Reading Level: Adult
Length: 18 hours and 37 minutes (480 pages)
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Release Date: October 31, 2008
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Black Magician series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
“Alone among all the novices in the Magician’s Guild, only Sonea comes from lowly beginnings. Yet she has won powerful allies–including Lord Dannyl, newly promoted to Guild Ambassador. But Dannyl must now depart for the Elyne court, leaving Sonea at the mercy of the lies and malicious rumors her enemies are busy spreading…until the High Lord Akkarin steps in. The price of Akkarin’s support is dear, however, because Sonea, in turn, must protect his mysteries–and a secret that could lead a young novice mage deep into the darkness.
Meanwhile, Dannyl’s first order to resume High Lord Akkarin’s long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge is setting him on an extraordinary journey fraught with unanticipated peril–as he moves ever-closer to a future both wondrous…and terrible..”
This was a spectacular continuation to the Black Magician series. After reading the first book in the series I wasn’t sure if I would continue it; but I am so glad I did. This book is much better than the first one and incredibly interesting and engaging.
I listened to this on audiobook and I really love the narrator of these books. He is a pleasure to listen to and does an awesome job with character voices and emotion. I would highly recommend listening to this series on audiobook.
There is so much tension throughout this book, it just about kills you. Sonea, Lord Robin, and the Administrator know a deadly secret about the High Lord Akkarin that they are desperately trying to keep secret. As if this isn’t enough stress Sonea’s fellow classmates have taken a strong dislike to her. Sonea remains admirable through the book; she is smart and resourceful but continues to get caught up in events that test her. I loved her character and my heart just broke for her throughout this book; there were a couple of times I just wanted to scream “Enough, give the girl a break and some happiness!”
Much of the story is also told from Dannyl’s perspective. I adored his parts of the book just as much as Sonea’s. Dannyl does a lot of traveling and ends up on a quest to trace Akkarin’s travels and find out more about the ancient history of magic. These parts of the book had a lot of adventure and history involved in them and I loved them. Both Sonea and Dannyl develope love interests in this book; much of that is in the background but it was nice for these characters to have some happiness in midst of all of their trials.
The only thing that really irked me throughout this book was everyone’s fear and assumption that The High Lord Akkarin was evil. Yes, Sonea saw him practicing black magic but did anyone ever try to figure out why Akkarin would do that? Throughout the book Akkarin remains alof, intimidating, and at times strict and even a bit cruel. However, he is never outright evil and I can’t help but believe he isn’t the problem in this book. It bothered me that all the magicians and novices that know his secret just assume that he is evil without finding out if maybe he has a greater ulterior motive. It made me disappointed in the intelligence of the surrounding characters and seemed short-sighted to me. I was especially disappointed in Robin and the Administrator.
The other thing I found frustrating was how all the magicians turned a blind eye to how Sonea was tormented by her classmates; at times this torment is so severe as to be torture. I found it disturbing that the adults in this book are okay with the students ganging up on and torturing one young girl.
Overall aside from the above two complaints I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The whole book is written in a fantasy style that feels a bit older to me (like 90’s epic fantasy) and I enjoyed it a lot. There is some excellent world-building in here along with a complex plot and characters that are easy to engage with and relate to. The book ends on a cliffhanger that will absolutely kill you; I want to read the third book immediately! I would recommend to fans of classic fantasy.
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