Published: 04 March 2010 by Orbit Books
Format: Paperback, 656 pages
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‘Why are you showing me these books?’ Akkarin’s eyes bored into her own, and she looked away. ‘You want to know the truth,’ he said. He was right. Part of her wanted to ignore the books. But she did want to know.
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?
A wonderful climax to a spellbinding trilogy, The High Lord lived up to all my expectations. It is a great culmination of Sonea’s adventures as the only slum dweller to be accepted into the ranks of the Magician’s Guild. Canavan’s storytelling is brilliant and makes it easy for readers to become emotionally invested in her characters. I especially loved Ceryani’s role in this novel, as it seemed very fitting to have Sonea’s childhood friend involved in the dangers she faces.
I feel the best aspect of the book is undoubtably the character development of Sonea and High Lord Akkarin. They both become highly interesting characters, and as Akkarin’s past is revealed, it becomes clear that he the person we believe him to be. Lord Dannyl’s journey to accept both himself and others was also enlightening to read. It is amazing that Canavan explores issues such as sexuality and morality so subtly that the novel has no preachy qualities about it.
Reading this novel also led me to realise that Canavan handles action plots very well. The story hurtles along at a very fast pace, and just when it seems the characters will catch a break, something new and exciting comes up and must be dealt with. In the midst of the magical battles she explores the emotions of those fighting without taking away the sense of urgency. The final battle is realistic, with both sides suffering grave losses. This method of story-telling – where no character is safe, is very exciting and heart wrenching to read.
If you have not read Trudi Canavan’s The Black Magician Trilogy then you are really missing out. Sonea’s adventures are wonderful to read about the world that Canavan has created is great to escape into.