Book Review: The Black Magician Trilogy

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This is one of those series that I’ve wanted to read for the last decade and a half and when I finally picked it up after my massive fantasy buying spree early this year, I was a little wary, thinking that this wouldn’t live up to my expectations. To be fair I was doing that cardinal of literary sins and judging the books by their covers. I was so glad that I picked them up.


They follow the Sonea a slum dweller who discovers that she possesses magical talents. And the trilogy really highlights class systems and how private educational establishments are really just full of snotty little rich brats with massive senses of entitlement. The Story first deals with how Sonea tries to avoid being taken into the Magicians Guild, owing to the slum dwellers regularly being purged by the cities magicians, and then after joining the guild in the struggles of the poor kid being bullied at school. The story then progresses onto the uses of black magic and the avoidance of a war.

Whilst you could draw parallels with the Harry Potter series and even such things as the Worst Witch, the book puts it own unique spin on the “magic school” genre with lots of little side plots and other interesting tit-bits throughout.

Trudi Canavan’s work is both engrossing and easy to follow, I find the main criticism that I have of Ms Canavan’s work is that when you pick up the book the next time you look up it’ll be five or six hours later and you wont have noticed the time go by. I’m thoroughly looking forward to picking up the sequel trilogy over the next few weeks. Its nice to be getting through all the fiction that I wanted to read this year.

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