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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Sara Douglass. Ian Irvine. Cecilia Dart-Thornton. Add Trudi Canavan to the growing list of Australian fantasy authors who have found success in the States. The Magicians' Guild, the first book in Canavan's Black Magician trilogy, chronicles the plight of an impoverished girl with magical abilities who gets caught up in the machinations of a powerful magicians' guild. An enthralling blend of Raymond E. Feist's epic Midkemia saga (Canavan's lawless city of Imardin is strikingly similar to Feist's Krondor) and Stephen Crane's brutally realistic classic Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, Canavan's story focuses on two teenagers who have slipped between the cracks of society. Sonea is an orphaned girl living with her aunt and uncle in the tenements that encircle the great city of Imardin. Ceryni is a street urchin barely surviving by robbing merchants. When the magicians from the city's guild begin their annual purge (a systematic cleansing of the poor and homeless from the city), some slum dwellers voice their displeasure by throwing rocks. Protected by an impregnable aura, the magicians scoff at their defiance -- until a rock somehow breaches the shield and knocks out a magician! Only a powerful mage could do such a thing, and when Sonea is spotted, her perilous adventure begins!
Readers who enjoy The Magicians' Guild will be eager to read the second and third installments in the trilogy: The Novice and The High Lord, both scheduled for released in 2004. Paul Goat Allen