Reading Level: Adult
Length: 531 pages
Release Date: August 31, 2004
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in The Black Magician trilogy
Source: Audiobook through Audible.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
“In the city of Imardin, where those who wield magic wield power, a young street-girl, adopted by the Magician’s Guild, finds herself at the centre of a terrible plot that may destroy the entire world…
Sonea has learned much at the magicians’ guild and the other novices now treat her with a grudging respect. But she cannot forget what she witnessed in the High Lord’s underground room – or his warning that the realm’s ancient enemy is growing in power once more. As Sonea learns more, she begins to doubt her guildmaster’s word. Could the truth really be as terrifying as Akkarin claims, or is he trying to trick her into assisting in some unspeakably dark scheme?”
I was dying to read this book after the huge cliffhanger in the second book. The first and middle parts of this book were absolutely awesome; I was completely glued to this story. Unfortunately the ending absolutely sucked in the most sucky of sucky ways.
I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator did an amazing job. I highly recommend listening to this series on audiobook.
This is one of those books that is tough to review without spoilers; so I will put a spoiler header in here further down.
The first part of the story focuses on Sonea as she deals with being Akkarin’s apprentice. Akkarin reveals some truths to Sonea in very convincing ways. This leads Sonea down a difficult path along Akkarin’s side.
The story is well written and flows nicely. I loved the characters as well. The story really focuses on Akkarin and Sonea; although Dorian, Robin, and others still play a big role in the story as well. Akkarin is the best character in this series so I was excited to have him feature so much in this story.
Things end up coming together nicely and I loved how all the factions of the city (commoners, dwells, thieves, and mages) had to band together to face a larger fault.
Now for the spoilers….
———–BIG SPOILERS START————————-
I loved how Sonea stuck up for her beliefs and what she thought was right. The fact that she stands steadfastly by Akkarin’s side for the sake of the kingdom and her own believes showed amazing strength and also showed how much she had matured as a character and magician. Even when Akkarin wants to take the fall by himself and leave Sonea out of it, Sonea refuses to make things easy for herself and the Guild and instead does what is right.
Sonea and Akkarin falling in love and becoming a couple was perfect. They complement each other so well; neither one will let the other falter and they both temper each other when either start to go down a path that’s too dark. I loved that they had started thinking about ways to change the future of Imardin and improve it for future generations. I was so looking forward to seeing Sonea and Akkarin come back and help the city improve and really put energy into taking care of the city they loved so much.
So…well screw that! said Canavan…I have a better idea let’s f%^&% kill Akkarin right at the end of the battle. Because you know neither Sonea nor Akkarin has suffered enough personally throughout this series. They only both lost all their friends and their home trying to save this stupid city, so right when they get to the pinnacle of victory let’s kill off the best character in this book.
As if that’s not enough let’s take this awesome, beautiful, and strong new person Sonea has become (despite all her previous trials and tortures) and crush the emotional fight out of her once and for all. Nope, no happiness for this girl. In fact let’s pour salt in the wound and make her pregnant too! That way she can be a perpetually sad woman, who is shadow of herself and continues to be ostracized by the guild for not only being Black Magician left but for being pregnant with a potentially powerful child as well.
I don’t get it, why take a great story and give it this awful and contrived ending that does nothing but destroy the best characters in the book. So depressing and sad and anti-climatic.
———–BIG SPOILERS END————————-
Overall this was a great series and this book definitely wraps it up…but not nicely. The majority of the book is fantastic and engaging, the world and characters are amazing. The ending sucks big time and kind of made me sad I read this series at all. I don’t plan on reading anymore of Canavan’s books because the ending to this series angered me big time.
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