The Magician’s Guild

This is a book that I had on my TBR stack for quite some time, but didn’t get around to reading until recently.  And part of the reason that I decided to pick it up was reading this post by Becky where she raves about the series, and after finishing the first book, I’m definitely interested in reading the rest of the series.

Book StatsThe Magician's Guild

365 pages


First book in the series


The book follows a variety of characters from the get go, which is both a good and a bad thing.  It can help to get more people interested in the book since there are a wide variety of characters to get invested in, but it also slows down how quickly you learn about the characters.  The main character is Sonea, a young girl who has been living in the slums of the city of Imardin.  She’s an interesting character in that she is the person in the series who is able to learn magic, but she seems reluctant to enter the guild where they can truly show her how to use her powers.  A lot of the time in Fantasy novels the characters seem eager to learn to use the magic, and it was a welcome change to see a novel where the character was more reluctant to do so.  All of the other characters in the book where well written and very consistent in their actions.


Imardin is a fairly generic Fantasy setting, well executed but nothing you haven’t seen before if you’re well read in the Fantasy genre.


While going through a yearly ‘purge’ to rid the city of undesirables, the Magicians Guild gets a bit of a surprise when a young girl throws a rock that manages to pierce their magic shield and injure a magician.  The rest of the book follows their chase of the girl as well as her path to controlling her magic.


This book is different in many ways from other novels that I’ve read.  The main conflict of the book doesn’t have to do with a journey to look for an artifact or to defeat the evil lord, but with Sonea’s decisions as she struggles with her magical abilities.  Because of the generally lower stakes of this book compared to many other novels, it almost felt unfocused at times.  This was especially true because the book focuses on one characters decisions while trying to focus on 5 or 6 different characters.  Ultimately the book works out because of the interesting characters.  The book also does an excellent job of setting up the conflict that will be dealt with in the second and third books in the series, which I am definitely looking forward to reading as soon as I go buy them.

Overall Grade

The book seems a little unfocused at times, but it tells an interesting story and does an excellent job of setting the stage for the rest of the series.


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1 Comment

  1. Yay, I’m so glad you liked it and that my post spurred you into picking it up! I do agree that Canavan can become unfocused, it’s odd to me because her books often go at a slower pace than most, which is normally something I would dislike, yet for some reason when Canavan does it I don’t seem to get bored. She always has a lot of great ideas, even if it takes a while for them to come to fruition.

    I hope you like the next two as well. Great review. 🙂


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