The High Lord

It’s been far too long since I stayed up late into the night to finish a book, but The High Lord by Trudi Canavan kept me up till about 1:30 last night so that I could finish it before the work week started.  (I don’t have all that much time to read during the week between work and bowling.)  That said, I enjoyed the series and it’s time for the review.

Book StatsThe High Lord

526 pages


Third book in the Black Magician trilogy, sequel to The Magician’s Guild and The Novice.


Once again I believe that all of the characters in this book appeared in the first two books, although Akkarin plays a much larger role in this book than in the first two books.  We’re also introduced to Savara, a mage of sorts from Sachaka, who works with Ceryni for a while.  And you also see several other mages from Sachaka.


Same as the first two books.


After the events of the first two books, Sonea is still Akkarin’s novice and she is still very distrustful of him.  Early on in this book, she learns how and why he originally learned black magic, and why he still practices it.  After finding out about Akkarin’s past, Sonea decides to join his cause and work to protect the kingdom.


There’s a lot going on in this book, but there are three major things that I want to comment on about this books strengths.  The first is how much bigger the world is than what Canavan applies to this story.  There are a lot of elements that are part of this novel that really take a backseat to the main story, the biggest one is Savara.  She appears early in this book and works with Cery, but when the main conflict of the book arrives, she steps to the side, showing up for a very brief moment that plays almost no part in the overall conflict resolution.  There are other elements similar to this spread throughout the book, and it shows that the world is a much larger place than this story requires, which in some ways leads me to think that Canavan might eventually write more stories in this universe (I wouldn’t mind seeing a book or series based on Cery, there’s definitely enough set up for it).  (After checking Wikipedia I found that there is another trilogy in this world, set 20 years after the end of this book, I’m definitely going to check it out.)

The second thing that Canavan does very well is to punish the main characters, whether doing something mean to the characters themselves, or making them witness something awful, or simply showing them that they aren’t nearly as powerful as they thought they were.  The final act of this book really left me wondering exactly how the characters were actually going to survive, and if there was going to be anything left for them if they did survive.

The last big thing about the book is that Canavan really shows her characters being clever.  The people in this story, both the mages as well as the normal people, are all very creative in how they use what they have at hand.

There are a few things about the book that didn’t quite work for me, but they’re small in the grand scheme of things.  For one, there was a romantic subplot that didn’t quite work for me as well as it could have, but even that wasn’t enough to take away from how much I really enjoyed this novel.


A solid end to an interesting and unique Fantasy series, I’ll definitely be checking out more of Canavan’s books in the future.


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  1. I love it when books do that. There is something magical, for lack of a better way to describe it, when your reading crosses that threshold and you find yourself unable and unwilling to stop reading until you hit the end, regardless of how late it is getting.

    • It’s something that doesn’t seem to happen often enough anymore, but it’s great fun when it happens.


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