, but its still a good read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 24, 2005
I absolutely love this trilogy, and the whole plot up till the ending...the part in the middle made me ecstatically happy and it was incredibly well-written, but the end was a complete disappointment because too many things weren't connected, and a lot of the leading up Canovan did lead to nowhere. it didn't seem like something she could write more about as a continuation. so, great series, bad ending, but i still reccomend you read it because in the middle there is still much explaining and connecting. :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.