Reading Level: Adult (appropriate for YA)
Length: 15 hours and 23 minutes (384 pages)
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Release Date: December 20, 2007
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in The Black Magician Trilogy
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
This is the first book in the Black Magician series. I have had this book on my shelf to read for quite awhile. It was a decent fantasy book, but the pacing is a bit slow and the plot is repetitive.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. The narrator is pleasant to listen to and does character voices well. I would definitely recommend listening to this on audiobook.
The magician’s of Imardin have gathered to do their yearly purge of undesirables from the Inner City. One of these “undesirables” is Sonea, she is a young woman whose aunt and uncle were actually making an honest, if meager, living when they were driven out of their house as part of the Purge. Sonea, in an unusual fit of anger, joins the other slum kids in throwing rocks at the Magicians’ impenetrable shield….only Sonea’s rock doesn’t stop at the shield…it goes through it.
Sonea is terrified that the Magicians will kill her her for what she’s done, common folk just don’t have magic. So Sonea begs her thief friends to hide her from the Magicians as long as possible. Unfortunately Sonea needs to be taught how to control her magic before it spirals out of control and kills everyone.
There are a lot of good aspects to this story. I really and truly enjoyed all the characters (well not the evil ones, but all the good ones). They are well done and have a lot of depth to them. In general the characters are kinder to each other than I would expect characters eking out a living in the slum to be. I also really liked Sonea; she is smart and resourceful…if a bit too dependent on others sometimes. Additionally I enjoyed the magic and the idea of the Magician’s Guild and their different schools of magic.
However there was a lot I didn’t like as well. Sonea spends the first two-third’s or more of this book running from place to place hiding from the magicians. It gets very repetitive and boring. She doesn’t actually get involved with the Guild until very late in the story. I also wished we had saw more of the world outside of Imardin; we really don’t and it makes the world-building seem stunted.
What kept me engaged in the story was the whole idea of Sonea’s magic destroying her; you are constantly wondering what choices she will make and how they will all play out. The story is very nicely tied up with another storyline started right at the end to keep the reader enticed…it’s not a cliffhanger but more of a presentation of yet another mystery.
Overall this was a decent fantasy that suffered from some repetitiveness and slow pacing in the beginning. I did however really enjoy the characters and magic throughout and would love to learn more about them both. I am unsure whether or not I will continue with this series. I have heard that the latter two books of the series are much better, so since I already have the books I may go ahead and read them.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Mount TBR Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
– Audiobook Reading Challenge