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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Australian fantasy author Trudi Canavan continues her Black Magician trilogy with the sequel to The Magicians' Guild, a novel that introduced readers to Sonea, an orphan girl with remarkable magical abilities. In The Novice, she must battle the malicious -- and potentially deadly -- machinations of the powerful magicians' guild and its evil High Lord.
After surviving a wild adventure that almost killed her, Sonea has finally been accepted as a novice into the prestigious university of the magicians' guild. But Sonea -- who grew up in the slums of the city Imardin -- is a fish out of water at the university, whose students all come from wealthy and powerful families. Even though she is easily the most gifted student, her peers ostracize her and play hurtful pranks on her. In a vast university of hundreds of students and teachers, it seems everyone is against Sonea and is waiting to see her fail.
Meanwhile, Dannyl, a guild ambassador to the distant kingdom of Elyne, is on a secret mission to find out the shadowy history of the enigmatic High Lord, who may very well be behind a series of gruesome murders in Imardin that involve black magic.
Fans of epic fantasy who have already sampled Australian authors like Sara Douglass, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Juliet Marillier, and Ian Irvine should definitely give Canavan a try. The Novice is escapist literature at its very best. Paul Goat Allen