Top critical review
quick fantasy read
on December 4, 2013
A typical fantasy cover, not much to say really.
(2/5) It's not that well written and it's very evident that this is the author's first work.
(2/5) Like the writing, the setting wasn't that special. Think stereotypical fantasy with a group of magicians and I'm pretty sure you'll have a pretty accurate idea of the setting in your head. It lacked a lot of originality and overall is the low-light of the book.
(4/5) I believe the plot is where the book shines. The largest flaw I saw was the drawn out game of cat-and-mouse with Sonea and the Magicians. It was very obvious that Sonea would be eventually caught, and I don't now about you, but runaway plots usually bore me. Despite this, the book was fast paced and it started getting pretty good by the second half. There weren't much twists nor did it really keep me at the edge of my seat, but it was a really quick, fun read.
(2/5) Sonea is our main character, a slum girl who discovers she posses magic. Again, not very original, but it could have been remedied if Sonea had an interesting personality, which sadly, she didn't. If she was a modern day heroine, she would have been even more boring and I would have rated her a one. She also has the usual view of the higher ups.
(3/5) The Magicians were Sonea's antagonists for the first half of the book, but they weren't really villains. For the second half, we had this petty Magician as the villain, and I liked that far more than your usual stereotypical dark lord/king.
(3/5) The other characters were more engaging than Sonea, that's for sure. My least favourite had to be Sonea's friend Cery, who was only slightly less boring than Sonea, and I didn't enjoy the parts of his point of view too much. The rest of the characters are engaging enough and I'm especially curious about High Lord Akkarin (the leader of the Magicians' Guild) with that revelation at the end.
(16/30) If you're looking for a fresh and original fantasy series, this is definitely not for you. But if you're looking for a fun and quick fantasy read, I would recommend The Magicians' Guild. Despite Canavan's rough start with this trilogy, I'm quite curious to see where it will go next.