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Priestess of the White (Age of the Five Trilogy #1)

Priestess of the White (Age of the Five Trilogy #1)

3.9 23
by Trudi Canavan

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In a land on the brink of peace—watched jealously by a ruthless cult from across the sea and beset by hidden enemies—five extraordinary humans must serve as sword and shield of the Gods.

Auraya is one.

Her heroism saved a village from destruction; now Auraya has been named Priestess of the White. The limits of her


In a land on the brink of peace—watched jealously by a ruthless cult from across the sea and beset by hidden enemies—five extraordinary humans must serve as sword and shield of the Gods.

Auraya is one.

Her heroism saved a village from destruction; now Auraya has been named Priestess of the White. The limits of her unique talents must be tested in order to prove her worthy of the honor and grave responsibility awarded to her. But a perilous road lies ahead, fraught with pitfalls that will challenge the newest servant of the gods. An enduring friendship with a Dreamweaver—a member of an ancient outcast sect of sorcerer-healers—could destroy Auraya's future. And her destiny has set her in conflict with a powerful and mysterious, black-clad sorcerer with but a single purpose: the total annihilation of the White. And he is not alone . . .

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
From bestselling Australian author Trudi Canavan, author of the Black Magician trilogy (The Magicians' Guild, The Novice, and The High Lord), comes a fantasy saga about a young priestess who is thrown into the middle of a quickly escalating war between conflicting religious factions. Priestess of the White has it all: great characters, complex and compelling story lines, and oh-so-timely themes like tolerance, sacrifice, open-mindedness, and self-empowerment.

Auraya is just a normal teenage girl with a teenager's interests. Among her favorite pastimes is spending time in the forest with Leiard, a local -- and handsome -- Dreamweaver with a seemingly endless knowledge of herb folklore and healing. But when Auraya's successful negotiation during a village crisis bring her to the attention of the White, the godlike heads of the Circlian religion, she is made a priestess and leaves everything associated with her childhood behind. Ten years later, Auraya is one of the White, "the gods' chosen" who are only five in number. As she strives to unite the radically different nations of northern Ithania, she must also deal with not only an impending religious war but also the Circlians' deep-seated hatred for anyone who is not like them -- namely, the pagan Dreamweavers.

A forceful fantasy with powerful elements of romance and religious allegory (similar to A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr., Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen's Heaven, et al.), this novel-- the first installment of the Age of the Five series -- will appeal to fans of Canavan's Black Magician trilogy. Paul Goat Allen

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers Australia
Publication date:
Age of the Five Trilogy , #1
Product dimensions:
4.53(w) x 7.13(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Priestess of the White

Age of the Five Trilogy Book 1
By Trudi Canavan

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Trudi Canavan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060815701

Chapter One

Though Danjin Spear had entered Jarime's Temple on several occasions before, today he felt as if he were arriving for the first time. In the past he had visited on behalf of others or in order to perform minor services as a translator. This time was different; this time he was here to begin what he hoped was the most prestigious job of his career.

No matter where this led him, even if he failed or his duties proved tedious or unpleasant, this day would be imprinted on his memory forever. He found himself taking more notice of his surroundings than he usually did -- perhaps in order to memorize them for future reflection. Perhaps only because I'm so anxious, he thought, this journey feels as if it's taking forever.

A platten had been sent for him. The small two-wheeled vehicle rocked gently in time with the gait of the arem pulling it, slowly passing other vehicles, servants and soldiers, as well as rich men and women strolling about. Danjin bit his lip and resisted asking the man perched in the small driver's seat to urge the docile creature into a faster pace. All of the Temple servants had a quiet dignity that discouraged most people from ordering them about. Perhaps this was because their demeanor reminded one of priests and priestesses, and one certainly didn't order them about.

They were nearing the end of a long, wide road. Large two- and three-story houses lined both sides, a contrast to the jumble of apartments, shops and warehouses that made up most of the city. Houses on Temple Road were so expensive that only the most wealthy could afford them. Though Danjin was a member of one of the wealthiest families in Jarime, none of his relatives lived here. They were traders and had as much interest in the Temple and religion as they had in the market and their dinner: a basic necessity not worth making a fuss over, unless there was wealth to be made from it.

Danjin thought differently, and had for as long as he could remember. Value could be measured in things other than gold, he believed. Things like loyalty to a good cause, law, a civilized code of behavior, art, and the pursuit of knowledge. All things which his father believed could be bought or ignored.

The platten reached the White Arch that spanned the entrance to the Temple and relief carvings of the five gods loomed over Danjin. Grooves filled with gold did a pretty job of depicting the glowing light that spilled from them when they took their visible forms. I know what Father would say about this: If money doesn't matter to the gods, why isn't their Temple made from sticks and clay?

The platten continued through the arch and the full glory of the Temple appeared. Danjin sighed with appreciation. He had to admit he was glad it wasn't made of sticks and clay. To his left was the Dome, an enormous half-sphere in which ceremonies were held. High arches around its base allowed access to the inside, and gave the impression that the Dome was floating just above the ground. Inside the Dome was the Altar, where the White communed with the gods. Danjin had not seen it, but perhaps in his new role he would gain the opportunity.

Beside the Dome stood the White Tower. The tallest building ever to have existed, it appeared to stretch up to the clouds. It didn't, of course. Danjin had been in the highest rooms and knew the clouds were far out of reach. The illusion must make a strong impression on visitors, however. He could see the benefits of impressing and humbling both commoner and foreign ruler.

To the right of the Tower lay the Five Houses, a large hexagonal building that housed the priesthood. Danjin had never entered it and probably never would. While he respected the gods and their followers, he had no desire to become a priest. At fifty-one years of age he was too old to be giving up some of his bad habits. And his wife would never have approved.

Then again, she might like the idea. He smiled to himself. She's always complaining I mess up her house and plans when I'm home.

A generous spread of open land surrounded the Temple buildings. Paved paths and garden beds had been laid out in patterns of circles within circles. The circle was the sacred symbol of the Circle of Gods, and some of the ways it had been incorporated into the Temple made Danjin wonder if the original designers and architects had been demented fanatics. Did they need to decorate the communal toilets with circular designs, for instance?

The platten rolled ever closer to the Tower. Danjin's heart was beating a little too fast now. White-clad priests and priestesses strode back and forth, a few noting his arrival and nodding politely, as they probably did to anyone as richly dressed as he. The platten came to a halt beside the Tower and Danjin climbed out. He thanked the driver, who nodded once before urging the arem into motion again.

Taking a deep breath, Danjin turned to face the Tower entrance. Heavy columns supported a wide arch. He moved inside. Magical lights within revealed the entire ground floor of the Tower to be a densely columned hall. Here, gatherings were held and important visitors entertained. Since the White were the rulers of Hania, as well as heads of the Circlian religion, the Temple was as much palace as religious center. Rulers of other lands, their ambassadors and other significant personages congregated here on important occasions, or visited to negotiate political matters. This was a unique situation; in all other lands the priesthood was secondary to the ruling power.


Excerpted from Priestess of the White by Trudi Canavan Copyright © 2006 by Trudi Canavan. 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.

Meet the Author

Trudi Canavan is the author of the bestselling Black Magician trilogy—The Magician's Guild, The Novice, and The High Lord—as well as Priestess of the White and Last of the Wilds, Books One and Two of her Age of the Five trilogy. She lives in a little house on a hillside, near a forest, in the Melbourne suburb of Ferntree Gully in Australia. She has been making up stories about things that don't exist for as long as she can remember, and was amazed when her first published story received an Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story in 1999. A freelance illustrator and designer, she also works as the designer and Art Director of Aurealis, a magazine of Australian Fantasy & Science Fiction.

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Priestess of the White 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
DAY-READER More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up at a local discount bookstore. I was wanting something different and unique. As I started to read, It reminded me of Sara Douglass a little bit. I would have enjoyed it alot better without the winged people (Tryss)...I will say that Auraya was a very interesting and wonderfull character to read about. Probly one of my favorite female characters so far. Danjin Spear was another interesting character. So with all that said. Trudi Canavan came up with an awesome plot that was written well, but it wasnt gripping or a must read. If you want something to read in between series or just looking for a break, I suggest this book.....
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ME0602 More than 1 year ago
This book starts off sort of slow, but pickes up later in the book. The love story in the book is going to have alot of twist and turns throughout the series. It will be great to see how it goes from here. I was hoping for alittle more magic in the book, but hopefully more is to come with the next books. Overall it was a good book, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader of epic fantasy novels and this book was able to hold my interests. the Characters are believable and pretty well developed if a little bit on the cliche side. The main character is one of my favorites and I think all in all the plot was very well developed. Can't wait to finish book 2
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked it but it's not as good as The Black Magician Series. At times it's even a little boring, but .. I still finished it and continued to Book two that seems more interesting. I still like her books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
dominate the books: 5 gods want to inspire peace and unity, but they must hide their cruel past, helping an elf-like race involves it deeply in a bloody war etc. Auraya navigates through contradictions and till the end we do not know: is she a puppet or an inspiration to her gods. Why is this books subject of so much mis-information? (1) The cover does not look like the picture here. (2) Contrary to info on the jacket, Auraya's friendship with an outcast healer is not hidden and it contributes to her success, in no stage of that relationship risks are more than minor, (3) contrary to the Klausner review, Auraya is a Circlian, Circlian and 'the White' are basically the same, Circlians do persecute Dreamweavers but the heroine influences Circlians for the better, Pentadrians are the implacable enemies of Circlians, and they do not persecute other sects.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Teenager Auraya¿s reward for saving the village of Oraylyn from Dunwayan invaders is being named a priestess to the ruling godlike White, heads of the Circlian religion. A decade later, Auraya is one of the chosen five White guardians to the people of Ithania.----- Auraya and her White peers pray they can bring the various races, not all human, together in northern Ithania. However hate and distrust runs deep between the groups that have fought one another seemingly forever. A Circlian cult has formed, led by the powerful sorcerer Kuar the Pendatrian and the disbanded Sorcerer¿s Guild, insisting they are the chosen ones and outsiders must die. This sect attacks the others especially targeting the pagan worshipping Dreamweavers to include Auraya¿s best friend before she entered the priesthood, Leiard. The objective is to sow hatred until Kuar and his followers kill the White and replace them with singular rule. Though feeling somewhat like a novice and not a high lord, Auraya knows she and her peers must confront Kuar and his followers.----- The first Age of Five fantasy is a fabulous thriller that combines a coming of age tale with a religious battle for control of the minds and souls of the people of Ithania. The story line is fast-paced as the audience learns about the White who serve as the Gods¿ guardians to all races and their adversary who uses the tools of bigotry and hatred to sow a powerful religious based insurgency. Genre fans will want to read this epic tale and look forward to the next saga LAST OF THE WILDS.---- Harriet Klausner